Back to Ganoksin | FAQ | Contact

Electroplating questions


#1

Hello everyone, I have a question regarding the feasability of using
an electroplating process. First, please realize that I have no
electroplating experience at all.

Can electroplating be used to surface coat aerospace (grade-5)
titanium? Also can an electroplate coating be made very thick,
approximatly 500 microns? The depth is adjustable, but 500 microns
will make a very durable product.

What I would like to do is cut the surface of a titanium ring with a
greek key design, which I have already accomplished. The design is
cut 500 microns deep and I would like to inlay the channels with
either silver or gold. I know that there are some masking techniques
to allow the electroplate to go only in specific areas (used in the
circuit board manufacturing processes). so I can mask off the inside
of the ring and the top surface of the titanium. Can I then
electroplate into the grooves and allow them to fill in with the
precious metal? I could then polish the surface smooth and flush to
the precious metal.

is this possible and if so, how do I accomplish it? I would like to
have somebody that has the equipment show me the finished product
before I purchase equipment that may or may not work.

If you would like to see a picture of the greek key design ring with
the channels cut please go to:

Thank you for any and all suggestions and help.

Daniel J. Statman, Statman Designs
http://members.rennlist.com/statmandesigns


#2

Mr. Statman, Why not just fill the grroves with wax, invest the piece,
and cast gold into the grooves? You will have to add a few indercuts
to your design to assure the gold stays in place, maybe even cut a few
small holes from the interior of the ring surface to the bottom of the
grrove. I’d make them cone shaped and the gold will stay in place.

Wayne Emery


#3

I would like to thank everyone for their helpful suggestions about
alternative ways to inlay this pattern. However, I still have a
question regarding the feasability of electroplating inside a groove
to bring it up to a flush surface.

I was able to inlay the greek key pattern with silver using my
brute-force channel setting technique. This is a more conventional
greek key pattern that was cut a full 1 mm deep and then inlaid. If
you would like to see it go to:

http://members.rennlist.com/statmandesigns/Style-W.html

It took several hours and many adjustments to get the final product,
and I am looking for a quicker and easier method for inlaying these
complicated designs.

Please also realize that I am not a jeweler. I have never been to a
jewelry class, and I have never watched anybody make a ring. I am
pretty sure that the techniques that I use are unique to me. I do not
own a casting machine or even a decent torch. So if you have some
suggestions please use small words and simple sentence structure, ;-
).

Thanks for all of your help

Daniel J. Statman, Statman Designs
http://members.rennlist.com/statmandesigns


#4
feasability of electroplating inside a groove to bring it up to a
flush surface 

Hi Daniel, It sounds to me as though you would need electroforming, as
opposed to electroplating to build up any significant depth. This is
usually done in copper, which could then be plated with a precious
metal. I don’t know if electroforming can be done directly with
precious metals. I’ve never heard of electroforming being used in this
way, but it at least sounds feasible. Where you may have seen examples
of electroforming before is polished geode slices or shells with a
gold metal edge on them (that is clearly not a bezel or foil).

I noticed a short while ago that Rio Grande has an electroforming
setup in their 2001 tools catalog. May be worth contacting them for
sales/technical or doing some research on electroforming.

All the best,

Dave
Dave Sebaste
Sebaste Studio and
Carolina Artisans’ Gallery
Charlotte, NC (USA)
dave@sebaste.com