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Pen Plating


#1

Roger,

Super Idea! Thanks . . . Couple of questions…

    • Why doesn't the droplet 'break' and flow over the piece being plated
      

as opposed to just the area you want to cover?

    • Do you have adequate control for very small areas? . . like doing
      

just the prongs of a 4 prong finding for lets say a stone of 4mm?

    • Would an increase in 'battery power' . .  say double(2 more, for
      

example) allow you to touch instead of holding the droplet over the
item. . really don’t understand how you have control with a droplet
unless it is very small… I’m thinking about a little smaller than the
amount that would come out of a normal eye dropper.

    • How bout obtaining control by using a sowing needle in the end of
      

the marker, that is, pushed into the end of the felt tip marker…

I assume that in your e-mail you meant to say that the PEN was attached to
the + of the battery.

Thanks again,

Jim


#2

Hi Jim,

I usually use a metal ferruled brush, wire the metal ferrule to the
positive and then dip it into the plating solution and paint on the
negatively wired object. You don’t want the ferrule to touch the object
(shorts out the circuit), just dip to replenish the plating solution. Such
platings are very thin and not particularly durable (your prongs would not
stay plated all that long is exposed to wear). You also have to watch out
that the chrome or zinc or other plating and the steel of the metal ferrule
don’t contaminate things-you would not dip the brush into your entire
bottle of plating solution, only into a little separated soon to be
contaminated amount of it. You could make a ferrule of the metal you are
plating around a bunch of bristles-I’ve done this.

I use a flashlight battery, a battery charger, a kids toy racing car or
train transformer (very cheap option) or even a proper plating rectifier.

Good luck.

I look forward to other comments from our bunch on this list-lots’o’wisdom
out there.

Charles

Brain Press
Box 1624, Ste M
Calgary, Alberta, T2P 2L7
Canada

tel: 403-263-3955
fax: 403-283-9053
Email: @Charles_Lewton-Brain


#3

Charles Lewton-Brain wrote:

Hi Jim,

I usually use a metal ferruled brush, wire the metal ferrule to the
positive and then dip it into the plating solution and paint on the
negatively wired object. You don’t want the ferrule to touch the object
(shorts out the circuit), just dip to replenish the plating solution. Such
platings are very thin and not particularly durable (your prongs would not
stay plated all that long is exposed to wear). You also have to watch out
that the chrome or zinc or other plating and the steel of the metal ferrule
don’t contaminate things-you would not dip the brush into your entire
bottle of plating solution, only into a little separated soon to be
contaminated amount of it. You could make a ferrule of the metal you are
plating around a bunch of bristles-I’ve done this.

I use a flashlight battery, a battery charger, a kids toy racing car or
train transformer (very cheap option) or even a proper plating rectifier.

Good luck.

I look forward to other comments from our bunch on this list-lots’o’wisdom
out there.

Charles

Brain Press
Box 1624, Ste M
Calgary, Alberta, T2P 2L7
Canada

tel: 403-263-3955
fax: 403-283-9053
Email: brainnet@cadvision.com

orchid@ganoksin.com

i also do some pen plating, but made the mistake of buying the pen unit
from rio grande. you can buy the felt tips from them. my instructions
said to paint on the gold like a paint brush; that means to touch the
felt directly to the metal you are plating. it works well that way. one
thing to be careful of is to make sure that the metal is very clean!

another friend uses an artist paint brush (not too big of a tip) and
connects the + to the metal ring that holds the bristles to the handle.
he says this works great to get to those hard to reach prongs and
hidden areas. as stated before, you aren’t even reaching a flash plate
and it will wear off quickly.

hope this helps.

david horn
louisville, ky


#4

Now we’re getting there… A train transformer . . . or aren’t these
’plug-in’ adapters for calculators, or anything portable transformer as
well??? If so then all we have to assure is the current from 2 D
batteries… we already know the voltage(1.5 v) in series… think the
voltage stays the same and the current doubles (adds together) when
batteries are in series(Please verify)!

Does this make sense people… ??

