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"Question about repairing gold filled object by selective plating?"

March 2, 2010

If there is already an answer to this question, my apologies for the repeat.
I repair antique pocket watches . Many of the cases are 10-14 kt gold filled
and almost all have areas with wear enough that the base is showing. I am fully
aware of replating the entire object but keeping it as original as possible is
the goal without having it look patched.
My question:
Is it possible to replate just the areas/spots with wear, leaving the original
gold finish intact in the areas without wear?

As the parts that I work on are relatively small (<6 sq in.) the rectifier I have should
be enough variable 0-12 volt 3 amp. I was thinking of possibility of using pen type leads or masking the object and using bath. My worry is that the new and old area won't feather or blend together.

Daniel Johnson
Hobbyist - Morehead, Kentucky

March 3, 2010

Hi, Daniel. Plating is a slow process where it will take a long time to build up to gold-filled thickness, so I don't think feathering will be a big issue. Building a discernible "cliff" with selective plating, without masking the edge, would be difficult. What might be trickier for you is a good color match, since even very small amounts of alloying materials affect the color of gold.


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

March 20, 2010

Thank you very much for the response. I do understand how the color can differ due to alloy content. The finishes that I am trying to replicate/patch are a rose colored gold, maybe by mixing a couple of the higher content pen plating solutions would be worth a try. I will probably waste some material in this project but the items that I work with are very old and it is important to preserve the original finish as much as possible.

This is the first question that I have posted on this site but have read many of the posts. You and your colleagues are very much appreciated for the time, effort and wealth of information your willing to pass on to others. Good day!

Daniel Johnson
- Hillsboro, Kentucky

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