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Copper Plating

Copper Platers recommendations?

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Chris V18/02/2020 20:20:54
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158 forum posts
20 photos

Thanks so much John, I will look to order some bits at the weekend to give this a try.

On a completely different subject, looking at your photos you appear to have used a yellow Tc tipped router cutter for a form tool...were you cutting steel with it on the lathe?

Cheers

Chris.

John Baron19/02/2020 10:08:49
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172 forum posts
69 photos

Hi Chris,

Yes I use woodwork carbide router bits to machine steel on both the lathe and mill.

Note the rounded shoulders on the Norman tool post pictures. They were done in a single pass at about 1000 rpm and something like 90-100 seconds an inch. I've been intending to get some cutters with 1/2" shafts, the one I have at the moment are only 1/4", and seem a bit thin for the work I've asked them to do.

I've only ever bent one and that was routing a dado edge in teak ! It bent, made a horrible vibration and then broke off at the top of the collet. Frightened the life out of me at the time.

I only started to used them because a wood router cutter is far cheaper than a form tool or a proper shaped milling cutter.

Let me know how you get on.

Best Regards: John Baron

Chris V19/02/2020 16:13:21
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158 forum posts
20 photos

Thank you John, yes I will certainly let you know, have ordered some bits already.

Regarding that radius on the Norman toolpost ..WOW! Do you sharpen the cutters, send away or buy new when dull? I never found sending them away to be sharpened worked out, they never cut the same as when new.

Just held in the toolpost by two allen bolts then, or did you make a special holder?

Very nice toolholder you made there BTW!

Cheers

Chris.

John Baron19/02/2020 16:49:29
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172 forum posts
69 photos

Hi Chris,

That radius was simply that of the cutter. It has a small bearing on the bottom, I just wound the table in until the bearing touched and then set the depth to match the top of the work.

As far as using 1/4" inch shaft cutters on the lathe, I made a holder.

I put a piece of 1/2" square bar in the tool holder and a 1/4" inch drill in the chuck. Set the hight to the centre of the bar, making sure that it was parallel to the drill and drilled all the way through. I then just hacksawed a slit down its length.

By putting the cutter in the drilled hole and putting the bar in the tool holder and using the clamp screws to compress the bar, you avoid galling the cutter shaft which is quite soft.

Thank you.

Yes the Norman toolpost is something I should have made long ago, before spending silly money on a Dickson and three holders. You still have to prat about setting the hight when you regrind a tool. Plus it is a lot more rigid. But then I primarily only use HSS tool bits, and I'm not in a business where time is money.

Best Regards:

John.

 

 

 

Edited By John Baron on 19/02/2020 16:51:16

Chris V19/02/2020 19:14:19
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158 forum posts
20 photos

Thanks so much John, that's really interesting. Are you saying the Norman is more rigid than the Dickson?

I think I see your Norman parting tool post appears to be fixed to the cross slide by one tee nut?

Best regards

Chris.

John Baron19/02/2020 19:41:56
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172 forum posts
69 photos

Hi Chris,

Yes I believe it is ! There is less overhang than the Dickson. With the Dickson the tool holder overhangs the chuck side of the top slide. With the Norman tool post the tool is over the top slide.

As far as the rear tool post is concerned, yes it only has a single "T" nut supporting it. but it does go across the full width of the post. I know where you are going with this smiley and I did get another piece of steel to make a second block that will fit at the bottom of that post and have a second bolt to add more rigidity. Though I have not had any issues with parting off using it as it is.

At the moment I'm looking for a suitable motor for my modified "Brooks TCG" and waiting for the Chinese to get their finger out and send me an ignition coil.

Regards: John.

Edited to add, I forgot to answer your question about sharpening !  No I've never sharpened a carbide cutter.  Yet ! But since they are flat faces a diamond stone should be enough.  But a set of 18 is only £10.00p

 

 

Edited By John Baron on 19/02/2020 19:47:45

Chris V19/02/2020 19:53:50
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158 forum posts
20 photos

Hi John,

Ah yes got it, thanks for explaining re overhangs.

Actually I was thing I wonder if a Norman could be made & fitted to a lathe other than a Drummond, seems it could be. Is the other Norman you photographed on a Drummond?

Best

Chris.

John Baron19/02/2020 20:29:32
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172 forum posts
69 photos

Hi Chris,

You can make it for almost any lathe.

Historically it was designed in the late 1880's by "Van Norman" and used by Rolls Royce, Drummond, Myford among others. I'm not sure why it was dropped, but Myford started supplying the four tool holder, which became popular.

I did a set of drawings sized for my lathe based on the original patent, which I seem to no longer have and can no longer find it on line.

Its quite straight forward to make. Drop me a PM if you want a copy.

The hardest part is getting and drilling a suitable length of bright steel bar. The post is 35 mm in diameter. Since it sits over the existing support shaft its length will be determined by that less the nut and washer on top. I turned mine from a length of 40 mm hydraulic cylinder rod. In order to get the finest finish that I could, I used a shear tool and polished it with a Scotchbrite pad.

