I wanted to electroplate a piece of metal with copper, but I have two questions.One question is what size transformer to use.I have one that is 13vdc at 10 watts, is that too much? If so, about what would the aps be on that? Another question is where to find copper. Are pennies ok? Any help is appreciated.

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Toga_Dan1 year ago

my 1st experiment went well. Power source: one AA battery. Battery was trash. 1 volt remained. Copper solution was pre-1982 pennies + salt + vinegar. Workpiece: old wood chisel.

4th experiment: brush on plating. CuSO4 solution. 12V source, acid brush (like for solder flux). Workpiece: pneumatic chisel. It seemed to work well, but the plating scrubbed right off. Possibly due to excessive V; possibly due to dirty workpiece.

5th experiment: plating a pot metal diecast car. Not workin well. Pot metal is zinc plus whatever other crap hit the recylery, apparently.

Googling "electroplate pot metal" got me to CASWELLPLATING.COM which mentions in their forums somethin about a "strike bath" prior to the main electroplating bath. Gotta Google the term.

lemonie10 years ago
I did some research and found that current US pennies are mostly zinc (which means they cost more to produce than their face value...)
As rocketscientist2015 wire stripped of insulation, or copper tube/pipe.
You don't need a lot of electrical power, and I've copper plated brass before, although I cannot remember how (~20 years ago).

CameronSS lemonie10 years ago
Since when do they cost more? Last I checked, they switched to zinc because copper cost more than 1 cent a coin, but plated it in copper so they didn't look any different. Then again, the cost of zinc has probably gone up since 1983, when they switched.
lemonie CameronSS10 years ago
A rather lazy search:
(Metals prices have risen a lot since 1983)

jtobako CameronSS10 years ago
A couple of months ago. The mint issued limits on how much coinage could be exported and/or melted ($5).
KentsOkay lemonie10 years ago
What! My goverment is wasting money making money?!? Start shopping for realestate over there for me, I'm immagrating. Stupid government, they just lost there best bet for a space plan and a number of things... Nah I was just kidding, I knew they were using zinc, but I thought they were breaking even. Oh golly, perhaps it isn't entirely Bush's fault were broke. That just plain old sucks. What do they use for nickels, tin?
Nickels=75% copper, 25% nickel.
CameronSS10 years ago
Pennies are, as lemonie said, mostly zinc. In fact, you can strip the zinc away with hydrochloric acid, or even use a much more complex method to remove the copper cladding, and then combine the two. If you are reading this, click the links. even if you don't care about the subject, they are cool pictures.

I assume that "If so, about what would the aps be on that?" is asking about the amps drawn by a 13V, 10W transformer. Voltage time current equals watts, so it is a .77 Amp transformer.
KentsOkay10 years ago
You can use a battery for simplicity, and copper wire for (duh) copper.
John Smith (author)  KentsOkay10 years ago
What size battery? I'd use one but don't have holders for aa, aaa, c or d sizes, and I don't have a 6v battery. Also, I wanted something that would last for several platings.
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