Silver Electroplating - Anode turned brown?

Hey all,

My wife and i generally do copper electroforming, and recently picked up some Krohn Silver plating solution. We had a few plating sessions work out great, and we were experimenting with slow plating, i guess “electroforming”.
We’re using fine silver as an anode.

Out pieces have generally turned out a beautiful white, but the last time we did a piece, the anode turned brown?
We were having some electricity issues. It didn’t seem to be to conductivity of the “bath” (a small ice cream tub, less than 400ml). We were running via Controlled Current at 0.01 Amps. I believe the voltage was at about 2 or 3.

When putting the items in and turning on the power, it’d go where it was supposed to, then start to drop, slowly at first, then to zero amps; though it still showed voltage.
Eventually while jiggering connections and wires, we thought we had it, and let it run over night. The electricity failed sometime during the night, and in the morning the anode was coated in brown.

The pieces, were a perfect white though, and the solution looks quite clear.

Anyone run into this? Any ideas?

Thank you!

I can’t answer your question, but would love to hear more about copper electroforming. I have a complete Enchanted Leaves kit with their rectifier and I have done some practice pieces. My goal is to electroform some of my more interesting lapidary pieces that aren’t suitable for cutting and setting…Rob

Hey Rob,
We’ve started experimenting with stones recently. It’s interesting with those, depending on what you’re using you can destroy them very easily.
We use generally collected amounts of information off the internet plus testing.
For example, opals will crack and shred and discolor; malachite will dissolve, etc.

Anything porous has to be sealed. My wife does the sealing, she does clear nailpolish first, then liquid latex. A few thin layers. You want to coat first, then paint on your conductive paint, as close to the edges as you can.
You can remove the sealants afterwards. The liquid latex is apparently because other masks can stain certain stones, and it comes off without Acetone, which can also damage certain elements.

It seems though like harder stones, i’ve read over 7 or 8 mohs, should be ok; though many people say they coat them anyways as habit and just incase.

As for “mounting” them, we’ve found epoxy putty to do a good strong job while also being manipulate-able (is that a word?) enough for thin or thick holdings. We use Oatey epoxy, it’s in most hardware stores in the plumbing section. Work with small amounts at a time, it’s about a 5 to 10 minute setup, and it’s less expensive than most of the others. It’s also white, which can be helpful for stuff.

When doing see through, or partially see through stones, it’s good to back them with white. If your conductive paint is black or grey, and you don’t back them, they actually come across darker. found this tip out later and things look much nicer.

Um. Yeah. I hope that helps. Feel free to ask anything specific if you have, though i’m not on super often but i’ll keep an eye out. I’m not that much of a specialist either lol.
I’m not familiar with the kits out there, we made our solutions from recipies online and i hacked together some components to make our own “rectifier”. The term always botthered me a bit; it should be called a Power Supply, a rectifier converts AC to DC. Sure, the “rectifier” does that, but it also acts as a Constant Current/Constant Voltage supply!
But now we’re getting pedantic.

Oh, and for reupping your supplies of paints, we use India Ink mixed with Graphite Powder. Almost 50/50, and it’s miles cheaper than buying pre-made.

Good luck!

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