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Iron contaminated pickle


#1

If, however, your pickle is in use, but not overused, and you
accidentally introduce iron into it resulting in unwanted copper
plating, removal of the piece of iron will immediately stop the
process, and you may continue to use the pickle with no further
plating of objects. Steel wool is an exception in that the little
fibers of it are too small to completely remove, so you might be
unable to stop the reaction.

Les, even things like steel wool won’t cause a problem. Remember
that the iron, in order to set up that galvanic circuit, has to be in
physical/electrical contact with the item that would then be copper
plated. Small fibers of steel wool will sink to the bottom, where
they won’t be in contact with anything, and thus won’t complete a
circuit. And even then, they’ll quickly enough dissolve in the
pickle, and again, as you’ve pointed out, no longer be able to cause
a problem. Enough iron dissolved in your pickle, though, can change
the appearance of subsequent accidental copper plating through
additional introduction of one’s soldering tweezers. if there’s
enough iron in solution, AND if you introduce something more reactive
than iron itself, such as zinc plated tweezers (yikes), then some of
th iron will plate out in addition to copper. Makes it look even
worse than with the copper. But as you can imagine, one has to be
REALLY careless before this situation gets set up… (grin)

Peter


#2

Now his has really got me thinking. Is it possible to plate silver
with iron? Can I electroform iron the same way that I can copper?

I find this prospect rather exciting. Diamonds set in blackened iron
selectively plated on to silver and 18ct gold.

Tony Konrath
Gold and Stone
http://www.goldandstone.com


#3
Steel wool is an exception in that the little fibers of it are too
small to completely remove, so you might be unable to stop the
reaction. 

Good lesson, Les! I would also add, for those who are unaware, that
yellow ochre, which is used as an anti-flux, contains iron and can
contaminate pickle in a way that cannot be plucked out to restore the
pickle to a useable state. For this reason, many have switched to
using Wite-Out correction fluid (preferably water based) as an
anti-flux.

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


#4

If you add one or two or three tea spoon of hydrogen peroxyde to
your pickling solution, it will make the copper plating disapear. The
peroxyde will evaporate and your pickling will be the same after. No
danger for the healt.

D. Michaud


#5
    Now his has really got me thinking. Is it possible to plate
silver with iron? Can I electroform iron the same way that I can
copper? I find this prospect rather exciting. Diamonds set in
blackened iron selectively plated on to silver and 18ct gold. 

Hi Tony; Well, you’re just inviting someone to steal that idea from
you. But as I read your post, I wondered if you’d consider working
with real iron? Not the mild steel you see all over, but pure iron,
zero or near zero carbon content. It’s quite soft, compared to
steel. And with it’s low carbon content, very resistant to rust.
Here’s a supplier you can check.

ART & METAL CO.
"Your Pure Iron Supplier"
243 Franklin St.
Hanson, MA 02341
(781) 294-4446

And if you’re interested in another unique material, you could
experiment with “wrought” iron. This is a fibrous material that
pre-dates modern steel making technology. It also is very low
carbon, and you need to work with the grain, much like working in
wood, but when you etch it, it looks like drift-wood. Here’s a
supplier’s web site. http://www.realwroughtiron.com/