Friday, July 12, 2013

Tips On Pen Plating

Pen plating is a fun process and allows you to accent your pieces with another metal at a minimal cost.

Whether you are plating with a disposable pen plater or a commercial setup, the processes of plating with a pen are the same. The alligator clip attaches to the item being plated (a negative charge) and the fiber tip has a positive charge. A small DC electrical current, low voltage just like low-voltage outdoor lighting, passes from the pen to the item from positive (anode) to negative (cathode). The negative charge attracts and deposits metal ions in the plating solution onto the object.

Plating  Tips
  • Use a razor blade to cut a fine tip, if you have a small area to plate.
  • If you are plating over any metal that oxidizes make sure the plating solution has a metal in it to block the oxides from going through the plating. PMC Connection's brand has this. If you are not using the Wizard plating solution, then you will need to plate with a Nichol first and then the final solution. Nichol block oxides from reaching through the plating. 
  • It's best to use an acid-based solution that is cyanide free. It is safer to use. PMC Connection's plating solutions are cyanide free.
  • The tip must be soaked for at least ten minutes before using, so when I am finished plating I remove the tip from the pen and store it in the solution.
  • When the solution starts crystallizing it has turned bad and should be replaced. 
  • Wear protective clothing such as eye protection and rubber or vinyl gloves while plating. 
  • Always use separate pen tips for different solutions. 
  • Pour a small amount of solution into a small beaker or glass jar to use while plating, so if you should knock it over you haven't lost the whole solution.
  • Place the open container of plating solution on top of a paper towel so that any spillage is contained.

    I hope you all find these tips useful. For a more in-depth information purchase my step-by-step tutorial: How to Pen Plate for only $8 from my web site.

    Until next time, have fun!

    by Janet Alexander
    Technical Advisor


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