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Copper plating help: 1934 vibraphone hardware

I recently got my hands on a 1934 Degan Vibraphone. The hardware was covered in nasty paint and other cover ups, and it appeared to be copper or brass. I tumble vibed the hardware down to find that it was only plated. Now I have an unknown metal that I want to copper plate. Several attempts have only yielded a nasty mass of copper like sludge that builds up on my hardware. I am using a simple set up and have successfully plated a quarter with the set up.

Any suggestions on whats wrong? or guidance as to how to get the hardware plated?

RYAN Anderson
hobbyist - Makawao, Hawaii, USA
October 6, 2010

You must know that iron or carbon steel cannot be plated with acid copper plating solution, you must use cyanide or pyrophosphate based bath, eventually old 19th-century tartrate based bath can be used too.
Hope it helps and good luck!

Goran Budija
- Zagreb, roatia
October 8, 2010

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