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topic 2566

Help to get started silver plating.


I would be grateful for any information on silver plating.

I would like to silver plate small parts of brass musical instruments after refurbishing.The largest size required would need a tank of approx.12" x 9".

I welcome any suggestions on how to get started,ie:Books,what supplies I need to get started and where to get them.

I have never done anything before, so I am a novice.

Thank you for any help.


Ed. note: Please see our FAQ, "Silver Plating at Home".


I have not silver plated, b4 yet I do gold plating. I am sure you know about the cyanide in the solution, and this is a concern, yet I actually drove myself to having panic attacks because I thought I had cyanide poisoning, and in actuality after my blood was tested, and it had .1 cyanide and the normal to be expected is .2 and O.D. is .5 or .6 so I was way under. The plating solution did bug my old asthma and kinda gave me chemical pneumonia which is no fun, so I was making good money so I bought a $900.00 supplied air system to give me fresh air, my condition is getting slowly better, yet I can still plate. I preach the SAS system alot because after going through what I went through it is nice not to worry, it might pay of to not be a worrier and a simpleton sometimes, I guess. Now time for the real deal, get a premade solution, these are easy to handle, and get good equipment, like an actual rectifier, this isn;t an overnight experiment, you can really make some good money!

REad REad REad, and if you can be an apprentice at a local plating shop, these places are usually fairly dangerous though, because after many years they don't have much respect for these chemicals. One other thing, get involved, this isn;t going to be a little hobby. And take care of your waste, if you feel like being a chemist, and also know proper rules of CN and you know how to safely split these two elements into Carbon, and another of Nitrogen, then do so, I heard they have found a new and easier way to split Cyanide, this is now dumpable in most states, or there are places that will pick up a 55 gallon drum of plating waste for about $300.00

Good Luck

barrett russell
Barrett Russell
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada

Hi, Barrett; thanks for the response. You may or may not have seen a plating shop which was "fairly dangerous", but they are certainly not "usually" so. Industry statistics over many decades don't support that idea.

It is possible that you perceive a significant danger where more experienced people have a better perspective. For example, it is true that an operator who knows from years of experience that a very dilute sulfuric acid activator poses little danger to him will not treat it like plutonium no matter what anyone says. But I guarantee you that almost all plating shop personnel have profound respect for hydrofluoric acid. Thanks again.

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

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