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Question on gold plating

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  • Question on gold plating

    I just started trying to learn to gold plate and I'm currently doing some items in pewter then flash copper, then the nickle, finished up with gold. But when I first tried it I had my first 3 items come out great with a nice yellowish/orange gold appearance. They looked wonderful. The next day I setup to do some more and cant seem to get that finish back. I'm heating the gold solution to 140 degrees,same container,stainless steel anode and plating it for 30 seconds at 3 volts. But I just cant seem to get that finsh from the first day. Am I doing something wrong? How can I achieve that finish I liked so much the first time? I bought the 1qt of 24k solution and divided it into 2pints to fit my container and only did 5 items out of it that which are 1.5" round plating front and back. Have I depleted the gold that fast with just 5 half dollar size items dipped for 30 seconds?

  • #2
    i have a quart of the same gold but i havent used it but one time on a single item. your going to get much better long term results by using a gold anode instead of the stainless steel. my guess is that you could of used up the gold content by not using a gold anode.



    • #3
      Gold plating

      The Tank plating gold from Caswell is somewhat finnicky. If the temperature is off (either way) more than a few degrees from 140 it will misbehave. I did get good results with it as long as the temperature was carefully maintained. However, it went flat after a few articles for me, too. I was using a gold anode. I don't think it dissolves the gold, but I agree you're better off with a gold anode rather than risking the introduction of even trace amounts of nickel, iron, etc. into the alkaline solution by using a stainless anode.

      I have found that the FastGold is fabulous, much easier to use, and longer lasting. Ah, more expensive, too! But--you get what you pay for.



      • #4
        the fast gold is by far my choice to gold plate with , it dosent sound like much to work with in a 4 oz. bottle but trust me it goes farther than you realize i have plated several hundred small items out of one tiny bottle just be care of any spillage or excess dripping.



        • #5
          Re: Question on gold plating

          I had the same problem, where the solution works great at first, then nada later, even though I used "virgin solution" on both days.

          I found some techniques that might help.

          Do your best to keep the solution clean. Use a gold anode helps, but the integrity of the solution is important.

          After getting your "first pristine results", change the solution, even though it's still clean.

          Plate again. Change the solution often. Reheat the solution as little as possible. Find ways of keeping it warm on a steady basis. The more you heat it, the more
          you are compromising.

          Make sure to use good safety even though the solutions are
          cyanide free. Add a surge protector to your rectifier for added security if you are comfortable with that. If not, plate safely.