With Instructables you can share what you make with the world and tap into an ever-growing community of creative experts.
share what you made with text, photos, video, and files
gather your favorite instructables together
This is a fun and easy way to electroplate.
You will need...1. A beaker or a glass jar2. 1 9v battery3. Some salt4. 2 alligator clips5. 2 pre 1982 pennies6. Vinegar7. A paper clip
Start by pouring vinegar into a beaker about 2/3 of the way. Next begin pouring in salt (salt helps the electricity flow)
Attach pennies to alligator clip and attach alligator clip to positive terminal on your battery
Attach paperclip to negative end of battery
Drop into salt vinegar solution and check on it every minute or so. The solution will bubble forming hydrogen gas. This is normal
A copper coated paper clip ( the one on the right)
Comment ideas for future instructables
We have a be nice comment policy. Please be positive and constructive.
To avoid the plating void where the alligator clip grips the clip, I'd use a second clip and form it into a hook. Hang the "target" paperclip from the "hook" clip, which is attached to the alligator clip. Dangle the "target" paper clip in the solution completely submerged. The "hook" clip would get a bit of copper coating on the part that's in the solution, of course, but that's just incidental. Don't let the "target" touch the bottom of the container or break contact with the "hook" clip. If your target has different surfaces you need to occasionally turn the target so that those different surfaces are "facing" the sacrificial copper or you'll get an uneven result.
wow .. so simple but i doubt if this may oxidize the electrolyte making impurities within painting?
That's pretty cool. I used to do this years ago. Makes me want to try it again.
I used to use copper sulfate and water for the plating solution and a piece of copper water pipe for the anode. that solution made the plating go quicker.
it tarnishes quickly but a quick shot of Krylon clear keeps it nice for a while
What is the purpose of the coin?
I was wondering if you've tried this with other metals? I think it wouldn't be too difficult to find some broken jewelry with gold plating that could be used as a sacrificial anode.
I think the higher voltage & amp might result in a difference in the quality of the metallic coating. There is a process called electroforming that I think was first used in industry to form molds. It was like electroplating, in fact, I believe at first it utilizes electroplating techniques to lay down a fine layer, duplicating the surface of the item. Then a heavier layer is laid down, the electroforming, to make the mould stronger. I think, I am not certain, but I think with the higher voltage, etc. You'd be laying down the layer faster but not so fine a layer. I think in electroforming the crystals grown are larger and so the detail can be lost. Electroforming has been used in jewelry making where it is possible to literally grow metal around a stone. I have a pendant I purchased some years ago where a mounting was grown around a nice red tigereye tumbled stone. The mounting has a sponge, organic look. I think one of the industrial uses of electroforming was in creating moulds from which masters for records were made. I do not know if this process is still being used..
How to Electroplating A Quarterby kentchemistry.com
Make Silver-Colored Pennies!by PopsicleGhoul
Clean and Simple Electroplatingby nf119
High Quality (and Safe) Copper Platingby A_Steingrube
Copper plating made easyby aduy
High Quality (and Safe) Nickel Platingby A_Steingrube
simple electrolytic cell made with citrus fruitsby eistein
Building a "Baghdad Battery"by IanW
Make Copper Sulfate from Copper and Sulfuric acid (3 ways)by NurdRage
How to galvanize metal (for rust protection)by NurdRage
Download our new apps for iOS, Android and Windows 8!
© 2014 Autodesk, Inc.
By clicking "Create Account" you are indicating that you have read and agree to the Terms of service.
Already a member? Login »
Enter the email associated with your account and we will send you your username and a temporary password.
Not a member? Sign Up »