After that the tool block needs to be prepared before being bored. You need a good close fit so that it slides up and down without any noticeable play. All easily done on the lathe. You will need to be able to mill the 13 mm slot for your tools.

Regards: John.

Chris V25/02/2020 15:57:47
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158 forum posts
20 photos

Ok I'm getting nowhere fast with the copper plating. I have a 2lt water filled pasta jar with 12oz of crystals dissolved and a 2 amp power source. The electrode is 12" long, thick wall copper tube, 1/2" dia with 3/16" centre hole.

+ connected onto the electrode, - onto the part to be plated.

Part is suspended in the solution via copper wire and not touching electrode. There is tiny progress in that the copper part I'm trying to overplate (to cover a soldered repair) has areas covered in what looks like copper filings but from the clips Ive seen on the web it should be plated by now? Its been in about 5 hours today, after an attempt yesterday with a weaker solution.

Any suggestions please?

John Baron25/02/2020 16:23:08
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172 forum posts
69 photos

Hi Chris,

I wonder if the current is too high or the concentration is. If you have what looks like crystals, then that is what I would suspect. Simply leaving the work in the solution without any electricity should cause the copper to plate out.

Have you any method for measuring the current ? Or any means of adjusting it !

Chris V25/02/2020 16:29:25
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158 forum posts
20 photos

Thanks John, no means of adjusting or measuring the current, however rather than leaving it switched on all night tonight I will try leaving it submerged without the power on, nothing to loose now!

Cheers

Chris.

John Baron25/02/2020 16:51:46
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172 forum posts
69 photos

Hi Chris,

At the worse you will only have to clean it and start plating again. The crystals should just rub off and can be re-dissolved.

Re-reading your post, I assume that you had thoroughly cleaned the work before you started plating ! Finger prints or any oil or grease will cause the plating to be patchy.

One other thing that you could try is a single battery, which would be 1.5 volts and would have a very limited current available.

Chris V25/02/2020 17:07:58
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158 forum posts
20 photos

Hi John,

Previously I had fumed (with ammonia) the copper I'm trying to plate to age it (they are parts for an antique light). Thinking this might hinder the plating process I stripped the fumed surface by submerging in clock cleaner,
a kind of diluted ammonia. After that I didn't touch with bare hands only with rubber gloves.

Do you think that might be the issue?

Last night I tried removing the crystals from one part finding it was relatively tough going, having to resort to Autosol.

Ive turned the power off now but left one submerged for overnight success (-;

Cheers

Chris.

Dave Halford25/02/2020 17:44:01
616 forum posts
5 photos

I vaguely remember this from school, patchy rough plating, think it was due to too strong a solution or maybe the +ve needs to be the same size as the target.

When you see platers in action on TV the electrolyte is moving

Howard Lewis25/02/2020 18:36:37
2927 forum posts
2 photos

DAFT question You are using a DC supply for plating?

AC will put the copper on with one half of the cycle and remove it with the next.

Unsmoothed DC with a ripple will not really affect this, but the current draw will not be constant., not that it will matter particularly for your purposes. Feed the PSU onto a 12V battery for a more constant supply.

With regard to electric shocks, not with 12 V!. You'd have to chew the wires to even feel the slightest tingle.

If you are healthy you have a resistance of about 140 K ohms across from hand to hand, and 12 V won't push much current through that! Do not try this with higher voltages. You won't like 240V and it could prove fatal!

You might just feel a tingle at 50V.

DC is the more dangerous, since the voltage remains constant. At least AC passes through Zero, 50 or 60 times a second, giving you a chance to let go. 400 Hz as used on aircraft might be a different kettle of fish, so don't try it!

Howard

Chris V25/02/2020 19:24:36
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158 forum posts
20 photos

Thank you Dave, I didn't do anything I can remember like this at school so I'm a bit clueless i'm afraid.

What does +ve mean please, and by the electrolyte you mean the plating solution?

Chris.

John Baron25/02/2020 19:31:11
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172 forum posts
69 photos

Hi Chris,

+ve is shorthand for Positive terminal or voltage, and yes electrolyte is the plating solution.

Chris V25/02/2020 19:32:36
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158 forum posts
20 photos

Thanks Howard. Please see pics for power source etc.power source.jpg

plating setup.jpg

plating results 1.jpg

Yes I can confirm 240 volts hurts as i found out a couple of weeks ago. Hence my nervousness and asking the question! I will be happier and no doubt safer if I can get away with domestic batteries.

Cheers

Chris.

Chris V25/02/2020 19:34:00
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158 forum posts
20 photos

Thank John!

Chris.

duncan webster25/02/2020 23:18:17
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2439 forum posts
39 photos

That looks like a switch mode power supply, and it's only rated at 300 mA. If you don't have enough resistance in the circuit it might either switch off, or expire. I don't suppose you've got an ammeter?

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