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Electroplating/Metal Coating of a wooden, wearable object

I have a wood figure 3" X 3" in. I tried to have a mold made of it in order to make a belt buckle, however a jeweler I respect told me that the mold process wouldn't be able to extract all the lines and detail that make it so beautiful, at least not without a very skilled sculptor doing quite a bit of work. In my quest to find a solution I asked about electroplating the actual wooden object (i.e. baby shoes) - coating the object with copper followed by an antique silver finish. My fear is that some detail will be lost in the coating process. I have been assured that it won't, but the durability and strength come into question. The item wouldn¸t be worn everyday but I would like to find some sort of material/coating that can be applied to the object (wood) that will have both the aesthetic allure and surface strength or toughness that metal provides.

Jason Cherubini
designer - Houston, Texas


If you don't mind the original being destroied you can have someone do a variant of the "lost wax" casting process. The mold would be made and then the wax, or in this case wooden, positive would be burnt out. You would have a perfect negative for casting afterward, keep in mind this would be a one time use mold and you would be out of luck if it gets screwed up.

I'm not sure if this would work but it is an option.

You can have the object plated, but anything beyond a few microns will make the object lose some detail (not sure if I am right on the thickness).

Anywho good luck.

Marc Banks
- Elizabeth City, North Carolina

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