Step 3: Assemble and start plating!

Picture of Assemble and start plating!
step1 - connect the copper electrode to the positive side of the battery, and dip it in the copper sulphate sollution(copper sulphate crystals dissolved in water).

step2 - connect the carbon electrode to the negetive end of the battery and dip it in the sollution too.

step3 - drop the metal object you want to plate into the sollution.
edit: as pointed out by @HeWantsRevenge in the comments-  for a nice even coating, it might be a good idea to suspend the object.. with thread or wire.

thats it. 
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johngomm8 months ago

You should have the key attached to the negative electrode, not sitting in the middle. You don't need the carbon electrode, just the metal thing to be plated attached to the negative wire. I recommend alligator clips to attach to the electrodes. The copper solution can be made using your copper electrode and vinegar or lemon juice as your electrolyte liquid - after attaching the batteries, the copper ions will be pulled off the electrode and into solution. when there are enough of them, they will start to plate the key.

You shouldn't put large amounts of copper solutions down the drain - it needs proper chemical disposal. Check with your local university's Environmental Health & Safety dept for how to do this properly. Or you can throw in a wad of steel wool to precipitate the copper back as a solid.

Here's one I made using sharpie to stop it plating in places.

Nirgal383 years ago
The sort of battery from which you'd get a carbon rod is the old style dry cell, not one of the newer alkaline batteries. The black powder surrounding the rod is manganese dioxide, a useful chemical but it should be handled with caution. It's also messy as all get out so do it outside.

These batteries (actually, they are cells... Batteries are made of several cells in a series) shouldn't contain any liquids to "squirt" into your eyes. Nevertheless, anyone working with chemicals without proper eye protection is asking for trouble.
chaitanyak (author)  Nirgal383 years ago
thanks for that highly informative comment.
i appreciate it.
Dumchicken4 years ago
does vinegar work?
chaitanyak (author)  Dumchicken4 years ago
no clue, never tried
also well i want to say to every one ho read this


sorry but this is not safe

p.s. use penneys insted they work just as well(with vinegar)
chaitanyak (author)  Dumchicken4 years ago
yup i should have mentioned that earlier.. will add the warning now.
.. though have never seen a battery "squirt" anything in all the times i've dismantelled them.. still i guess it could happen. warning duly noted
well if your yousing a hammer to open it...
youper04 years ago
..How does this work with the key just siting in the liquid????