Silver tank plating a brass cornet mouthpiece

Silver tank plating using a brass trumpet mouthpiece

You can handle Spa Plating’s silver plating solution with complete peace of mind, as it’s cyanide free.
This project will show you how to silver tank plate on brass using a brass trumpet mouthpiece for demonstration purposes, one of the many applications that are possible with our silver solution and tank plating kit.

1. Working out the amps and the plating time for the silver plating

a) Decide how thick you require your plated layer to be. In this example, we wanted the plated layer of silver to be 5 microns.

b) Work out the approximate surface area of your work. The surface of this trumpet mouthpiece is about 36cm2

c) Multiply the surface area of the item by the solution factor for silver, which is 0.005 For our trumpet mouthpiece, this came out at 36 x 0.005 = 0.18, so the plating amps need to be set to 0.18

d) The silver tank plating solution plates at a rate of 0.3 microns per minute. So, to find out how long to leave the item in the solution, divide the required thickness (in this case 5 microns) by 0.3 This gives a plating time for the trumpet mouthpiece of 17 minutes.

NB As soon as you have worked out the correct time, enter this into the plating timer so that you’re ready to go when you start plating.


2.Setting up your kit and working out the amps for the powered cleaning stage

Set up the kit as shown in the photograph. To work out the amp setting for this stage, multiply the surface area of the piece by the solution factor for Cleaner, which is 0.1

So for this project, the amp setting for the powered cleaning stage is 36cm2 x 0.1 = 3.6

3. Surface preparation with MPU

First, polish off all traces of the old silver plate and then make sure the surface of your work is perfectly clean by rubbing with undiluted washing up liquid, rinsing thoroughly under running water and rubbing with our MPU.

4. Ultrasonic cleaning

Next, place the work in the Ultrasonic Cleaner and leave it in for a minute or so.

Lift it out of the ultrasonic and pass it through the first two rinse stages.

5. Powered cleaning

Fix your work in the Cleaner tank and as soon as you have lowered the item into the solution, set the rectifier to the correct amp level. Almost immediately you should see bubbles form on the surface of the solution, which shows that it is working properly. We left the mouthpiece in for at least 4-5 minutes. Once finished, pass it through the next two rinse stages.

6. Silver Plating 0.18 amps for 17 minutes

Fix your work in the crocodile clip on the plating arm and lower the work into the silver plating solution.

As soon as possible after lowering your work into the silver plating solution, adjust the rectifier to the level of amps previously calculated and start the plating timer.

7. Final rinses

Once the plating time is up, remove your work and pass it through the final two rinse stage.

8. Finishing

To bring out the lustre in your silver plate, we recommend polishing with Goddard’s Silver Polish. This can be purchased from our online shop and is included in our Hand Polishing Kit.

9. Short term storage of your solution

If you’re planning to use your silver solution over the next few days, you can cover the top of your plating beaker with cling film.

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