Sometimes it is much easier to simply dip the part into the solution to plate it, especially if it is small with lots of detail. The Plug N' Plate® power supply and plating wand can easily be used for this procedure. Pour all of the plating liquid into a small wide necked container, such as a glass or 300ml plastic tub. Place the plating wand into the solution and clip it to the side of the glass with a clothes peg. Attach the work piece to the negative alligator clip and suspend the part into the solution. If you wish to plate a number of small items then make up a tank bar from Stainless Steel or Copper and hang the parts from this bar on thin stainless steel wire.
The degree of plating will depend on several factors:
- The amount of anode (plating wand) immersed in ratio to the size of the part. The larger the part, the more surface area of the wand should be (Too much wand will make the plating appear smutty or dark). Strive for a 1:1 ratio.
- The distance of the anode from the work-piece. Being too close will cause similar problems to #1
- The size of the Ideally, amperage needs to vary based on the size of the part being plated. The Plug N' Plate® power supply gives a fixed output. You may need to add robber parts into the bath to compensate for excess power.
- The temperature of the solution. Generally, the warmer they are, the better they plate, and the less current you
- The duration of plating This will depend on which plating kit you are using. Gold should only be plated until the color is right. Copper should be plated until the thickness is adequate, especially if you are using it to build up an area. Nickel and Copy Chrome should be plated for at least 5 minutes. Silver, being a soft metal, should be treated somewhat like gold, but make sure you have enough plating on the part to enable it to withstand polishing etc.
Silver will often plate a dark smutty color. This will polish off, but you can reduce this by plating with a very small amount of the wand immersed, or by using the 1.5V position on the variable power supply. A final treatment using a sparing amount of Collinite Metal wax will also clean the smut and leave a wax protective film, which will reduce tarnishing. Swishing the part through the solution as it plates will also dramatically reduce the smutting problem.
- With silver and gold Plug N' Plate® systems, you may substitute the wand for a small piece of silver or This will enhance the life of the solution. (Do NOT use plated items as the anode, they MUST be made of solid silver or gold. (The anode must be held so that the wire connection is out of the liquid, otherwise the wire will dissolve and contaminate the solution).
Note the clothes peg holding the plating wand to the side of the glass
Anode or Wand Bandage