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Silver plating

O.C.V.

Member
Messages
113
Is there anyone here who has experience of silver plating using the solutions offered on ebay?
I'm not interested in plating a sax but we have a couple of plated thing which are showing a lot of the base metal and as they have a family history it would be nice to see them as they were originally. Any advice is welcome.
Cheers
O.C.V.
 

kevgermany

ex Landrover Nut
Subscriber
Messages
21,947
Something like 'The Silver Plating Formula' ?

I used it on my alto. And the brass ring on my PPT.

Most of it's worn off now.

I managed to get quite good results after a lot of coats and the silver colour was close to original. You end up with a very thin coat of silver, which wears off quite quickly. It doesn't fill pits, so using it over pitted brass it makes it look worse, if anything.

But I guess if there's no rubbing, and you use the stuff as a polish every now and again, you'll be pleased with the results. Make sure you have a good supply of plastic gloves, otherwise you'll have brown fingers for a week or two...
 

milandro

Well-Known Member
Messages
2,483
any plating that is applied on top of a metal without a serious electrolytic process of electrodeposition won’t ever be seriously addressing the problem because it will only ever be a thin layer without any real bond to the base metal and, sooner or later, will come off
 
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jbtsax

Well-Known Member
Subscriber
Messages
8,010
My experience was similar to Kev's. Using Caswell's Silver Smith liquid plating to touch up silver saxophones during restoration, I found the plating held up well in areas that did not come in contact with the player when playing, but on areas like the side keys the silver plating wore off quickly. My research into the wipe on silver plating revealed that continued wiping does not add additional layers of silver to the surface in spite of the claims of the advertisers.

Using the Caswell's Plug-N-Plate silver brush plating kit worked considerably better for contact areas, but is not nearly as thick and durable as professional tank plating. My favorite silver polish is the Haggertys Spray Polish. It dries to a pink haze which when wiped off with a soft clean cloth produces a beautiful dark silver shine.
 
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gladsaxisme

Try Hard Die Hard
Subscriber
Messages
3,409
I have experimented with a hand electro plating kit to try to improve the look of an old silver plated sax I have been trying to overhaul and had mixed results,the first part I tried it on was one of the pad cups that had the plate worn off in a patch and the result was really quite good and the patch disappeared,as you rubbed it with the brush holding the solution the surface of the cup started to turn black and then after stopping I polished the area and it came up a lovely bright silver.I have attempted the Same on other parts of the sax but not had as good results things like the long rods and wire tone hole guards,I can't just remember the supplier and cost of the kit but will look it up and let you know,I think one of the problems you encounter is the quality of the solution supplied I believe there can be great difference between suppliers.I bought the cheapest starter kit for obvious reasons and can't remember if it was 30 odd pounds or 60 odd but like I said I'll check out the details if want to know more,there was one of our members that has had great success gold plating with these systems can't remember who perhaps he will post to give you advise....John
 

jbtsax

Well-Known Member
Subscriber
Messages
8,010
My experience using electroplating kits from Caswell taught me that cleaning and de-greasing the part is absolutely essential to getting a properly plated finish---especially with silver. Of course this is much easier to do with small parts, and parts not attached to the body of the saxophone. The steps of my process:

- De-grease the part in a solution of boiling water and Dawn dishwashing detergent.
- Rinse the part in distilled water.
- Etch the part by immersing it in a 50% sulfuric acid bath for 30 seconds.
- Rinse again in distilled water.
- Do not touch the part with your hands.
 

gladsaxisme

Try Hard Die Hard
Subscriber
Messages
3,409
Just noticed your in the lancs area if you fancy getting to M/C you can have a play with my electroplating kit if you like....john
 

MellowD

Lost In Theory
Messages
544
I also have kits at home for electroplating in silver, gold and nickel. I also have an electroforming kit so that I can use natural, organic items to make into pieces of jewellery or structural art. However, it depends on the size of the items as to whether I can help you as I only have the kit for small pieces, as opposed to a large tank for doing things like exhaust pipes of motor bikes etc.

Why spend money on such a kit, if one or more of us here can help you with your pieces and save you a lot of money for something which may be redundant after you've finished your pieces.
 

O.C.V.

Member
Messages
113
Grateful thanks to those who have replied to my enquiry, particularly for the invitations to use equipment.
However, I have met someone locally who is able to help.
I hope the thread has been useful to others who may be interested in trying plating. I never fail to be amazed at what one can find out just by reading the forum on this site. There is such a wealth of knowledge and experience here.
Best wishes
O.C.V.
 
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