Jim
At 08:19 PM 9/25/96 -0600, you wrote:

Hi Jim,


#5

Like the idea of purchasing the pourus tips for RIO but what how would you
mount them and to what? I keep thinking of a pen that is hollow with the
tip pourus. For lack of a better product(help), fill the hollow tube(?)
with COTTON and put the solution in the cotton(what ever) then it will
gradually trickle into the tip(what say??) Now what do I include to attache
too? Should the tube be metal and I hold the pen by the metal?? This OK?

What about a large unit?? Like a battery charger? do I need to adjust the
current? What should the possible current/voltage be to be acceptable?

Thanks,

Jim

At 08:12 AM 9/26/96 -0400, you wrote:

Charles Lewton-Brain wrote:

Hi Jim,

I usually use a metal ferruled brush, wire the metal ferrule to the
positive and then dip it into the plating solution and paint on the
negatively wired object. You don’t want the ferrule to touch the object
(shorts out the circuit), just dip to replenish the plating solution. Such
platings are very thin and not particularly durable (your prongs would not
stay plated all that long is exposed to wear). You also have to watch out
that the chrome or zinc or other plating and the steel of the metal ferrule
don’t contaminate things-you would not dip the brush into your entire
bottle of plating solution, only into a little separated soon to be
contaminated amount of it. You could make a ferrule of the metal you are
plating around a bunch of bristles-I’ve done this.

I use a flashlight battery, a battery charger, a kids toy racing car or
train transformer (very cheap option) or even a proper plating rectifier.

Good luck.

I look forward to other comments from our bunch on this list-lots’o’wisdom
out there.

Charles

Brain Press
Box 1624, Ste M
Calgary, Alberta, T2P 2L7
Canada

tel: 403-263-3955
fax: 403-283-9053
Email: brainnet@cadvision.com

orchid@ganoksin.com

procedures


#6

To All:

While leafing thru an old edition of “Creative Gold and Silversmithing” by
Choate and De May I ran across another “take” on the plating pen that might
avoid some of the problems discussed in this string. The authors describe a
brush plater made from a glass or plastic medicine dropper. A small quill
brush (the bristles must be bound with nylon thread or stainless steel wire)
is inserted into the “dripper” end (the squeeze bulb is temporarily
removed). An anode small enough to fit inside the dropper barrel is
connected to two wires (one about 20-gauge, the other 28 to 30-gauge) of the
same material as the anode. The 20-gauge wire is attached to the positive
pole on the power source (in this instance a plating machine – wire gauges
might have to be adjusted for lower-wattage power sources). The other wire
extends down thru the bristles to make contact with the article being
plated. The article itself is attached to a wire from the negative pole.
The dropper is filled with plating solution, the bulb is replaced and,
according to the authors, "When the bulb is squeezed, one drop of solution
at a time flows to the bristles to be spread over the surface as desired."
I haven’t tried it but it looks good on paper. I’d appreciate hearing about
results if anyone builds one.

Rick Martin, Martin Designs

Like the idea of purchasing the pourus tips for RIO but what how would you
mount them and to what? I keep thinking of a pen that is hollow with the
tip pourus. For lack of a better product(help), fill the hollow tube(?)
with COTTON and put the solution in the cotton(what ever) then it will
gradually trickle into the tip(what say??) Now what do I include to attache
too? Should the tube be metal and I hold the pen by the metal?? This OK?

What about a large unit?? Like a battery charger? do I need to adjust the
current? What should the possible current/voltage be to be acceptable?

Thanks,

Jim

At 08:12 AM 9/26/96 -0400, you wrote:

Charles Lewton-Brain wrote:

Hi Jim,

I usually use a metal ferruled brush, wire the metal ferrule to the
positive and then dip it into the plating solution and paint on the
negatively wired object. You don’t want the ferrule to touch the object
(shorts out the circuit), just dip to replenish the plating solution. Such
platings are very thin and not particularly durable (your prongs would not
stay plated all that long is exposed to wear). You also have to watch out
that the chrome or zinc or other plating and the steel of the metal ferrule
don’t contaminate things-you would not dip the brush into your entire
bottle of plating solution, only into a little separated soon to be
contaminated amount of it. You could make a ferrule of the metal you are
plating around a bunch of bristles-I’ve done this.

