Aloha, fun & authoritative answers -- no cost, no registration, no passwords, no popups
(as an eBay Partner & Amazon Affiliate we earn from qualifying purchases)

Home /
Site 🔍
pub  Where the
world gathers for metal finishing
Q&As since 1989


Best Electroplating Experiment


1 1/2 Cup Distilled vinegar [in bulk on eBay or Amazon]
10 Pre 1984 Copper Pennies - Use Pre 1950's Pennies For Best Results
Any Type Of Metal To Be Plated
One 9 Volt Battery
1 Foot Solid Copper Wire With Positive And Negative Markings

Wrap + Wire Around Pennies And Place In vinegar/salt/baking soda Solution
Wrap - Wire Around Other Type Of Metal
Mix vinegar/salt/baking soda Together And Place In Glass Container
Connect Wires To Battery Accordingly To Instructions Below

Wire On Pennies Connects To + Positive Terminal
Wire On Other Metal Connects To - Negative Terminal

This Is A Fun And Safe Way To Show Students On How Electroplating Works With Basic Chemical And Electrical Reactions.

Jesse Ditto
Hobbyist - Moline, Illinois, USA


Thanks, Jesse. Have you actually done this yourself or are you quoting someone's else's experiment, though? Because there is an error and I have a couple of questions and comments.

The pennies have to be attached to the negative because the ions of the metal you are plating onto the pennies are positively charged and you must attract them and reduce them from ions to metallic form. I have found that 9 volts is far too much and always results in burning and smut; I haven't found anything over 1-1/2 volts to work myself. It seems to me that if you add baking soda to vinegar that (in addition to it foaming all over the place) you are neutralizing vinegar whereas you need the vinegar to dissolve the metal. What does the baking soda achieve? Thanks.

Ted Mooney,
Ted Mooney, P.E.
Striving to live Aloha - Pine Beach, New Jersey

(No "dead threads" here! If this page isn't currently on the Hotline your Q, A, or Comment will restore it)

Q, A, or Comment on THIS thread -or- Start a NEW Thread

Disclaimer: It's not possible to fully diagnose a finishing problem or the hazards of an operation via these pages. All information presented is for general reference and does not represent a professional opinion nor the policy of an author's employer. The internet is largely anonymous & unvetted; some names may be fictitious and some recommendations might be harmful.

If you are seeking a product or service related to metal finishing, please check these Directories:

Chemicals &
Consult'g, Train'g
& Software

About/Contact  -  Privacy Policy  -  ©1995-2024, Pine Beach, New Jersey, USA  -  about "affil links"