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Need tips for gold plating


#1

Just getting started with electroplating. Do I need to remove the
copper coating on my brass before plating? Also, I would appreciate
any tips. It’s a case of. I don’t know what I don’t know.


#2

Becky-It’s not a good idea to plate gold directly over brass. You
will need to copper plate, then nickel or palladium plate, then gold
plate.

Otherwise your plating will discolor.

Also your pieces must be finished before plating. Any surface flaws
such as scratches will show.

So to gold plate brass you will first need to finish, then clean,
sterilize, electro clean, rinse in distilled water. Then copper
plate, rinse well in distilled water. Nickle or palladium plate,
rinse again, then gold plate.

Be sure to wear gloves and do not touch the item with bare fingers
or you will contaminate it. Also be very sure that you follow the
directions on the solution bottles for temperature of the plating
solution as well as how many amps. Both really make a difference in
the outcome.

Remember plating is only microns thick so any jewelry that will get
a lot of wear like say a ring, will need to be re-plated often. My
sister Nan has a gold plate over silver chatelaine/broach watch I
made for her. I have to re-plate it once every year or two.

When it works right plating can be magic. When it doesn’t it can be
torture.

Have fun and make, lots of jewelry.

Jo Haemer
timothywgreen.com


#3
Becky-It's not a good idea to plate gold directly over brass. You
will need to copper plate, then nickel or palladium plate, then
gold plate 

You don’t need copper over brass. Go straight to the nickel, then
gold. The copper underplate is used with silver, and some other
metals that are affected by the nickel solution and could contaminate
that solution, or would be attacked by it unduly. Silver can
contaminate a nickel bath. The other advantage of the copper
underplate, when used on a white base metal, is that it gives color
contrast. If you were to plate nickel directly over silver, you
would have a hard time telling when coverage was complete. Over
copper, the change in color makes it obvious. But nickel over brass
is already enough of a color difference to see the nickel, and the
brass won’t hurt the nickel bath.


#4
You don't need copper over brass. Go straight to the nickel, then
gold. 

Peter- Ooops! I stand corrected. Most of the plating I have done in
a large commercial setting was gold over silver where copper was ness
to keep the nickel bath clean.

-Jo