I use a flashlight battery, a battery charger, a kids toy racing car or
train transformer (very cheap option) or even a proper plating rectifier.

Good luck.

I look forward to other comments from our bunch on this list-lots’o’wisdom
out there.

Charles

Brain Press
Box 1624, Ste M
Calgary, Alberta, T2P 2L7
Canada

tel: 403-263-3955
fax: 403-283-9053
Email: brainnet@cadvision.com

orchid@ganoksin.com

procedures

i also do some pen plating, but made the mistake of buying the pen unit
from rio grande. you can buy the felt tips from them. my instructions
said to paint on the gold like a paint brush; that means to touch the
felt directly to the metal you are plating. it works well that way. one
thing to be careful of is to make sure that the metal is very clean!

another friend uses an artist paint brush (not too big of a tip) and
connects the + to the metal ring that holds the bristles to the handle.
he says this works great to get to those hard to reach prongs and
hidden areas. as stated before, you aren’t even reaching a flash plate
and it will wear off quickly.

hope this helps.

david horn
louisville, ky

orchid@ganoksin.com

procedures


#7

I think I will give it a try! Will advise as to results.
Thanks to everyone of the contributiors.

And now the full sized Plater???

Thanks ALL,

Jim

At 06:08 PM 9/26/96 +0000, you wrote:

To All:

While leafing thru an old edition of “Creative Gold and Silversmithing” by
Choate and De May I ran across another “take” on the plating pen that might
avoid some of the problems discussed in this string. The authors describe a
brush plater made from a glass or plastic medicine dropper. A small quill
brush (the bristles must be bound with nylon thread or stainless steel wire)
is inserted into the “dripper” end (the squeeze bulb is temporarily
removed). An anode small enough to fit inside the dropper barrel is
connected to two wires (one about 20-gauge, the other 28 to 30-gauge) of the
same material as the anode. The 20-gauge wire is attached to the positive
pole on the power source (in this instance a plating machine – wire gauges
might have to be adjusted for lower-wattage power sources). The other wire
extends down thru the bristles to make contact with the article being
plated. The article itself is attached to a wire from the negative pole.
The dropper is filled with plating solution, the bulb is replaced and,
according to the authors, "When the bulb is squeezed, one drop of solution
at a time flows to the bristles to be spread over the surface as desired."
I haven’t tried it but it looks good on paper. I’d appreciate hearing about
results if anyone builds one.

Rick Martin, Martin Designs

Like the idea of purchasing the pourus tips for RIO but what how would you
mount them and to what? I keep thinking of a pen that is hollow with the
tip pourus. For lack of a better product(help), fill the hollow tube(?)
with COTTON and put the solution in the cotton(what ever) then it will
gradually trickle into the tip(what say??) Now what do I include to attache
too? Should the tube be metal and I hold the pen by the metal?? This OK?

What about a large unit?? Like a battery charger? do I need to adjust the
current? What should the possible current/voltage be to be acceptable?

Thanks,

Jim

At 08:12 AM 9/26/96 -0400, you wrote:

Charles Lewton-Brain wrote:

Hi Jim,

I usually use a metal ferruled brush, wire the metal ferrule to the
positive and then dip it into the plating solution and paint on the
negatively wired object. You don’t want the ferrule to touch the object
(shorts out the circuit), just dip to replenish the plating solution. Such
platings are very thin and not particularly durable (your prongs would not
stay plated all that long is exposed to wear). You also have to watch out
that the chrome or zinc or other plating and the steel of the metal ferrule
don’t contaminate things-you would not dip the brush into your entire
bottle of plating solution, only into a little separated soon to be
contaminated amount of it. You could make a ferrule of the metal you are
plating around a bunch of bristles-I’ve done this.

