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What Size Plating Rectifier Do I Need?

What Size Plating Rectifier Do I Need?


This post is part of the Maker Monologues’ new series Electroforming Q&A’s!

I get many emails asking about copper electroforming so I am going to start publishing them on the blog to create an in-depth search function on the blog so you can find the answers you need.

Don’t forget that there are commonly asked questions and you can always find those answers on my FAQ’s page.

If you have questions please feel free to fill out my contact page.

Also, photos would be extremely helpful, you can send photos via my email (provided on my contact page) so if you can provide some images to share so I can add them to these Q&A’s that would be great!

Question from Chris:

So you say that you need 3amps per 30 square inches of space… but is that for the size of the object or for the space being plated. For example I’m trying to plate blown glass. My object is around 300 square inches but The pattern I want to plate is less than half. Can I get away with a 25 amp rectifier?

Plus since I’m working on a vase I can’t hang from the electrode. How good of a connection to the electrode do I need and does the electrode become part of the piece?

Thanks for any help you might offer, aloha Chris

Hey Chris,

Thanks for reaching out!

You only want to account for the surface amount that you will be electroplating. So, if your vase is 300 square inches and the pattern you are electroforming onto it is only, say, 100 square inches, then you only need to account for the 100 square inches. 

So you can absolutely get away with using a 25amp power supply in this case. 

I am unaware of how glassblowers electroplate their bigger pieces. You obviously need a huge tank, but as for hanging your piece, I am completely unaware of how you would do that. So, the more surface connection you can make between the electrode and the conductive paint on your piece the faster it will plate. The copper will slowly grow (form) from the point of contact between the electrode and your piece all the way to the other end of your painted design if that makes sense. It’s hard to explain without some type of demonstration.

Let me know if this answers your question and if you have any others.

– Brittany

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