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Silver Plating Solution/Formula
#1
I am considering upgrading my balteus by silverplating the beltplates and buckle and I was wondering if anybody on this forum had experiance using real silver polish/plating formula (solution)that are commercially available. While the marketing for these solutions claim that they restore worn silverplate and deposit a layer of real silver on copper or brass, I am wondering about the durability of the final product. It is claimed that a single application is all that is needed - is this reliable?
I understand that in ancient rome, applying silver to an item was accomplished with a thin layer somewhat like foil but I suspect that many of the real silver foils that are available today are considerably thinner and likely less durable than what was available in ancient time.
Although I would be more than willing to attempt to silverplating (although that technology was not available in the time period we are looking at), the decreasing availability of chemicals due to government and environmental regulations makes that option difficult to pursue.
Any help or suggestions with this would be greatly appreciated.
[attachment=5409]Solution.jpg[/attachment]
Thanks,
Martin


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#2
I've a little experience with this stuff. It seems ok,
But I have reservations about its durability!
I tried it to hide bare patched on scales, and while
Initially it seemed to do the trick, I seems to have faded of,
Even with little or no wear!
Visne partem mei capere? Comminus agamus! * Me semper rogo, Quid faceret Iulius Caesar? * Confidence is a good thing! Overconfidence is too much of a good thing.
[b]Legio XIIII GMV. (Q. Magivs)RMRS Remember Atuatuca! Vengence will be ours!
Titus Flavius Germanus
Batavian Coh I
Byron Angel
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#3
Well I guess that goes under the catagory - if it sounds too good to be true it probably is. The durability issue is the reason I was not really in favour of the foil. I have worked a little with applied gold leaf foil and couldn't really see it standing up well to metal on metal wear - unless anybody has some suggestions I will most certainly be looking up some local platers. It may be an interesting experiment later on to take my old balteus and do a couple of the plates in foil and a couple with the solution to see comparitively how they stand up.

Thanks,
Martin
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#4
Well, most solid and durable would be to put some real silver sheet (.05 to .1mm) to the piece. Of course this needs some work and can be expensive.
I like electroplating the most (ask for a thicker layer though) as it gives a nice finish and is durable. Gold or silver leave can be added very easily yourself but it all depends on the glue how long it stays. Furthermore you need to be very careful with polishing.

These plating solution to use at home I wouldn't really recommend at all.
________________________________________
Jvrjenivs Peregrinvs Magnvs / FEBRVARIVS
A.K.A. Jurjen Draaisma
CORBVLO and Fectio
ALA I BATAVORUM
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#5
I read an article about how the Romans actually silvered their helmets and stuff, If I can find it I will link you to it.
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#6
Have you considered tin?
Marcus Julius Germanus
m.k.a. Brian Biesemeyer
S.P.Q.A.
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#7
Martin, take a minute and look at my reconstructed Imp. Gallic G in the Beginner's section. It is made from carbon steel sheet and I had it hot silver soldered with silver solder paste at a radiator shop and then polished it on the buffer. If you note, it has the appearance of silver and like silver has to be repolished occasionally unless you clear coat it. Hope that may give you a more durable and much less expensive option.
Manius Acilius Italicus
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#8
Thanks to all for the useful suggestions. I am tempted to try out them all as an experimental excercise. I will take my old balteus that I no longer use and treat each plate differently according to each of the suggestions. That way I will gain the experiance of each technique (except the electroplate which I will have to get done elsewhere), and be able to make a fair comparison as far as looks, wear, ease of application etc.



Quote:Well, most solid and durable would be to put some real silver sheet (.05 to .1mm) to the piece. Of course this needs some work and can be expensive.

Where would I go about obtaining silver sheet of this thickness? The only silver sheet that I have been able to find is similar to gold leaf and extremely thin.

Martin
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#9
easy, one place for example, kitco . com. look in their jewelers section Tongue
Samuel J.
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#10
Martin, have you considered buying a brush plating kit...electro plating with a swab basically. I have a kit which I use to gold and silver plate my bits and pieces of my kit. I recently silver plated, then gold plated my umbo which came up superb. The method works brilliantly and is also a lot of fun, and gives you some satisfaction doing it yourself.
The images attached are the umbo (Junius Dubitatus replica)with silver plating completed, ready for gold and nielo effect...as seen in the completed second image.


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Phil McKay
Illustrator
http://www.philmckay.com
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#11
Quote:Martin, have you considered buying a brush plating kit...electro plating with a swab basically.

I have not heard of them before, where do you get these kits? The results certainly do look spectacular. Can we assume that it has the same durability as commercial electroplating?

What chemicals are used? This seems to be my stumbling block as far as true electroplating is concerned. With all the recent safety and environmental regulations, the approach seems to be to make it near impossible for the consumer to obtain the chemicals - even if he/she uses and disposes/recycles them responsibly. I have worked with far more dangerous chemicals in my employment but that seems not to matter.

Thanks for bringing this method to my attention - it certainly looks very promising.
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#12
Phil, could you give us an idea of how much you paid for the entire kit to plate with the brush method. In a prior posting, another gentleman suggested that method and sent me the sites to purchase a suitable kit for that purpose. When I saw the prices, I almost fell out of my chair. They were outrageously expensive, putting them far out of the reach of the casual user. I would be interested myself to plate some fine items I have if you have a source that was reasonable.
Manius Acilius Italicus
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#13
Martin

i have used the plating polish you show to completely silver the surface of six signum discs which were copper, takes a while but superb finish, to keep the lustre just polish with the solution

Martin
martin ward
vicuscenturion

carpe diem[/quote]
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#14
Martin and Robert,
Here is a link for the Co. I bought my brush plating kit from [url=http://www.goldn.com.au/]
I am in Australia, and they also have the main branch in the UK. Not sure about the US, but just do a search on the net for brush plating kits and I am sure you will find some.
I have probably spent about $500 AUD on an economy kit, electrodes, and silver/gold solutions. I think this is reasonable when doing a bit of plating etc. The solutions go a fair way, and yes Martin this method is as good if not better than traditional electroplating with it's durability. The best thing about it is that it gives you more control over where you want the plating, and is great for small intricate pieces.I also replated the gold designs on my phalarae with the plating pen....basically a pen with a swab at the end for applying the soloution.
You can also plate with tin,tin zinc,nickel,bronze,copper and chrome plating.
Phil
For some reason the entire text is the website link, so here it is again http://www.goldn.com.au
Phil McKay
Illustrator
http://www.philmckay.com
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#15
sounds good, thanks for the info
martin ward
vicuscenturion

carpe diem[/quote]
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