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Re: [Shop-talk] home plating kits

To: "'Shop Talk List'" <>
Subject: Re: [Shop-talk] home plating kits
From: "Randall" <>
Date: Sun, 18 May 2008 11:03:43 -0700
> Things like filtering and electronic regulation aren't 
> necessary for a plating setup.

I agree about the electronic regulation.  But since current density plays a
part in the quality of the plating (particularly chrome plating), it's
important to get the current density reasonably constant.  Which means that,
for a single phase AC rectifier (like most battery chargers), some sort of
filtering is a must.  10% ripple is probably OK, but my battery charger puts
out more like 100%.

> You can probably control the current by changing the size of the anode (or
is it a cathode?),
> and the distance from the anode to the work.

But electrode size is also important for getting a relatively constant
current density over the surface of the part.  And since the chemicals are
expensive, having a tank big enough to significantly reduce current is going
to cost a whole lot more than other forms of control.

The string of bulbs idea will work, but it's difficult to predict in advance
what the resistance of the bulb will be at the current of interest.  The
resistance of most incandescent bulbs goes way up as the filament gets hot
(which is why they so frequently fail when you first turn them on).

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