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  • Plating toy advise, please

    Hi,

    I have a plating project that I've been researching for a while now and I'd like some advise before I dive in.

    First here is what I'd like to plate:
    http://www.spidric.com/stiks/toy.jpg
    It's a 3 inch tall built-it-yourself figure made from ABS plastic. Now, I understand from the Caswell site that I'll have to:
    1) Silvaspray the parts first.
    2) Copper plate
    3) Buff to shine
    4) Chrome Plate

    My questions are:

    1) What is the most effiecent way to do this, considering the size of the parts?
    2) How to protect the joints so they still move?
    3) I've read that it is possible to micro-etch ABS for better adhesion of paint, is this necessary for Silvaspray in this process?

    Currently, I can plate by vacuum metalizing aluminum. Seen here:
    http://www.spidric.com/stiks/shiny_01.jpg
    http://www.spidric.com/stiks/shiny_02.jpg
    My only problems so far are:
    1) $2 a part
    2) Takes too long get back from vendor
    3) Sockets get too much deposit, making movement limited/impossible
    Granted, this is my first one, and I'm working with the vendor to fix 3rd problem, but I'll like to see my options before attempting again.

    Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

    Best regards,
    Gordo

  • #2
    Plastic is hard to plate and you can tape over the unwanted areas to prevent plating. Try another plater, someone can get it for you. I will be glad to give a try for you, just send some spare parts, and I will do a sample for you.

    Shane Hesterman
    906 4th st./po box 302
    Beaumont ms, 39423
    (601)549-6914
    www.chrome-plater.blogspot.com

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Plating toy advise, please

      Wow! A reply!

      Thanks for the tip on how to prevent plating. And thank you for your offer to do some samples. I'll keep it in mind, but right now the shipping is factor I'd like to eliminate.

      I've been reading more of the messages here and I'm thinking that the Plug-N-Plate might be the way to go:

      1. Silvaspary
      2. PNP-copper
      3. PNP-copy chrome

      With the size of parts I should be able to use the dip method, no?

      Is there something I'm overlooking? I don't need pro results, just a metal finish, I'm open to suggestions.

      Thanks!

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Plating toy advise, please

        The pnp is not going to work over silvaspary . The silvaspray has an amount of silver particles in it and makes for a rough surface . Another way would be the Silver Nitrate Technique.
        This is an immersion process .
        Make up of the solution
        ? 1/4oz Silver Nitrate- available at photography supply store .
        ? 5oz rubbing alcohol- available at drug stores .
        ? 5 fl oz distilled water
        dip the part in the solution and allow to dry . The silver nitrate now need to be conver ted to silver sulfide to make it a conductive surface .
        Place about 2 fl oz of Caswells Bronzer solution in to a glass vessel .
        Hang the part on a thread into the container .
        In a well ventilated area pour 1 fl oz of battery acid into the Bronzer solution .
        Immediately caver the container. Noxious fumes are emitted .
        The fumes will convert the coating to a conductive surface . After 5 minn remove the item and proceed to plating with copper .
        Jim Eaton

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Plating toy advise, please

          I've read the above with interest and wonder if anyone has tried this and found that it works.

          AshJez

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Plating toy advise, please

            Originally posted by jimcarry
            The pnp is not going to work over silvaspary . The silvaspray has an amount of silver particles in it and makes for a rough surface . Another way would be the Silver Nitrate Technique.
            This is an immersion process .
            Make up of the solution
            ? 1/4oz Silver Nitrate- available at photography supply store .
            ? 5oz rubbing alcohol- available at drug stores .
            ? 5 fl oz distilled water
            dip the part in the solution and allow to dry . The silver nitrate now need to be conver ted to silver sulfide to make it a conductive surface .
            Place about 2 fl oz of Caswells Bronzer solution in to a glass vessel .
            Hang the part on a thread into the container .
            In a well ventilated area pour 1 fl oz of battery acid into the Bronzer solution .
            Immediately caver the container. Noxious fumes are emitted .
            The fumes will convert the coating to a conductive surface . After 5 minn remove the item and proceed to plating with copper .
            Can anyone confirm that this method works?

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Plating toy advise, please

              I have also been trying to get some more info on this Silver Nitrate method. It is not supported by Caswell Tech Support, although it is mentioned in the manual. Chemical supply companies have been no help to me, and photo supply stores in my area don't have it (and don't have a clue).

              I am trying to silver plate resin beads and non-conductive materials (leaves, bugs, etc.). Some items can be sprayed, others must be dipped in order to coat with a conductive surface. Caswell Silvaspray works passable, but it's too thick on the dipped parts (sags) and has a slightly bumpy finish (presumably from the silver particles). A significant amount of detail is lost after using sealer, silvaspray, copper, then silver. It works OK, but I think I can do better...

              I have researched alternatives and found a fine graphite solution which can be sprayed here on your website. I will try that as a possible alternative for the spray parts (resin beads). I found a 2-part spray silvering technique elsewhere, but that is appearing very expensive to set up and much over the top anyway for the quantity I do. And, I have found this dip alternative that I think will work wonderfully (at least it sounds good).

              I have been unsuccessful in finding a supplier of Silver Nitrate except at chemical supply companies. Does anyone know what purity level and form to use? I presume a 99% purity level in a pure crystal form, but I really don't know. Also, the MSDS I looked at indicated Silver Nitrate is explosive when mixed with alcohol (although it is soluble in alcohol) and it says not to mix it with water (although later it states for large spills to spray with water before cleanup). I am pretty much hopelessly confused at this point.

              I have already purchased the bronzing solution (and of course all the plating kits) from Caswell. I am extremely happy with all my Caswell purchases, but would like to do better on the conductive coating. Any help/advise/directions you can provide would be GREATLY appreciated!

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Plating toy advise, please

                i havnt tried the silver nitrate technique yet, but I am about too try it. I will post my results. I am wondering since the silver nitrate has to be converted to silver sulfide; Couldnt I just buy some silver sulfide and dip the plastic parts directly into it? I found some silver sulfide on the net for twice the price of silver nitrate.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Plating toy advise, please

                  Originally posted by Alpesh24
                  Can anyone confirm that this method works?
                  All though I have not used this method The silver nitrate method has been used by many plating Co for years and works very well
                  Jim Eaton

                  Comment

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