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Copy Cad going well for over a year then major problems...need help.

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  • Copy Cad going well for over a year then major problems...need help.

    After a year + of success plating everything from carburetors to bolts in my 10 gal. tank, Copy Cad system started to plate with a brown/ black tarnish that comes off with rubbing compound. It really screws up blue chromate....turns it gold. I filtered all the electrolyte with activated charcoal. Then I added new brightener, (1 tsp./ 1.5 gal electrolyte). Now it is even worse then before filtering. The system barely plates anything....only where the electrolyte coming out of the pump at high velocity directly hits the part, (cathode). I spoke with Caswell today and the gentleman told me to do the filtering, replace brightener, and check Ph. I'm now just waiting for the Ph tester go get here. Like I said before, for over a year I've done everything by the book and had great success...now this! Does anyone have any other suggestions?

  • #2
    Problem solved: 1) Charcoal filter electrolyte and replace brightener. 2) Let electrolyte settle for 24hr. then pump out clear fluid leaving sediment in the bottom of tank. transfer sediment contaminated electrolyte to smaller tank and repeat...... pouring off clear electrolyte back into plating tank. Do this until you have just a few oz. of contaminated fluid. Discard contaminated fluid. 3) Clean Zinc anode(s) with scotchbrite and keep them clean by spraying them with distilled water in a spray bottle between plating sessions. 4) Pickle in 5-20% muriatic acid / distilled water solution for several seconds before plating. Rinse in distilled water 5) Check your DC power source with a clamp on ammeter for correct output, Mine was new just one year ago but had gone bad. Output was way below the digital display on the power source. 6) Now with a new power source, I plate with .18 amps/ sq.in. This gives much better coverage in high and low areas. Make sure you don't have any over current foaming around the hanger wires. This amount of current has not come close to foaming in my tank, but if it does for you, turn down the current. Foaming doesn't start for me until the current is well over 2 amps/sq.in. 7) I now plate at 70 deg. electrolyte temp. for 25-30min. with great results. This has totally eliminated the fumes in my shop. I also plate with a lid on my tank. I haven't measured plating thickness at this time, but plan to do so in the near future. I have changed the orientation of the agitation pump so it is not blowing black smut off the anode into the electrolyte during plating. Decided to install a 1 micron permanent filtration system.
    Last edited by wgt500; 12-10-2020, 07:17 PM.

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