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Old 03-24-2008, 02:40 PM
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Ive used this, works great.

Solution No. 1:
Nitrate of Silver (pure) . . . . . . . . 40 grains
Nitrate of Silver (pure) . . . . . . . . 32 grains
Distilled Water . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 pint
Ammonia, 26% . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . To be used as directed.

Take one pint of distilled water, pour 4 ounces of this into a glass, and into this put 40 grains of Nitrate of Silver. Dissolve the Nitrate of Silver thoroughly by stirring the water with glass strip (no spoon, or stick, or metal should be used). When it is all thoroughly dissolved, take your medicine dropper and drop 26% Ammonia Water into it one drop at a time; at first it will turn dark; keep dropping the ammonia until it becomes clear again, which will generally take about thirty drops; stopping the addition as soon as it clears.

Very often after dropping 30 drops of Ammonia, it does not clear. In that case stir the solution slowly with your left hand and continue dropping the ammonia with the hand, one drop at a time until it does clear, which it will generally do after dropping a few more times. If after dropping seven drops more it does not clear (which takes 37 drops in all) do not drop any more Ammonia, as you are apt to spoil the solution.

Then add 32 grains of the Nitrate of Silver, additional. Dissolve by stirring with your glass strip. When it is all dissolved, pour the mixture back into the pint of water first measured out. Let it stand for one hour or more to allow the sediment to settle on the bottom. Then filter the solution through white blotting paper; this blotting paper you should put into your funnel, cone-shaped so that the solution will have to pass through it before it can enter the bottle (any druggist can show you how to fold filter paper). Put the funnel into the neck of the bottle and proceed to pour the solution into the funnel. In this way the solution passes through the blotting paper before it gets into the bottle, which is called filtering. After the solution is filtered into the bottle it should look like clear water. Cork bottle tightly, and keep in a cool dark place and label it No. 1 solution.

Solution No. 2:

24 grains of Rochelle Salts
25 grains of Nitrate of Silver (pure)
1 pint of Distilled Water

Take one pint of warm distilled water and pour it into a porcelain lined vessel, put it on the stove, and then put 24 grains of Rochelle Salts into it, and let this boil strongly for about one minute, and then add 25 grains of Nitrate of Silver, and let it boil for five minutes longer, take it form the stove and let it stand one hour or longer to allow the sediment to settle. As soon as the solution is cool it is best to pour it out of the porcelain lined vessel into some glass vessel or other porcelain lined vessel, as the vessel that you boiled this solution in will be quite dirty. When it is allowed to settle in another vessel the solution will be much clearer when you go to filter it. You want to bottle this solution just the same way as you do the No. 1 solution and label this one No. 2 solution.

Note: This solution will boil away a little when preparing it, but do not add any more water to it.


In the first place a clean room should be used for the work. Place the glass on a level surface and bank the sides to prevent the solution running off, or place in a plating bath tube. It is not necessary that you should have a steam table in order to make good mirrors. By having your room at a temperature of 85 to 100 degrees F and using warm distilled water to rinse and level your glass with, you can easily get your glass up to the temperature of 90 to 100 degrees F., which will cause the silver to precipitate. The glass to be silvered must be thoroughly cleaned as the least speck of dust, grease, dirt or finer marks will show and cause you trouble. Place wooden wedges under the corners of the glass having warm distilled water on the glass and change the wedges under it until the water lays in an even depth all over the glass; this is to warm the glass and get it even. When you have the glass warm and level, raise one side or end level, raise one side or end and gently let all the water run off, now lay the glass gently back in the same place. Then pour No. 1 and No. 2 Silvering solutions into your traduate glass or glass pitcher in equal parts; stir them as quickly as possible with your glass strip, and then pour them onto the glass by first starting at the center and letting them flow out, then start at one corner and keep going around in a circular way until the entire surface of the glass is covered, and let the solution lay on it in an even layer. Let the solutions stand on the glass for about 30 minutes; then tip the glass on one corner on end and drain off the solution - drain all that will run off; rinse the glass coating off thoroughly with distilled water, and stand glass on one end to drain and dry. When dry apply backing paint.

If the silver coating is not heavy enough it needs a second coat, which you can do by pouring on the solutions as you did the first coat, after the first coat has been rinsed off with distilled water and allowed to drain for a few minutes. Do not let the first coat get dry before putting on the second coat.

You will get a much heavier coating of silver by putting the bottles which contain your solutions into hot water a few minutes before you mix and use them.
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