Spa Plating’s Electroforming Kit will deliver thick layers of bright, smooth copper with minimal or no post electroforming polishing and buffing. The Electroforming Kit – Copper is also available in a 1 litre version and you can find a link to this kit in the ‘Related Products’ section, below. Click HERE to see a range of electroforming projects in our on-line electroplating manual.
Orders outside UK and EU
This kit cannot be purchased and shipped outside the UK and the EU because it includes our Copper Electroforming Solution (EU and UK only), one of our range of plating solutions that are regulated for transport.
If you want to purchase and have the Electroforming Kit – Copper kit delivered outside the UK and the EU then you could substitute this solution with our Copper Electroforming Solution (export outside UK and EU only). A link to this substitute solution can be found in the ‘Related Products’ section below this tabbed panel.
Electroforming Kit – Copper
Every item in our electroplating kits
- makes an important contribution to the overall success of the plating process
- has been thoroughly tested to ensure it performs its job at the highest level in the overall electroplating process
- is either made in-house or has been carefully sourced from our trusted suppliers
These factors ensure consistent, top quality plating results for a fair price.
Electroforming Kit – Copper
|Made of non-corrodible metal
||Will not rust and contaminate your plating solution
|Has six threaded holes to securely hold six of our Rod Electrodes for 1 L Beaker
||This allows you a high degree of flexibility. If you only have a small electroforming job, then you may only want to purchase 2 electrodes. Or you can buy the full set of six and arrange them according to the size and shape of the object you’re plating. Either way, you are ensuring you get the optimum performance from our Copper Electroforming Solution.
|Current can be set at start of electroforming process and will remain set at that level throughout
||No need to check and adjust the setting once electroforming has started. This is critical for electroforming as it takes hours, rather than minutes to build up substantial layers of copper. With this rectifier, you will be able to leave it safely, knowing it’s keeping the current at a regular, correct level and you won’t have to keep adjusting it.
|Can be adjusted for use with brush plating
||Allows you to use the brush plating process as a compliment to the tank plating process, which allows for greater flexibility.
Hot Plate Stirrer
|Fully variable heat control
||Allows you to keep your Copper Elecroforming Solution at just the right temperature for optimum performance which is 22 degrees centigrade.
|Copper Electroforming Solution is agitated with a magnetic stirrer at the bottom of the beaker during plating.
||Mechanical agitation is a safer alternative to air agitation, as it eradicates any risk of the aerosol effect of the plating solution. Mechanical agitation keeps the Copper Electroforming Solution moving over the surface of the item being electroformed in a consistent way, again maximising the efficiency of the electroforming process.
|Made from stainless steel
Will not corrode and contaminate gold tank plating solution. When used with clamp, can be moved up or down the stand in any position to fit any size of plating beaker.
|Designed to be used with our Plating Arm and Clamp (sold separately)
||Allows for complete flexibility – you can adjust height to of arms to accommodate small 250ml tanks up to and including 5 litre tanks
|Electrical connection to work via negative lead, plugged into small socket at base of stand
||Again avoids having to dangle work on negative lead directly into tank
|Made bespoke from solid stainless steel and designed to be used in conjunction with the Plating Arm Clamp
||Fully conductiveWill not corrode and contaminate the electroforming solutionWhen used with clamp, can moved up or down the stand in any position to fit any size of plating beaker.
|Has ball head join point at one end to accommodate crocodile clip
||Ball head allows complete 360 degree movement of crocodile clip, so you can quickly and easily make fine adjustments to the position of you work in the electroforming solution.
Plating Arm Clamp
|Made in-house from non-corrosive stainless steel
||Will not corrode over time and risk contamination of electroforming solution
|Precision made from solid stainless steel to fit our Plating Stand perfectly, with wing screw for easy tightening
||Means that you can fully adjust the height of the arm and it will be held firmly and safely in any position on the stand.
|Temperature of solutions can be monitored by pointing the probe at the tank, pulling the trigger with the temperature shown on the LED screen.
||The temperature of your plating solution can be quickly and accurately monitored without you having to submerge a thermometer into the solution, avoiding contamination of your plating solution.
