|Mark Bus||16/01/2019 01:28:30|
|50 forum posts|
So I'm building a clock and rather than lacquering to prevent tarnishing I've been thinking about gold plating. Has anyone tried to do it him or herself ? And since I don't have the patience to do a mirror polish preparation how would gold plating look or would it even work with, say, a 600 grit abrasive paper finish, then a polish job, and then the plating?
1140 forum posts
Many years ago when we had parts gold-plated for the space-business, the process used potassium cyanide as one of the plating bath chemicals. Don't know if there's an alternative, safer process but I personally wouldn't go there with cyanide (always assuming you could actually get hold of some).
Edited By Bandersnatch on 16/01/2019 01:55:43
|Mick Charity||16/01/2019 05:50:48|
|324 forum posts|
Plating does not hide blemishes, it enhances them. If you gold plate a rough finish then you will end up with a shiny gold plated rough finish that's easier to see.
If you Google 'gold plating kit' then you will find quite a few suppliers of relatively inexpensive kits, a few of them are even respectable. All of them will tell you how easy & cheap it is to attain that perfect 22ct gold finish this side of parting you from your money.
|Robert Atkinson 2||16/01/2019 07:28:06|
167 forum posts
Well first you need an EPP licence for the potassium cyanide (despite this people still seem to be selling kits on ebay). Have you checked with professional plating services? it may not be as expensive as you think especially if you are not in a rush.
|Andrew Johnston||16/01/2019 07:58:57|
4498 forum posts
The only time I had parts gold plated I let the chemistry department at RAE Farnborough do it. I don't think the training centre would have been happy having cyanide compounds in the building.
|Gary Wooding||16/01/2019 08:01:50|
|524 forum posts|
I don't know if its appropriate in your case, but have you considered gilding with gold-leaf?
|Martin Kyte||16/01/2019 09:19:33|
|1393 forum posts|
My suggestion would be gold sputter coating (vacuum deposition). Find a company to do it for you unless you want to build your own coater. It could be a possibility to silicon coat (SiO) which is the normal way of protecting telescope mirrors after aluminium coating. Galvoptics offfer this service for mirrors. You are however going to have to bite the bullet and polish well. personally I don't like gold plated clocks, strangely I think it makes them look cheap.
There have been plated/coated clocks at ME shows in the past so someone will have done it.
|Rob Rimmer||16/01/2019 10:26:20|
|68 forum posts|
Surprised nobody has mentioned the plating article in the latest MEW (No. 276) yet - I'd suggest having a read of that and maybe contacting Gateros Plating for advice.
|Michael Gilligan||16/01/2019 10:38:07|
12784 forum posts
|130 forum posts|
As a one time electroplating chemist and company owner, I wouldn't recommend a DIY approach to gold plating clock parts.
As Mick says the preparation prior to the gold deposit going on is critical and exacting; there is usually an intervening bright nickel coating involved. There are also many colours offered in plated golds, you may want to have a look at samples before selecting one. Wear resistance is also a factor that needs be addressed.
None of this is easily done by the amateur.
Your easiest approach is to contact a manufacturing jeweller or small plating outfit. Brmingham used to be full of them.
|Robert Atkinson 2||16/01/2019 12:38:31|
167 forum posts
Another thought came to me. Electroless nickel immersion gold plating (ENIG) has become popular on printed circuit boards for electronic assemblies. This two layer system will work on brass. If you have a PCB manufacturer near you it might be worth giving them a call.
|Neil Wyatt||16/01/2019 12:50:47|
15707 forum posts
Gold plating kits are hazardous, but I've bought stuff from Gateros and I can confirm it comes with excellent instructions AND full manufacturers safety data sheets.
I would agree that you seek their advice first rather than just diving in.
Please login to post a reply.
Want the latest issue of Model Engineer or Model Engineers' Workshop? Use our magazine locator links to find your nearest stockist!
You can contact us by phone, mail or email about the magazines including becoming a contributor, submitting reader's letters or making queries about articles. You can also get in touch about this website, advertising or other general issues.
Click THIS LINK for full contact details.
For subscription issues please see THIS LINK.