Silver plating DIY

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This topic contains 5 replies, has 2 voices, and was last updated by  dragos 4 months ago.

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    Is anybody plating his own copper plates with silver?
    As long as in Romania I couldn’t find a plating company, I built my own electroplating tank (9×12 cm for the moment) and I also bought the electrolyte. Cyanide based. I also have a recipe with KI.
    I bought pure silver for the anode, 99,99% purity, but is in grain form, so now I have to mold it in a plate. The silver plate has to be a little bigger than the plate you plate, because the atoms travel perpendicular.
    Anyone has any idea how could I do the silver plate at home, or in a simple way anyway?
    I have a jeweler friend who told me is too big for any normal jeweler to make that.
    I saw that in jewelry they mold it in a graphite form, or in special steel forms, but they have much smaller dimensions, no way I can find graphite that big (~10×13 cm and 1-2 cm thick). I can make a porcelain mold, but don’t know nobody who made this experiment before.
    Also, I know two possibilities for melting: a ceramic oven or acetylene welding. The oven is tricky, because the silver melts quite fast, but the oven takes a long time to get to the temperature and then to cool down so I can put the mold in and take it out, and I don’t know what happens with the silver meanwhile.

    Any advices in this direction?
    Anybody experienced this?

    Thanks in advance, Dragos.

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    hello i work with 18X13CM format and i had my anode made by first molding a lingot by a jeweler and then a rolling mill ( electric ) did the job in a few minute it is easy to control the size by rolling in one direction and then the other



    Thank you, Bruno.
    Can you give me more details, please?
    How much silver did you have for the 13×18 cm plate and how thick is your plate?
    What were the dimensions (more or less) of the lingot you poured before the rolling mill?

    I have 250g, maybe I should try to make my plate directly 13x18cm, cause I made the fuming boxes for this dimension.



    the lingot i started with was about 5X3 cm and about 3mm thick
    as we laminated it we have to be careful to change directions but it took about 5 minutes to do progressively with an electric mill and now i have an anode of a few 10th of mm but it is well sufficient
    250gr are more than enough (i will weight and let you know)
    a good thing is to anneal ( warm up) the silver between the successives passes in the mill so it does not tear apart



    I calculated that with 250g I should be able to make a 2mm thick 9×12 silver plate, so for 13×18 it shoud be more or less half that thickness. Is encouraging to hear that your plate is less than half a mm. Thank you for the heating tip. I hope to find a jewler who’s able to do this.
    I’ll post here some pictures when I get results.
    Can you also post some details about your electroplating process, please?
    I bought an electrolyte that’s cyanide based (now for 13×18 I have to buy two more liters), but is not specified amperage on square dm, temperature, exposure time, etc. Any experience from somebody who actually successfully did it is valuable for me.
    Thank you again for your time.



    If anybody ever make a research in this same matter, I will write here my results.
    I found in an XIX-th century book the information that you only need a silver plate half the size of that which you plate.
    So if you plate a copper plate 13X18 cm a silver anode of 9X13 cm will do. Thickness is important only in terms of how long will it be useful, because the silver plate actually replaces the silver in the electrolyte. It actually “melts” in time, but in a LONG time.
    Out of 250g of pure silver I made two anode plates of 10X15 cm, 0,5mm thick. That’s enough thickness for a lifetime I think.
    There are several electrolytes commercialized for silver plating, I bought 3 liters with 70 euros per litre.
    Works perfect. Actually the quality of the final plate depends on the quality of the surface of the copper. Well polished, buffed, just make a perfect mirror out of copper, follow all the steps recommended by the plating electrolyte manufacturer, and the plating will give you a mirror surface of silver.

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