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CASWELL - how much can I plate?

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  • CASWELL - how much can I plate?

    I bought your 1.5 gallon flash copper kit - it works GREAT - I am VERY happy with it. I plate pieces of 0.020" 6061 aluminum, each piece is approximately 20.5 square inches of total surface area. I have done about 10 so far.

    I was wondering how many square inches I can plate before I need to replace my solutions, and which ones would need replaced? I need to plate about 100 of these aluminum pieces... I am using the first anode and it looks fine. The zincate is still working great after the first 10 pieces.

    I want to know what I am likely going to need to replace and when so that I can order the chemicals in advance so that I dont run out of copper plating ability in the middle of a batch. Any rules of thumb on how many sq-in's the 1.5 gallon kit can plate and what will need replaced at that point?

    Thanks for a great product. I have your anodizing kit too - great stuff!

  • #2
    I'm not Caswell but I can tell you from personal experience that my 3 gal flash copper tank was set up in October of 2003. Every article I plate is on the order of 30 sq in. and I have lost count of how many I have plated. I also plate each article at least 5 times, sanding in between 1 hour "coats." That's a lot of copper plating out of a 3 gallon tank!! The only problem I have had is over-enriching the copper in solution, which I solved by using 316 stainless anodes in place of the copper anodes until the solution became light blue again.

    However, if you are going from zincate into the copper, there is a potential issue of drag-in to contend with. Caswell can probably help with this more than I can, since I don't use the zincate.

    In general if you are extremely careful about drag-in, and filter the solutions periodically to remove dirt, dust and bugs (yes, bugs will find these tanks) that might settle in, and keep them covered when not in use, you can expect long, long life out of these tanks.