I use a flashlight battery, a battery charger, a kids toy racing car or
train transformer (very cheap option) or even a proper plating rectifier.

Good luck.

I look forward to other comments from our bunch on this list-lots’o’wisdom
out there.

Charles

Brain Press
Box 1624, Ste M
Calgary, Alberta, T2P 2L7
Canada

tel: 403-263-3955
fax: 403-283-9053
Email: brainnet@cadvision.com

orchid@ganoksin.com

procedures

i also do some pen plating, but made the mistake of buying the pen unit
from rio grande. you can buy the felt tips from them. my instructions
said to paint on the gold like a paint brush; that means to touch the
felt directly to the metal you are plating. it works well that way. one
thing to be careful of is to make sure that the metal is very clean!

another friend uses an artist paint brush (not too big of a tip) and
connects the + to the metal ring that holds the bristles to the handle.
he says this works great to get to those hard to reach prongs and
hidden areas. as stated before, you aren’t even reaching a flash plate
and it will wear off quickly.

hope this helps.

david horn
louisville, ky

orchid@ganoksin.com

procedures

orchid@ganoksin.com

procedures


#8

Hi Jim,

On 9/25 you said:

Now we’re getting there… A train transformer . . . or aren’t these
’plug-in’ adapters for calculators, or anything portable transformer as
well??? If so then all we have to assure is the current from 2 D
batteries… we already know the voltage(1.5 v) in series… think the
voltage stays the same and the current doubles (adds together) when
batteries are in series(Please verify)!

Does this make sense people… ??

When batteries are connected in series (+ to -), the voltage is additive, 1.5V +
1.5V =3V. The current produced remains the same as for a single battery.

When batteries are connected in parallel, all +s together & all -s together the
voltage produced remains the same but the current producing capability is
greater.

If you elect to use one of those little xformers that are so popular with phone
equipment & small electric powered toys be sure to check the electrical rating
(it’s usually printed on the case somewhere). For plating you need one that
produces DC (direct current). I’ve seen units that produce 3vdc at 300ma &
others that produced 6vac at 600ma. The point is, there are various sizes &
voltages, AC & DC, available, get one that will work for you. The 3vdc at 300ma
is probably the minimum size that would work. The XXXma is the current
capability of the unit in milliamps (1 amp=1000ma).

A variable voltage unit could be made by installing a variable resitor in series
with positive lead (now we’re getting fancy).

I’ve not done any pen plating myself but have seen it demo’ed many times. Here’s
a DIY idea for plating pens.

You might try shrink tubing as a holder for the replaceable tips from Rio &
others. I don’t know what the diameter of the tips is, but if you take one along
to a good hardware or electronics (Radio Shack) store they will have a size of
shrink tube that will work. You might have to experiment a little to find the
best size. Shrink tube shrinks about 50% when its heated. You’d have to replace
the shrink tube every time you replace a tip.

If you want to build your own pen/s, I’d suggest stripping the insulation back
about 1/2 " (13mm) on a 16-20 guage copper wire. Then insert the exposed portion
of the wire in the center of the new tip. The amount of exposed wire should be
adjusted so there is good contact with the material the pen is made of, but the
wire length shouldn’t be so long that it is exposed at the business end of the
tip. The bare wire could also be wound (very tightly) around the tip several
times.

If you want to use a brush rather than the tips, just get a size shrink tube
that will fit the brush ferrule. Instead of sticking the exposed wire into the
tip, place it along side the metal of the ferrule. For good electrical contact
the ferrule should be cleaned down to bare metal. If desired the wire could be
soldered to the ferrule.

Place the wire so it will contact the ferrule. Scotch tape can be used to hold
the insulated part of the wire to the handle while put on the shrink tube.

Place a piece of shrink tube over the ferrule so that it covers the ferrule
entirely & extends a short distance upr the handle.
Note: If the shrink tube covers the brush bristles after heating, trim it back
to a convenient length. Leaving it to cover the ferrule will prevent shorting
the ferrule to the item being plated.

