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topic 10629

Plating for Kids



I was wondering if there were any resources that you know of for educating younger children on the plating process. I kind of fell into a little side business of plating small items and mostly automotive parts for friends in my town. Within a few months I had a fair amount of business going which kept me busy, and invariably taking up all of my free time. I have an eight year old son and a seven year old daughter who are both always out there playing in the shop and watching me work. Sometimes they try to help but it's difficult to explain to them how dangerous it is. On several occasions I will catch them out there playing with my stuff and I figure if they want to be involved they should be properly educated. All of the reading that I have pertaining to plating caters to adults. I was wondering if you could point me to any recourse materials that would be better understood by children.

BoJean N [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
- Mesa, Arizona, USA


Wow, where to start? I don't want to sound like I'm scolding, but the best reference available is YOU the parent. The fact is, if plating were something that kids could be a part of at home, Hasbro or Kenner or another toy mfgr. would have made a kit for Toys R Us long ago.

Plating is an environment filled with potentially dangerous and hazardous materials - many of which can cause great bodily harm or even death if not used properly. I recommend telling your children to STAY AWAY from dad's shop! They can get hurt! You owe it to your children to take their safety seriously - lock the shop when you're not there.

Sorry for the rant - I'll accept any reasonable admonishments for my behavior.

Dan Brewer
chemical process supplier - Gurnee, Illinois


Hi, BoJean. They can safely plate zinc onto copper, or copper onto silver or nickel as a kid's project. They won't be able to plate it WELL from safe chemicals though -- which will afford you the opportunity to talk about brighteners, the need for stronger acids, etc. Just start with our FAQ "How Electroplating Works". Good luck.

Ted Mooney, Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E.
Pine Beach, New Jersey

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