Copper Plating and Forming Station

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Project by Kelly posted 11-26-2017 03:49 AM 1837 views 4 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Copper Plating and Forming Station
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This is an electroplating / electroforming station I built to allow me to copper plate wood turnings and other things I make in my shop.

The station has built-in LED lighting and a built-in, variable speed fan.

The work area is enclosed on three sides and the top to contain any gases and so they can be drawn off by the exhaust fan.

To the left of the work area is a control center housing switches that, individually, control four outlets on the back of the panel. One switch controls an aquarium heater, which is used to keep the plating solution at a constant eighty degrees. One switch controls and aquarium air pump, which is used to agitate the plating solution, to keep the copper flowing off the anode mixed in the plating solution. One switch controls the lighting.

Above each switch is an indicator to warn when power is on to a given item (i.e., heater, fan, air pump). The light, of course, needs no indicator to warn when power to the lights is on.

Two additional unswitched outlets are also located on the back side of the panel. One is for the the power supply, which has its own indicators and switch. The other is for some, as of yet, not thought of item, if any.

The power supply can sit above or below the panel, or two supplies can be used.

The lower section, under the work area, has ample room for a couple five gallon containers of premixed plating solution, brighteners, baking soda, acid, distilled water and so on.

The acid-copper sulfate mix, brightener and acid are in totes, to contain the mix, in case the packaging fails.

The entire station is on wheels, so can be, easily moved about.

Check out the plated turnings I posted to get an idea of what can be done using the copper plating systems.

Just for reference, if others are interested in tinkering with plating items, it’s not necessary to go to the extremes I went. Many have posted their much less sophisticated processes on line. For example, if the area you are working in a heated area, you may not need to heat the solution.

6 comments so far

View dannmarks's profile


1017 posts in 1315 days

#1 posted 11-26-2017 02:34 PM

This is interesting. I am saving this to my Favorites sir.

View splintergroup's profile


3658 posts in 1956 days

#2 posted 11-26-2017 03:47 PM

Nice production setup! I can see how you could easily do patterns with selective application of the conductive paint.

View helluvawreck's profile


32116 posts in 3600 days

#3 posted 11-26-2017 06:29 PM

This must be a very interesting process. Thanks for the post.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View hoss12992's profile


4171 posts in 2627 days

#4 posted 11-26-2017 07:44 PM

Very interesting. Thanks for sharing

-- The Old Rednek Workshop

View Woodwrecker's profile


4239 posts in 4309 days

#5 posted 11-27-2017 12:19 AM

This is a pretty cool set-up.
It’s not sophisticated and can be installed in any shop.
I like how it doesn’t take up a ton of room either.
Copper plating adds a nice element to a piece.
Thank you for sharing your set-up.

View drewpy's profile


1003 posts in 2091 days

#6 posted 11-27-2017 03:50 AM

I will need to look at plating to see what you are talking about more in depth. Thanks for sharing!

-- Drew -- "The greatest wealth is health".

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