Does anyone have experience with cyanide-free silver plating? How does it
Second question, does anyone know how to go about getting potassium cyanide
in the UK? You used to be able to get it from a chemist's shop by signing a
poisons register, but I don't know if that still holds - and chemists don't
seem to sell that kind of thing any more.
You will probably need to get it from a chemical supply company. When I was
about 12 years old I worked out a way to make it from potassium
ferrocyanide, which was easy to get hold of as it wasn't very toxic and
often used in photography.
If there are jewellers/goldsmith supply houses and you are a customer
with a buisiness presence they might sell to you, they will not deliver
to a residence as far as I know. Nasty stuff in a world filled with
Can't answer your question about cyanide free plating, but here in the
States the jewelry supply houses generally sell plating solutions. It's not
exactly an economical way to get where you're trying to go, but better than
never getting there. It's getting almost impossible to buy chemicals of
any kind here in the States.
You might consider talking to a plating house to see if they'd be willing to
sell you what little you may need, assuming it's not against regs in your
It's getting almost impossible to buy chemicals of
Bought a gallon of nitric acid ~12 years ago, waltzed right in an paid
for it and waltzed right on out. Had I dropped the [glass] bottle in the
parking lot it would have evaced the block.
Meebee its a good thing them regs is tough now. still have 3/4 of that
bottle and sweat bullets every time I have to move it.
Without going into the gory detail, I can tell you from personal
experience that it's difficult or impossible to get an acceptible
silver plated surface without the use of cyanide based chemicals. The
same is true for gold and other precious metals like rhodium.
You should be able to purchase the materials that you need from any
electroplating supply firm, even in the UK, although as here in the US
they may be unwilling to sell to individuals due to liability
That's pretty much what I thought. I need the best plating I can get - it's
for the insides of the LOX pump in a small rocket engine turbopump. Any
For years we in the UK used to have to sign the poisons register to buy
cyanides, and you might have to get someone like a doctor or a policeman or
your local MP to vouch for you if the seller didn't know you personally -
pretty reasonable, and no direct seller liability problems (we don't in
general have those here anyway, or at least not as bad as the US does).
I don't know if that's still true though, what with the HORRegulators,
starring Nanny Blair and the Auntie-Terrorists.
The plating shop I used to use ran a phosphoric gold process, but I have no
clue about how it was applied, nor if it was necessary to do a strike with
cyanide first. They plated to Mil specs, and were highly respected and
well known for their quality. Sadly, I no longer live in that state, so
it would be difficult for me to inquire. Having refined precious metals, I
understand that the introduction of certain metals to cyanide solution can
be trouble. One of the procedures I used to use to recover gold or silver
from solution was to introduce zinc flower. The reaction was almost
instantaneous, with an almost perfect recovery. That can interfere with
plating, just as iron interferes with copper plating from an acid
electrolyte. There's a place for each process, and often they must be used
That would certainly be my thoughts, too. Still, if you can get someone
to warm up to your project and share with them what you're trying to do, you
never know-----every now and then you encounter someone that takes a
personal interest and can't help enough. And then there's the other
How big is having a good power supply as part of the entire plating
process. The reason for this question is that four 100 amp 10VDC power
supplies HP6260B found their way into my home, and I am not sure
whether I should keep one of them or sell all of them.
I would love to gold plate some perfectly inappropriate things, such
as a bumper or parts of the boat trailer. Always had this strange
I'm far from an expert on plating, having done very little aside from some
cyanide copper and gold, each of which was a long time ago.
I used to part silver electrolytically, however, so I'm slightly familiar
with the process. One thing that's very desirable is to be able to
control voltage, which, in turn, controls amperage. I would think that it
would be desirable to have control from 0 to perhaps up as high as 30 volts,
depending on what's being plated and how. If your supplies have variable
output, I'd think they'd be ideal for plating, assuming you didn't have
need for greater voltage. I built my power supply for silver parting,
using a variac to control primary voltage.
Bound to be someone with plating experience that will set us both straight.