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Electroforming

This is part two of a multi-part series on electroforming.  Click here to go to part one.

Electroforming, which involves depositing a layer of metal on the surface of a non-metallic surface (such as glass), requires a bath of chemicals and a simple electric circuit. 

Although it's possible to electroform precious metals such as gold or silver directly onto glass, it is easier to electroform copper onto glass.  It's also safer to work with copper -- both gold and silver require a bath that contains the hazardous chemical cyanide. By contrast, the chemicals used to electroform copper are less toxic and easier to find.

Start by gathering the necessary equipment.  The easiest way to do this is to purchase an electroforming kit that already contains the essential items.  These are sold by a number of companies, including Rio Grande and Dalmar Plating

A basic kit should include copper wire and sheet, a rectifier (an electrical device that converts alternating current to direct current), a clamp set, and an electroforming copper solution.  In addition, you will need electro-conductive copper paint, which must be applied to the surface of the glass being coated.  This paint is sometimes included in kits, but may need to be purchased separately.  (One good source for the paint is Safer Solutions of Philadelphia.)

Once you've gathered all the necessary equipment, you're ready to begin the process of electroplating.

Coming soon -- the basic electroforming process, step by step.

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Copyright 2006 Brad Walker.  All rights reserved.

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Copyright 2005-2006 by M. Bradley Walker.  All rights reserved.

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