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topic 2789

Nickel Plating of Carved Wooden Figures


 Hello, I have been looking for information concerning nickel plating wooden figurines that I carve as a hobby. I was hoping to find information on your web pages. Perhaps you might be able to tell me how to metallize wooden figures prior to electroplating of same. Thanks in anticipation.

Ps. Please do not advise that I visit my local Plating specialist as there are only 2 in my area. The figures that I carve are highly prized and would probably be lost or stolen en rout or during the plating session. Thanks

Edward Forsyth
- U.K.


Hmm, Edward. Somehow I think the platers who are reading are not going to work too hard on their own time to offer you free advise after you have slandered them smiley

You may want to start at our FAQ on metallizing non-conductors, then proceed to get your hands on a couple of the plating books we recommend.
Ted Mooney, finishing.com Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
finishing.com
Pine Beach, New Jersey


(1999)

Edward- Almost anything can be plated, if the proper steps are taken to do so. My brother commercially plated leaves, flowers, wooden branches, rocks, and other objects several years ago. Unfortunately, my brother is no longer available to have his brains picked. The next best thing, I suppose, is another plater who learned some of it by osmosis, and has successfully plated wooden objects before. Primarily, you want to ensure two things: that the solutions you use to plate your wooden objects will not destroy the objects, and conversely, that the wooden objects you are attempting to plate will not destroy or seriously damage the baths or equipment you are using. If you are using "borrowed" baths or facilities, the latter, and not the former, is THE ONLY concern to the lender (plater). This may not be an issue if you are using your own bath once, throwing it away, and don't particularly care about the EPA or other law enforcement agencies who WILL care. But this could be expensive in more ways than one. I digress. Seal the wood with a good sealant (Thompson's), and then after drying for a couple of days, coat it with a GOOD polyurethane varnish. ALL PORES MUST BE SEALED ! Wood is exceedingly porous, causing all sorts of plating headaches and problems not fit for amateurs to attack. If you want the grain to stand out, try to make the varnish as thin as possible but you STILL MUST totally seal the surface. Use as many coats as necessary to achieve this, thinning the varnish if necessary. Let! the varnish dry several days in a dry environment between coats. Then learn how to plate. It is a good idea to make use of resources close to home. Just because there are "only 2" specialists in your area doesn't mean that you can't learn from them. Have you tried? Platers by and large are much more intelligent as well as much more honest than some people give them credit for. GOOD plating also requires much more intelligence than many people possess. Follow Ted's advice and read first. Shortcuts will work sometimes; if a shortcut works for you the first time, then the results are that much more catastrophic when something does go wrong. Patrick Marks

Patrick Marks
- Chandler, Arizona



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