Conductive Epoxy Filler
|A two part resin that you mix together, that’s made of pure silver particles and becomes highly conductive once mixed
||To be used to create a conductive join between two surfaces, for example attaching a piece of our Gold Plated Jigging wire to a plastic item before spraying with conductive ink to ensure there’s a good conductive join and electroforming will take place once suspended in the tank.Can also be used to fill in dents and holes before Conductive Ink spraying, to smooth out a surface.
|Add small, millilitre sized quantities to you electroforming solution
||Keeps the electroforming solution depositing bright layers over multiple uses.
|You can work out exactly how much Copper Brightener to use by going to Electroforming Calculator, which you can find on any of our product pages or our Home page.
||To work out how much Copper Brightener to add to your electroforming solution, enter in the surface area of the item you’re electroforming and the required thickness of electroformed layer, press the ‘Calculate’ button and the amount of Brightener will be displayed in millilitres.
|Tests conductivity of Conductive Ink (hi-grade)
||You can test to see how conductive the layers of conductive ink are that you have painted on, before you start electroforming. If the needle clearly moves, then it is conductive and you can go ahead with your electroforming
|The polish that provides the greatest degree of cut that we sell.
||Great for getting rid of defects in the base material and polishing back thick layers of copper plate before further layers of plate. If you intend to plate after using Autosol, you will need to go through the full cleaning process again.
|Includes 1Rinse Beaker (1 Litre),1Funnel Holder1Funnel (1 Litre), Filter Papers (1Litre) ( 5 pack)
||All tank plating solutions occasionally need filtering to remove particles that build up over time. Our filtering kit makes the process of keeping your tank plating solution in tip top condition easy to set up and mess free. Added to this, regular filtering can help you save money by extending the working life of your tank plating solution.
A key feature of our kits is the flexibility to be able to customise them by removing items you don’t need or adding extra items from our product range. For example, you may already own a hot plate stirrer, or you may want to you downsize or upsize the plating beaker according to the dimensions of the items you wish to plate. The table below will help you do this.
||250ml Plating Beaker
||500ml Plating Beaker
||1 Litre Plating Beaker
||2 Litre Plating Beaker
||250ml Beaker Ring
||500ml Beaker Ring
||1 litre Beaker Ring
||2 Litre Beaker Ring
||2 x Rod Electrodes for 250ml Beaker
||2 x Rod Electrode for 500ml Beaker
||2 x Rod Electrode for 1 Litre Beaker
||4 x Rod Electrode for 2 Litre Beaker
||2 x Anode Bag for 250ml Beaker
||2 x Anode bag for 500ml Beaker
||2 x Anode Bag for 1 Litre Beaker
||4 x Anode Bag for 2 Litre Beaker
||Stirring Bar (Medium)
||Stirring Bar (Large)
||Stirring Bar (Large)
||Stirring Bar (Extra Large
|Copper Electroformin Solution
The advertised kit is the 1 litre kit. If you want to upsize to the 2 litre kit, you will need to remove the 1 Litre Plating Beaker, 1 Litre Beaker Ring, 2 x Rod Electrode for 1 Litre Beaker, 2 x Anode Bag for 1 Litre Beaker, Stirring Bar (Large) and the 1 litre of Copper Electroforming Solution.
You will then need to add the 2 Litre Plating Beaker, 2 Litre Beaker Ring, 4 x Rod Electrodes for 2 Litre Beaker, 4 x Anode Bag for 2 Litre Beaker, Stirring Bar (Extra Large) and 2 litres of Copper Electroforming Solution.
Items can be removed and added either on our shop page or on the shopping basket prior to checkout.
Copper electroforming on plastic is now straightforward with our Electroforming Kit. When used with our on-line Electroforming Calculator, you can now electroform on to most non-conductive and metal surfaces to substantial and measurable thicknesses.
Unlike many other systems, you won’t need to do lots of post electroforming buffing and polishing, as our Copper Electroforming Solution plates consistently bright and smooth.
If the electroforming bath is likely to remain unused for long periods of time, the copper electrodes and Electrode Ring should be removed from the copper electrode bath and stored separately.
