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Unplating copper plated brass item


#1

Hello all:

My name is Marc Zyla and I’ve been lurking for some time and
enjoying the wealth of to be found with this great
group.

My problem is that I’ve inadvertently copper plated a piece of brass
in some pickle (sodium bisulphate). Does anyone know if I can
"unplate" this article?

Thanks for any help you folks might have.

Marc


#2

The copper plating is probably (see below) very very thin, a light
buffing or a brass brush should take the copper off. If the piece is
unfinished the copper will usually come off through the process of
buffing and other finishing. More than anything the copper coating is
a pain in the @$$ and requires a lot of cleaning to get it out of the
little recesses and hard to reach areas.

The other possibility is that, because the piece is brass, you may
have inadvertently brought the copper through to the surface of the
brass through heating it. If this is the case the copper coating will
be much thicker and harder to remove, but will eventually come off
with sanding/filing/buffing. The other option at that point is to
patina the metal and/or find a way to work with what ya got; copper
can be a very beautiful metal if worked properly.

Now for my standard disclaimer: I’m a student who enjoys helping
other students. I’m sure there’s other ways to do just about
everything I do, and I am more than willing to learn. I would not
suggest someone do something to their work unless I’d be willing to
do it to my own, but your mileage may vary. Good Luck =)

hope it works =)
-Doug Harroun


#3

Marc, all you have to do is to add some peroxide to the pickle
solution. Yep, that’s right, the stuff from the drugstore is what I
mean. Watch for the bubbles and remove your work as soon as the
copper is gone. This makes a strong pickle solution that will also
etch solder. Marilyn Smith


#4
 My problem is that I've inadvertently copper plated a piece of
brass in some pickle (sodium bisulphate). Does anyone know if I can
"unplate" this article? 

Hi Marc, You might want to give Bill Seeley’s Hydrogen Peroxide
pickle a shot. Quoted from his article, “The following procedures and
formulas provide for the removal of red scale from copper, brass,
bronze, nickel silver, reticulation silver and some gold alloys. It
will remove the copper coating from silver that has been accidentally
pickled in an iron contaminated acid.”

Here’s the article and recipe from the ArtMetal Web site… can also
probably be found in the Orchid archives:

http://www.artmetal.com/project/TOC/finishes/nonfe/H2O2.html

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


#5
    My problem is that I've inadvertently copper plated a piece of
brass in some pickle (sodium bisulphate). Does anyone know if I can
"unplate" this article? 

I suspect that your brass item is not copper plated but that the
pickle removed the black cupric oxide, revealing the red,
copper-colored cuprous oxide. My favorite way of removing this is
dilute (50:50, and observing all necessary cautions) nitric acid.
For a slower method, use the combination of sodium bisulphate and
hydrogen peroxide.

Judy Bjorkman