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[Plating] Cyanide Alternatives


#1

Can anyone give us an opinion on plating with the cyanide
alternatives? Our studio is in the basement of our home so the
traditional methods are not an option for us. Thanks,

Doc and Liz


#2

I have not had much luck with the acid-based gold plating
solutions. Unless there’s been some new development I haven’t
heard of, it’s unlikely you’ll be satisfied with the results. I
would like to point out that you might wish to do your plating
under the hood vent of your kitchen stove for ventilation
purposes. You should not do any type of plating without
ventilation. Also remember to put a wide separation between any
acid-based and cyanide-based plating solutions. Never the
twain shall meet. Good luck, Mike.


#3
  Can anyone give us an opinion on plating with the cyanide
alternatives?  Our studio is in the basement of our home so
the traditional methods are not an option for us. 

The non cyanide alternative solutions do work, but they are not
quite as robust as the cyanide ones. They don’t have as long a
shelf life, and seem easier to much up. some of the cyanide
solutions are so reliable that you really have to work hard to
get a bad plate. The non-cyanide ones won’t be that forgiving.
You need to follow temperature, anode, and volatage specs pretty
closely to get the desired results.

Also, be aware that though these solutions are cyanide free,
they are NOT totally benign and safe. They are still toxic,
though not so rapidly and lethally so, and should be kept locked
away from children etc.

Peter Rowe


#4

Please let me introduce myself. My name is Brian Saynor. My
qualifications include a BA (Hons) In 3D design (metalwork &
Jewellery). I live in Sheffield,UK. 21 years in the trade. I
started my career making Tea for one of Sheffields most trendy
Independant jewellers back in the 70’s. I am obsessed with
simplicity and purity. I enjoy the auesthetics of the East
especially Japan. I have been an Orchid member before. But only
just got back on-line after an absence of about a year.

Now to the question that Doc and Liz asked. I can understand the
wise decision to look for alternative to Cyanide as I did get
some nasty little burns from the cyanide. Have you ever thought
about useing the old Sheffield Plate technique of fussing silver
to copper?

It is alot more time consuming and more expensive, but as a
skill compared to the Anode and Cathode technique, well no
comparison. And alot less harmful on the environment.

I do have a certain amount of experience in the Electro- Plating
Industry. I have worked in the family business when times have
been hard for me. It is the largest Electro-platers in Europe
apparently. It’s the one that makes it legal for “Viners” to put
"plated in Sheffield" on the box.

I hope that my suggestion would at least provoke some interest
in research on the subject. I will try to gather some URL’s to
post.

kind regards

BrianS


#5
 I have not had much luck with the acid-based gold plating
solutions.  Unless there's been some new development I haven't
heard of, it's unlikely you'll be satisfied with the results. 

They do work, but are much more picky about exact voltages,
really clean surfaces (use a good electrocleaner AFTER you’ve
used the steamer. Don’t skip the electrocleaner) exact bath
temps, and the like. And they contaminate more easily as well as
often not having as long a shelf life. but they do work.

  I  would like to point out that you might wish to do your
plating under the hood vent of your kitchen stove for
ventilation purposes. 

Stove vent hoods are pretty meager for really good ventilation.
Better than nothing, but don’t consider them adaquate for really
toxic stuff like cyanides. And, it’s critical to be sure that you
have a vent hood that actually exhausts to the outside. Many of
them direct the incoming air through an activated carbon filter,
a grease catching filter, and then right back into the room,
rather than through a duct to the outside. Be SURE your’s
actually exhausts if you’re using it for such uses.

And while I’m at it, please be VERY careful if you are doing any
sort of chemical operations, including plating of any sort, in
your kitchen. This is basically a very big taboo… Using toxic
chemistry in even the same area as food preperation areas is
dangerous. Small unnoticed spills can be more than unfortunate
if you then accidentally get it in your dinner the next week.
And there are hidden dangers too. You dump a used solution down
the drain. All gone, right? Wrong. Some is still in the drain
trap, unless you really let the water run enough after dumping.
Working in the kitchen with toxic materials just makes it
difficult to be safe. There’s the temptation to use
vessels/containers that later may need to contain food. Theres
the temptation to raid the fridge and munch on something while
you work… and so it goes. All of these are potentially
dangerous practices.

I’ll readily admit that I too use the kitchen now and then for
such purposes. But you better believe that when I do so, I am
very careful of where my hands and the materials go, what touches
what, etc. When working with these materials, you must behave
with all the meticulous methods of any good chem lab.

Peter Rowe


#6

Dear Brian, We are not familiar with the “old Sheffield Plate
technique” but we are very interested in learning. Welcome back
and thanks for your input. We are new to Orchid and it is
proving to be a great benefit to us. Thanks to all! Doc and Liz


#7
   We are not familiar with the "old Sheffield Plate technique"
but we are very interested in learning.  Welcome back and
thanks for your input.  We are new to Orchid and it is proving
to be a great benefit to us. 

Hi Doc & Liz

I have found a site with an intro to “Old Sheffield plate” and
Electro-plate. I am trying to scan some literature on the
subject. I hope this wets your appetite a bit.

http://freespace.virgin.net/a.data/sheffplate.htm

http://antiquerestorers.com/table_of_contents.htm

I’ll be back to you soon

Kindest Regards

BrianS