This project has four main stages;
1. Preparing the surface of the plastic model soldier to make it conductive with our Conductive Ink (hi-grade).
2. Preparing your electroforming equipment.
3. Electroforming in the Copper Electroforming Solution.
4. Post electroforming plating of silver and gold.
Stage 1. Preparing the surface for electroforming
a) Mounting the model soldier
It’s important to mount you work well before starting as this will make surface preparation and electroforming much easier. Drill a small guide hole in an area where it can’t be seen. At this point it’s a good idea to calculate the surface area of your item, in preparation for entering the correct settings into the Tank Plating Rectifier later on. We estimated that this model has a surface area of approximately 20 squared centimetres.
Screw in a brass screw and then attach a small length of our Gold Plated Jigging wire to the other end. This will have two functions; it will form a conductive link between the object and the Copper Electroforming Solution and equipment, ensuring a good electrical circuit. It will also be able to be gripped securely in the crocodile clamp, making sure there’s no danger of your piece falling in to the electroforming solution.
We’ll be spraying on our Conductive Ink (hi-grade) to make the surface conductive and prepare it for electrofoming. This could also be painted on.
We could also use our Conductive Paint, guidance on the use of which comes in a following project ‘Selectively Electroforming using our Conductive Paint’. However, the conductive paint is best used on a less smooth surface, such as a shell or a leaf. With a smooth plastic surface spraying on the Conductive Ink (hi-grade) will give a better result.
b) Spraying on the lacquer
Spray the surface with a fine layer of clear lacquer that can be easily bought from any hardware or car accessory shop. We recommend using a solvent based clear lacquer spray.
The lacquer is an essential step as this forms a key layer for the next layer of conductive ink and in the case of porous materials such as wood, seals the surface. Wait for 10-15 minutes and once the lacquer is almost dry but retains a little stickiness, either spray or paint on our Conductive Ink (hi-grade).
c) Using an airbrush to spray on our Conductive Ink (hi-grade)
Charge your airbrush with our Conductive Ink (hi-grade).
Spray on a fine layer of our Conductive Ink (hi-grade). You only need a few drops of ink – just enough to cover the bottom of the airbrush well. Spray at a distance of 5-6 cm and apply only enough to block out the underlying surface of the object. One layer of ink is is usually enough.
If air drying
Leave at room temperature for 24hrs
If oven drying
Leave in a fan oven at a temperature of 45-50 degrees centigrade for three hours.
Stage 2. Preparing your electroforming equipment
a) Working out the amps for the MF Rectifier and electroforming times
First, work out the surface area of your work in centimetres.
You can then either enter this into the Electroforming Calculator, which you will find on our website and all the calculations will be done for you,
or you can do it manually. If you choose to do the latter, multiply the surface area of your work by the solution factor for the Copper Electroforming Solution, which is 0.05 For our plastic model soldier the calculation works out as 20 x 0.05 = 1.0, so the plating amps will need to be set to 1.0
Then you need to decide how thick you require your electroformed layer to be and therefore how long it should be electroformed. If you are electroforming an item that is quite fragile, you will probably need to build a fairly thick layer of copper. If this is the case, you should be aiming to leave it in the solution for about 2 hours minimum. Our Copper Electroforming Solution deposits copper at a rate of approximately 1 micron a minute, so after 2 hours you should have a layer of about 120 microns. This plastic soldier is quite rigid, so it will be electroformed for about an hour.
Here is a screen shot of our Copper Electroforming Calculator
b) Setting up your electroforming kit
Fill the rinse beakers with tap water and turn the Hot Plate Stirrer on to its lowest setting so that the copper solution is being agitated. Make sure the temperature of the solution is in the range of 22-28 degrees centigrade. Plug one end of the black lead as shown into the front of the Tank Plating Rectifier and the other end into the base of the Plating Arm.
c) Setting the volts
Make sure the Output switch is open on your Tank Plating Rectifier and adjust the volts to 3 – 3.5
d) Attaching the red lead
Attach the red lead to the Plating Arm.
e) Closing the Output switch
Close the Output switch and adjust the amps to 0.5 to start with and then, once you’ve started electroforming, after about 15 minutes, you can increase it to the full 1.00 amps.
f) Open the Output switch
g) Attaching the red lead to the Electrode Ring
Attach the red lead to the Electrode Ring
Stage 3. Electroforming in the Copper Electroforming Solution
a) Placing your work into the solution
Lower your work into the solution and start the timer. Turn on Output and check that the amp level is correct; in this case with the plastic soldier it should be reading 0.5 to be increased after after 5 minutes minutes to 1.00
You should quickly see a layer of copper building on your item.
b) Finished electroformed soldier
When the time is up, remove your work from the electroforming solution and pass it through the two rinse beakers. As can be seen in the photograph, your work will be covered in a bright, shiny and substantial layer of copper that will require very little if any, polishing or buffing.
b) Electroforming on other non-conductive surfaces
The same sequence of applying lacquer, conductive ink and then electroforming can be used on natural materials such as shell, wood, stone and leaves.