Obtain a wood or plastic dowel (an un-sharpened pencil or old ball point pen)
about the same diameter as the tip.
Note: the dowel diameter doesn’t have to be exactly the same size as the tip;
the shrink tube will accomodate the difference.

Insert the tip, with the wire inserted, in the shrink tube.

Insert the dowel in the shrink tube from the other end. Press it against the end
of the tip. Be careful not to knock the wire loose.
The shrink tube should extend up the dowel about 1.5" or more before heating.

Heat the shrink tube to cause it to contract around the tip & dowel. Note: A
heat gun works best, but a soft flame directed close to it, but not on the
shrink wrap will also work. Apply the heat all around the shrink wrap, it
doesn’t take long. A hair, blow drier may work.

Connect the wire coming from the pen to the positive side of your voltage
supply.

I’ll leave you to come up with the negative lead that suits your fancy.

I’ve not tried this but ‘It looks good on paper’ & even if it doesn’t work you
have spent more than a couple of bucks, but look at all the fun you’ve had (bg).
Buying everthing you should be able to ‘roll your own’ for less that $20.00, not
counting tips.

Good luck & happy plating!

Dave Arens G.G. & Tool Designer


#9

Say, am not really interested in pen plating but noticed some comments on
buying felt tips from Rio. Heck, go to your local art supply store (if
there’s a BIG one in your city that supplies graphic designers etc.). There
are some felt tip pens that you can buy felt tips for last time I looked
and they’re probably cheaper than Rio…Dave

Art Jewelry for Conscious People
http://www.opendoor.com/stephensdesign/crystalguy.html


#10

Jim Chambers wrote:

Like the idea of purchasing the pourus tips for RIO but what how would you
mount them and to what? I keep thinking of a pen that is hollow with the
tip pourus. For lack of a better product(help), fill the hollow tube(?)
with COTTON and put the solution in the cotton(what ever) then it will
gradually trickle into the tip(what say??) Now what do I include to attache
too? Should the tube be metal and I hold the pen by the metal?? This OK?

What about a large unit?? Like a battery charger? do I need to adjust the
current? What should the possible current/voltage be to be acceptable?

Thanks,

Jim

At 08:12 AM 9/26/96 -0400, you wrote:

Charles Lewton-Brain wrote:

Hi Jim,

I usually use a metal ferruled brush, wire the metal ferrule to the
positive and then dip it into the plating solution and paint on the
negatively wired object. You don’t want the ferrule to touch the object
(shorts out the circuit), just dip to replenish the plating solution. Such
platings are very thin and not particularly durable (your prongs would not
stay plated all that long is exposed to wear). You also have to watch out
that the chrome or zinc or other plating and the steel of the metal ferrule
don’t contaminate things-you would not dip the brush into your entire
bottle of plating solution, only into a little separated soon to be
contaminated amount of it. You could make a ferrule of the metal you are
plating around a bunch of bristles-I’ve done this.

I use a flashlight battery, a battery charger, a kids toy racing car or
train transformer (very cheap option) or even a proper plating rectifier.

Good luck.

I look forward to other comments from our bunch on this list-lots’o’wisdom
out there.

Charles

Brain Press
Box 1624, Ste M
Calgary, Alberta, T2P 2L7
Canada

tel: 403-263-3955
fax: 403-283-9053
Email: brainnet@cadvision.com

orchid@ganoksin.com

procedures

i also do some pen plating, but made the mistake of buying the pen unit
from rio grande. you can buy the felt tips from them. my instructions
said to paint on the gold like a paint brush; that means to touch the
felt directly to the metal you are plating. it works well that way. one
thing to be careful of is to make sure that the metal is very clean!

another friend uses an artist paint brush (not too big of a tip) and
connects the + to the metal ring that holds the bristles to the handle.
he says this works great to get to those hard to reach prongs and
hidden areas. as stated before, you aren’t even reaching a flash plate
and it will wear off quickly.

hope this helps.

david horn
louisville, ky

orchid@ganoksin.com

orchid@ganoksin.com

jim,

all you have to do is to get an insulates alligator clip to attach to
your felt tip. the tip will soak up quite alot of plating solution. i
think that if you use a metal tube, it might dilute the solution by
plating the inside. also rio has some solutions that don’t need to be
heated to plate.

david horn
louisville, ky


#11

Dave,

Certainly very well done,

I’m sure from that level of knowledge/expertise you have or could do a large
unit as well?? Alone with the voltage/amps rage variability require to
handle more than just rings, braclets, etc.

