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Old 12-23-2003, 03:05 AM
TC Robertson
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Too much on your electroplate

David I have a bit of experience in electroforming on glass. I helped set up Pilchucks bath in 86 and took Micheal Glancy's class the next year. I have had a tank since 88 and have done work for a few artists including Martin Blank.
Its an involved deal to keep the chemistry right. Good to have a testing set up, for acid and copper. Plating suppliers will test your solution for a fee. I got a dag formula from the Metal Finishing Handbook which is laquer(sp?) laquer thinner and copper dust. I have a big can of copper powder, and would part with some ($15 for 4 oz) and you can mix it up yourself. It came from Cresent Bronze Powder in Chicago or LA. I will send the formula with the copper. Don't go for too small a bath, 20 gall. is the smallest I'd do. My small is 35 and medium 100, super duper, 250! I have never fired it up, too much $$. You can use agricultural copper sulfate and technical sulphuric acid to save money, but you must decontaminate the mix first.
There are certain additives that make the metal go on hard or softer, talk to your local plating suppliers about these. Its good to know just what you want. Big anodes! in bags! get em, use em. It make a diference in the long run. The anodes are doped with phosphorus, and the bags catch it. You must have some stirring action, by pump/filter or bubbler. I make up little plastic baskets wired to conduct and set work in them, rotating every 6-8 hrs. Don't get the voltage over 1 volt. I run about 1/2 to 3/4 volt. Put it on slow like paint, treeing may look cool, but its weak.
Remember it doesn't stick to the glass. Technics is a good supplier for small stuff. PM me and I'll fill in more blanks. Later
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