If you intend to electroform on semi-absorbent surfaces such as wood you will need to apply at least 2-3 layers of lacquer to completely seal the surface.
For electroforming on shell, the surface of the shell must not come into direct contact with the electroforming solution as the solution will etch the shell, so every part of the shell must be covered in layers of lacquer.
If you want to electroform on glass, you’ll need to use our Glass Primer, rather than the spray on lacquer and then follow the same stages with the Conductive Ink. Please see our video on plating a glass plaque which can be found on the Glass Primer page on our shop and see the instructions for use on our online shop.
Stage 4. Brush or tank plating subsequent layers
a) Preparing the copper electroformed surface
Once you have a substantial layer of electroformed copper on your piece and you have passed it through the rinse stages, you can now go ahead and plate other layers such as silver or gold. If you wish to gold plate, you’ll need to plate a barrier layer of white bronze or silver beforehand.
To prepare the copper electroformed surface for further plating, you can simply dip it into some Acticlean to restore it to that freshly copper plated look; you don’t need to use power via the rectifier.
b) Brush plating a silver barrier layer
The beauty of Spa Plating’s system is its flexibility. You can move seamlessly between tank, brush and pen plating once you have our Tank Plating Rectifier.
To brush plate a barrier layer of silver, set up your brush plating equipment as normal by attaching an electrode handle fitted with a platinum electrode to the red lead and grip a Conductor Strip into the crocodile clip on the black lead. Estimate how much Silver Brush Plating Solution you’ll need with the online Plating Calculator, then follow the instructions for brush plating silver that you’ll find in previous projects in this manual.
c) Gold brush plating
To gold brush plate the item, calculate how much gold solution you’ll need with our Plating Calculator and then refer to the previous projects that include gold brush plating for guidance.
Operating Conditions and Deposit Data:
||0.035 – 0.05A/cm2
||1.0 micron per minute at 0.05A/cm2
||18 – 30°C (See notes)
||Low (slow spin speed on stirrer) See notes below
||Single brightener. Initial concentration: 25ml/litre
||Copper Electrode for Tank Plating recommended
||Above 99% at Plating Factor = 0.035A/cm2
|Hardness of deposit
||160 VPN falling to 100 VPN over 5 days at room temp
|Density of deposit
|Special storage requirements
||1 – 2 years
|Health and Safety classification
|Transport (UN number)
- If particulate contamination enters the solution, filter using our filter kit.
Please note that if using copper electrodes, continuous filtration will be necessary. If using
rod electrodes, the solution should only need occasional filtration if at all.
- Brightener additions should be made at the start of plating if possible. Additions can
be determined using the Copper Electroforming Calculator by clicking Here
- Higher temperatures favour less burning on exposed areas ie: sharp edges or pointed parts.
- Solution should only be lightly agitated with the stirring rate set to minimum. Too much
agitation will disturb any copper residues in the anode bags causing them to enter the
solution which will produce a rough deposit.
- After starting from a long period of inactivity, add 5ml of Copper Brightener per litre of
- Build up of blue crystals is usual on the electrode ring. Remove by scraping them
back into the solution and allow to dissolve before commencing plating.
||0 – 1500 rpm
||Room temperature – 380 °C
||Ceramic coated steel – chemical resistant
||180mm x 180mm
||200mm x 340mm x 100mm (w x d x h)
|Maximum beaker size
||220/240v, 50/60 Hz
Some items are regulated for transport and can only be delivered to destinations in the UK and countries within the EU. Alternative or substitute products are detailed in the ‘Description’ tab of this tabbed panel or under Related Items below this tabbed panel.
For all price quotations for deliveries, please add your items to our shopping cart. You will be able to see the shipping costs by clicking on the ‘Calculate shipping’ button in the cart and before checking out.