Also, a question… why have others who have constructed a pen suggest that
the plating is ever so light??? where as ‘regular bath plating’ is more
satisfactory . . . is it just the number of coats required by using the pen??

Jim
At 03:23 PM 9/26/96 EDT, you wrote:

Hi Jim,

On 9/25 you said:

Now we’re getting there… A train transformer . . . or aren’t these
’plug-in’ adapters for calculators, or anything portable transformer as
well??? If so then all we have to assure is the current from 2 D
batteries… we already know the voltage(1.5 v) in series… think the
voltage stays the same and the current doubles (adds together) when
batteries are in series(Please verify)!

Does this make sense people… ??

When batteries are connected in series (+ to -), the voltage is additive,
1.5V +
1.5V =3V. The current produced remains the same as for a single battery.

When batteries are connected in parallel, all +s together & all -s together the
voltage produced remains the same but the current producing capability is
greater.

If you elect to use one of those little xformers that are so popular with phone
equipment & small electric powered toys be sure to check the electrical rating
(it’s usually printed on the case somewhere). For plating you need one that
produces DC (direct current). I’ve seen units that produce 3vdc at 300ma &
others that produced 6vac at 600ma. The point is, there are various sizes &
voltages, AC & DC, available, get one that will work for you. The 3vdc at 300ma
is probably the minimum size that would work. The XXXma is the current
capability of the unit in milliamps (1 amp=1000ma).

A variable voltage unit could be made by installing a variable resitor in
series
with positive lead (now we’re getting fancy).

I’ve not done any pen plating myself but have seen it demo’ed many times.
Here’s
a DIY idea for plating pens.

You might try shrink tubing as a holder for the replaceable tips from Rio &
others. I don’t know what the diameter of the tips is, but if you take one
along
to a good hardware or electronics (Radio Shack) store they will have a size of
shrink tube that will work. You might have to experiment a little to find the
best size. Shrink tube shrinks about 50% when its heated. You’d have to
replace
the shrink tube every time you replace a tip.

If you want to build your own pen/s, I’d suggest stripping the insulation back
about 1/2 " (13mm) on a 16-20 guage copper wire. Then insert the exposed
portion
of the wire in the center of the new tip. The amount of exposed wire should be
adjusted so there is good contact with the material the pen is made of, but the
wire length shouldn’t be so long that it is exposed at the business end of the
tip. The bare wire could also be wound (very tightly) around the tip several
times.

If you want to use a brush rather than the tips, just get a size shrink tube
that will fit the brush ferrule. Instead of sticking the exposed wire into the
tip, place it along side the metal of the ferrule. For good electrical contact
the ferrule should be cleaned down to bare metal. If desired the wire could be
soldered to the ferrule.

Place the wire so it will contact the ferrule. Scotch tape can be used to hold
the insulated part of the wire to the handle while put on the shrink tube.

Place a piece of shrink tube over the ferrule so that it covers the ferrule
entirely & extends a short distance upr the handle.
Note: If the shrink tube covers the brush bristles after heating, trim it back
to a convenient length. Leaving it to cover the ferrule will prevent shorting
the ferrule to the item being plated.

Obtain a wood or plastic dowel (an un-sharpened pencil or old ball point pen)
about the same diameter as the tip.
Note: the dowel diameter doesn’t have to be exactly the same size as the tip;
the shrink tube will accomodate the difference.

Insert the tip, with the wire inserted, in the shrink tube.

Insert the dowel in the shrink tube from the other end. Press it against
the end
of the tip. Be careful not to knock the wire loose.
The shrink tube should extend up the dowel about 1.5" or more before heating.

