Introduction: Using Electrolysis to Make Spoon Pendants.
I was fishing in a little too heavy weather, i got the idea for this pattern then, i call it "Flood"
I have used electro- etching sometimes to make patterns to the steel surfaces.
One day i wondered could it be possible to make little deeper "engravings" with electricity.
I used regular stainless teaspoons, 12V 1.5A DC powersource, and saltwater. Optionally plumping silver.
And a little further experiments i used plumping silver and Avesta RedOne™ Pickling Paste 140. I wanted to try could i get silver plating made at home. Pickling paste is easy to find here, and one i used dissolves silver too.
Notice that electrolysis produce harmfull fumes, so use good ventilation. I did it outside.
Step 1: Protect..
I painted the spoon with regular spraypaint, i used thick layer.
I painted backside too, and for extra secure, i taped backside with plastic packing tape. ( i have found it to be good )
Then i engraved desired pattern, actually just removed paint from the parts where i wanted electrolysis to affect.
Step 2: Electrolysis..
I removed some material from the now unprotected parts with electrolysis.
Remeber that it "tries" to remove material mostly from the edges. If you want to leave edges untouched, you can use nail polish etc.. to add some extra protection to them. Using lower current gives smoother result.
Little hot water and one or two spoonfulls of salt. Easy way to check the polarity, less bubbling part loses material.
I used 12V 1.5A and let it be 2 hours, that's quite long time, but i wanted to get really groovy surface. You can try different variations, dip only part of the piece to the water etc..
Car battery charger works too, but it may be little too powerfull for small objects.
Don't let wires touch the water.
Step 3: Polishing..
After electrolysis, surface is quite dirty.
I washed it with the hot water, brushed and then polished with felt discks and q-tips.
Most q-tips fit nicely to dremel's collet. I use autosol chrome paste for polishing, regular "red" dremel paste works too.
Step 4: Finishing..
I finished the surface with some simple engravings. If there's some paint left, you can remove it by bryshing with felt disk.
I used dremel tungsten carbide cutter 9910. Then i bend the handle and cut it with basic dremel cut off wheel.
After tidying the cut, i pressed the bend smoother with pliers.
Stainless steel is little hard to get stained, there's chemicals for that too, but i like to make things in my own way.
Normally i use heat for staining stainless steel. I heat the piece red hot, and cool it quickly in the water. Then i carefully polish the surface, leaving grooves and engravings unpolished. This is the easy way.
I have also tried to add little silver to the surface, if used saltwater you get nice stain for the grooves, but it can be removed with steelbrush. In normal use as a jewelry, it lasts nice enough tought. Add silver, and then carefully polish leaving grooves untouched. Last picture in this step shows the result after that.
Elecrolysis is made with the same way than you did when removed material, just change the polarity.
Step 5: Further Experiments..
I wanted to try some more.
I dissolved couple grams of plumping silver with spoonfull of Avesta RedOne™ Pickling Paste 140, it was the best option available to me. Then i mixed it to hot water. (allways acids in the water, never water to the acid)
Then i placed plumping silver rod to one electrod, and pendant to the other. Simple way to know the polarity, the bubling one gets plated. I used 4.5V 1.5A aprox 10 minutes. Polished it and result was much better. Shiny, and it lasted.
Two other pictures are made from the handle, and one another pendant, both are made with the same way.
Colour comes from the heat treatment, i heat the surface aprox 400 degrees of celsius, the cool it down quickly i the water. I do it after "silvering."
This is not an official way to silver plate things, but it gives quite nice look and it actually last quite well too.
Video shows the process.
Participated in the
Homemade Gifts Contest 2016