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Gold plating isn’t just for evil dictators’ AK-47s — for the DIYer who has some small parts to plate, Caswell Inc. offers a full line of plating supplies, including the Plug N’ Plate brush electroplating kit which starts at $34.  You can plate with chrome, copper, nickel, brass, tin, bronze, silver, and gold.  The radio in the picture above was plated with 24k gold.

The kit includes a bottle of solution, a DC power supply (a wall wart), and a plating wand, which is wrapped in gauze to absorb the solution.  To plate a part, attach the black lead to the base metal and the red lead to the wand.  Soak the wand in the plating solution, then brush it across the part to be plated.  When the brush makes contact, the circuit is completed, and the electroplating reaction starts.

I plated some stuff with one of these kits about ten years ago, and it worked pretty well.  Just like any other finishing technique, good results depend on properly preparing the base metal.

Plug N’ Plate Kit [Caswell]
Street Pricing [Google Products]


3 Responses to Small-Scale Electroplating

  1. KMR says:

    These kits are a waste of time! And expensive too, in addition to the fact that you get stuck with buckets of hazardous waste in your garage or shop.

    They do work – don’t get me wrong – they work! You’ll just spend more in your initial investment, plus tremendous amounts of your time, to get the results you can get from a local plating shop.

    Anyone want to buy their CopyCad kit and Hard Chroming kit? Both kits have been used maybe twice before I realized how time consuming it was and how much waste product is generated that has to be disposed of.

  2. Shopmonger says:

    So, are you ssaying this would be great if you were going to do more than one project? or is it only good for small items. I though it would be great for doing small items for a custom resto job on a car. I would like plating would be a great way to protect delicte pieces

  3. Arthur W. Hakes says:

    This is my initial venture into silver plating buttons. Gold plating is also being considered

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