Heat the shrink tube to cause it to contract around the tip & dowel. Note: A
heat gun works best, but a soft flame directed close to it, but not on the
shrink wrap will also work. Apply the heat all around the shrink wrap, it
doesn’t take long. A hair, blow drier may work.

Connect the wire coming from the pen to the positive side of your voltage
supply.

I’ll leave you to come up with the negative lead that suits your fancy.

I’ve not tried this but ‘It looks good on paper’ & even if it doesn’t work you
have spent more than a couple of bucks, but look at all the fun you’ve had
(bg).
Buying everthing you should be able to ‘roll your own’ for less that
$20.00, not


#12

Hi Jim,On 9/27 you wrote:

Dave,

Certainly very well done,

I’m sure from that level of knowledge/expertise you have or could do a large
unit as well?? Alone with the voltage/amps rage variability require to
handle more than just rings, braclets, etc.

Also, a question… why have others who have constructed a pen suggest that
the plating is ever so light??? where as ‘regular bath plating’ is more
satisfactory . . . is it just the number of coats required by using the pen??

Since I’m not a chemist or an experienced plater I’m probably not qualified to
answer your question definitively. However, I’ll take a layman’s stab at it. If
there are any platers want to jump in & straighten me out, please do!

Plating is a complex electro-chemical process. Quality work requires precise
control of all the variables in the system.

Most ‘tank’ plating jobs start with a step called ‘electro-stripping’; this
ensures that the surface is chemically clean. The ratio of cleaning solution,
anodes & cathodes to surface area of the item being stripped is great.

After stripping, the item is rinsed, to ensure no stripper residue.

Before being plated with the finish metal the item may be plated with some other
metal that is compatible with both the base & finish metal. This is done to
provide the best adhesion possible. Again the ratio between the plating media &
item is great.

When the item is placed in the finish plating bath the previous ratio statement
also applies. The chemistry of the bath is dependent on material being plated,
it must be rich in ions of the finish metal.

Then too, tank plating set ups have power supplies capable of providing a range
of voltages & currents as well as means of control the temperatures of the
various baths. Current density per unit of surface area to be plated is critcal.
One of the newer plating systems also provides a ‘pulsed DC voltage’ to the
plating system. Info provided by the mfgr indicates this reduces the time
required to plate an item.

When the above is compared to the methods used in pen plating several large
differences stand out.

1.The voltage of a pen plater, if adjustable, is ajustable over a smaller range.

2.The current capabilities of battery powered units is limited.

3.The stripping done, if any, by a pen plater isn’t as good, hence everything
after is inferior.

4.The ratio between the plating bath, the solution absorbed by the point, & the
item is very small.

5.There isn’t any anode to replace the metallic ions from the solution being
deposited on the plated item.

6.There’s no temperature control of the item or plating solution.

These differences should make it, intuitively obvious to the casual observer,
there will be a difference between the quality of a pen & tank plating job. Even
with all its short comings, pen plating still provides a valuable technique to
the metalsmith.

Dave


#13

To All,
Is there a special technique to pen plate rhodium ove gold on small surfaces,
prongs,etc.? We currently use a felt tip pen unit from Gesswein.


#14

Lpsbmw@aol.com wrote:

To All,
Is there a special technique to pen plate rhodium ove gold on small surfaces,
prongs,etc.? We currently use a felt tip pen unit from Gesswein.

orchid@ganoksin.com

I don’t use a plating pen but rather I mask the areas I do not want to
plate with a very small paint brush and jewelers lacquer then plate the
rest in the standard way using low settings on the rectifier.Don’t raise
the current to the point where airbubbles/hydrogen cyanide will form and
the laquer will turn loose allowing the masked areas to become plated
with the wrong metal.When finished plating I remove the laquer with
laquer thinner and remover.The laquer and thinner are Pro-Craft
products.
I am sure you could mask and then use the pen on the areas where you
wanted the plating without worry about the pen coming in contact with an
undesired area…Gavin