I have done a little, under instruction, at The Malden School of Musical In strument Repair, both by dipping, on mouthpieces and 'flash' plating using a 'wand' to touch up wear on an instrument.
From my notes, there is a requirement to have a low voltage (1 - 6v)power s upply where both voltage and current can be adjusted to ensure the quality of the plating. Initial step is preparation of item to be plated to a very high standard of finish (plating will not cover imperfections) followed by electrolytic cleaning (6v) in warm caustic soda solution and detergent with a stainless steel anode, then testing for successful degreasing before pac ing the item in the plating bath (1v) with a pure(not sterling)silver anode . Adjustments to the voltage are made by watching the colour of the plating as it is laid down, a yellow look indicating that the voltage is too high.
The plating bath contains silver cyanide salts. These can be obtained from HS Walsh who supply to the jewellery trade. Obviously storage, use and di sposal of these chemicals needs to be carried out correctly.
I have spoken with Trevor Head who runs the school and he tells me that he is considering running a one or two day course to look at silver plating, i ncluding building the required power supply from scratch, in 2114. The sch ool is in the village of Llangullo which is on the Welsh Border near to Kni ghton. I have been on a number of courses there and have enjoyed all of th em and learned a great deal. Trevor is an excellent teacher and courses al low lots of practical work and are based around the individual student's in terests and needs.
I suggest that you have a look at the school web site and then contact Trev or to discuss you particular needs or express a possible interest in the 'S ilver Plating' course, so he can put you on his contact list for the course . He does do one to one tuition so if you have a particular need a half da y with him might also be a possibility.
I have no c> Has anyone done any silver plating of small metal (ideally) brass parts