Simple, Cheap, Electroplating




About: I love building things and taking pictures.

I always have a few things on my lists of to-dos. I finally reached my Electroplating one and did a bit of research. I found that, not only does it take a lot of money, it also is fairly corrosive. So I found a better and simpler way using household items.

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Step 1: Get the Parts

You will need:
1 half cup of vinegar (double for bigger proportions.)
1 tablespoon of Salt (double for bigger proportions.)
2 bowls (plastic, takeout containers...nothing expensive.)
4/5 batteries with accompanying holders (double AA, non-rechargeable, with about 1 volt left in each-you may need 5 if you only have 1 volt per.)
Coins: Quarters, Pennies (Find one dated before 1982.) (Pennies are more successful...believe me.)
Copper Tape (Only if you can't find a penny or don't want to.)
2 aligator clip jumper wires (unless you are using copper tape.)
Tape (Scotch)

Step 2: Transfer.

Take your vinegar and pour it in one bowl. Take the salt and put it in the other. Take your jumpers and connect the anode to the penny and place it into the salt container and tape it. Make sure it doesn't touch the bottom. If you are using copper tape, fold a few millimeters of copper so that sticky touches sticky, then fold it over touching the wire. Then to concentrate it, fold it over at the bottom.

Step 3: Assemble.

Connect the one battery holder go the other. Then, connect the anode to the penny (positive) and then connect the quarter to the cathode. Tape this to the side. Add the salt in this container and let's move on...

Step 4: Add and Solute. (Pronounced Sa-loot)

Now get your timer. Pour the vinegar in're ready. Start your timer at 6:00 minutes, sit back and relax. Read on for details...





About a minute in you will see a reaction start to occur. These bubbles indicate that, not only is you thing working, Hydrogen bubbles are forming.

If you are using a penny, the quarter may not turn black. This is because the copper is so potent that it sank to the bottom of the solution. To fix this, un-tape where the penny was and tape it to the other side and do the same with the quarter. Start your timer at 6:00 minutes and let it sit.

Step 5: Done.

Congrats! If you made it to this step it means you successfully copper plated the quarter...if you didn't well...not so congrats.

If you experience any problems leave a comment and I will try my best to help you.

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    4 Discussions

    Higgs Boson

    7 years ago on Introduction

    I've done something similar to this using copper sulfate solution and a nine volt battery. I got the positive ions to coat the negative electrode with a thin layer of copper. I like your way a lot better though, because copper sulfate is toxic, the negative ions are a component of sulfuric acid ( the positive electrode was made of tin foil and holes were corroded through it which I found very scary), you need to take steps to neutralize the substance before disposing of it, and it is more difficult to obtain. I like the simplicity of your method a lot.

    1 reply

    1. Thank you

    2. I like your idea except for the chemicals.

    3. Your voltage was higher.

    4. I won't write anything here. This number is unlucky in Chinese.

    5. Its not my idea.

    6. If you are reading this you must go back and read 5.

    7. End.


    8 years ago on Introduction

    So Cool! I love the look! I will try this sometime and when I do I will post it here. Thanks for sharing!

    1 reply