Picture of How To Copper Plate a Nail

This is a simple experiment you can easily replicate at home using things you may find around the house. It's something people of all skill levels can do and can be a fun little experiment to do with the kids.

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Step 1: Materials Needed

Picture of Materials Needed
List of materials:
  • Oxidised Copper -  copper coins or copper fittings, should be dull indicating it's oxidised
  • Weak Acid Solution - white vinegar or lemon juice is best to see results
  • Salt
  • A Glass container - best for seeing the results
  • Wire wool or other abrasive cleaner.
  • An iron nail - not galvanised - as used in my 'How To Make An Electromagnet' video see that here.

Cool! Thanks for sharing that! I often wonder why people choose lemon rather than lime, which is both more acidic and more..."active" or...I don't know how to say...more "varied" or, perhaps, more "drivable" or say..."tunably" reactive? I don't know the word I want. Anyway, I'm wondering why did you choose lemon? If you don't mind me asking... Lime is slightly more acidic but like grapefruit, it's also a whole other animal with what is still some pretty mysterious-seeming "intentions". Nobody ever thinks about the lime and I'm just wondering why that is. Is it merely because people assume it's like a lemon and then dismiss it because it's activities are not the same as a lemon? I've only just begun experimenting with lime juice, but the only "technical" information available seems to be in the field of bartending where it is so obviously NOT a lemon, in its activities with, effects on or reactions TO other cocktail ingredients. And now I'm just rambling...sorry...

jmanukonga2 months ago
Love the puns ?

Its awesome maaaaan........

Mizmickey1 year ago
I like the little cartoon things
Go Repairs (author)  Mizmickey1 year ago
Thanks. :)
I have a lot of Ferric acid with copper in it i suppose from etching circuit boards. Would this work with that and a battery?
Go Repairs (author)  oliverkellow2 years ago
I'm not trained in chemistry, so I couldn't answer off of the top of my head. But a little search on the internet produced articles saying that dropping iron into the solution copper coated it and re-energised the ferric acid. Also there was mention of using electrolysis, with an iron cathode and a carbon anode. If your unsure how to set-up a home electrolysis kit check out my 'Home Electrolysis Kit' video on my Youtube channel. Just do an internet search into it before you try.
rimar20002 years ago
Very interesting, you don't use electricity.
Go Repairs (author)  rimar20002 years ago
Using a power source would yield better results. But this is the simple way and I feel it's easy to replicate whatever skill level you are.

Thanks for leaving a comment.