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December 10, 2018, 09:30:11 am
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Getting silver on a fossil shark's tooth....

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Author Topic: Getting silver on a fossil shark's tooth....  (Read 906 times)
Ranger_Dave
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« on: October 26, 2015, 11:54:07 am »

I would to get the upper part, the root, of the shark's tooth coated in silver (or other metal). My plan is to melt the silver, dip the desired part of the tooth into that and then solder a bail to it when things cool off. Would that work?

Instead of silver, could I just melt a bunch of nickles?
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Steve
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« Reply #1 on: October 26, 2015, 01:06:20 pm »

I believe the temp of the molten silver will burn up the tooth. 

Silver plating would be the way to go.  If you want to set up the tooth for plating the way you want there is a method.  At electronics supply stores they carry a paint made with pure silver that is used to repair PC boards.  I have used this in the past to paint stones and crystals for silver plating.  Just paint it up to where you want the plating to go and deliver it to a company that does silver plating.  Here is an example of an Obsidian Arrow Head I had plated................





Good luck....................
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Ranger_Dave
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« Reply #2 on: October 26, 2015, 02:26:25 pm »

This is what I was going for:

I can do the plating myself.... after I figure out how to do it. I've used an old battery charger for hydrolysis cleaning/derusting. Plating should be similar. But painting with the silver might be enough. I just want something a bit fancier than wire wrapping.
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Steve
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« Reply #3 on: October 26, 2015, 05:29:16 pm »

If I remember correctly the plating is electrical - electro-plating - and the silver saturated solution is made of some really nasty toxic stuff.

I would let the professionals do it.  Just the silver paint would rub off eventually.
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Ranger_Dave
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« Reply #4 on: October 26, 2015, 06:48:30 pm »

On an industrial scale, yes, it's pretty toxic stuff they use. At home citric acid should do the job nicely.  I have a home electrolysis kit I use to clean/restore old tractor parts. It's basically the same process, getting the plating metal to move from the sacrificial piece to the target. I use plain water with borax for that. I used to nickle plate pennies when I was a kid. That led to me taking some chemistry in college. I'll figure it out.
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Steve
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« Reply #5 on: October 26, 2015, 07:05:34 pm »

On an industrial scale, yes, it's pretty toxic stuff they use. At home citric acid should do the job nicely.  I have a home electrolysis kit I use to clean/restore old tractor parts. It's basically the same process, getting the plating metal to move from the sacrificial piece to the target. I use plain water with borax for that. I used to nickle plate pennies when I was a kid. That led to me taking some chemistry in college. I'll figure it out.

Kool...........Let us know how it turns out........................ yes
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Ranger_Dave
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« Reply #6 on: October 26, 2015, 08:21:12 pm »

I will post pictures of the finish piece, or my injuries.

I might even have time to come up with instructions........ if it works.
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Ranger_Dave
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« Reply #7 on: October 27, 2015, 05:12:48 pm »

I'm not (totally) crazy. Looking around I found several sites and videos on how to metal plate leaves and other things. If they can plate a leaf, I can plate the root of a shark's tooth.

In one video the guy used root killer, copper sulfate pentahydrate, to copper plate a penny he had previously nickle plated. He used two AA batteries.

I found several products to paint on the part to be plated.

I'll look at all the videos and see what I can come up with.
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hulagrub
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When you cultivate man, you turn up all the clods


« Reply #8 on: October 28, 2015, 03:45:45 pm »

Cool
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Dave, a certified Rockaholic

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« Reply #9 on: October 30, 2015, 05:56:10 pm »

If you have access to lost wax casting equipment you could dip the portion of the tooth you want covered in silver in wax, gently remove the wax from the tooth with out breaking the wax, then you can cast the cap in silver.  you would have to coat the dipped portion in Vaseline before dipping to prevent the wax from sticking to the tooth, and you would have to scrape the interior of your wax cap to compensate for shrinkage.
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Ranger_Dave
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« Reply #10 on: October 30, 2015, 09:11:31 pm »

I don't have any of that stuff, our club has some of it though. I already have most of the stuff for the electroplating. I just need to order that conductive copper paint for about $35 and it should do about 100 teeth. The copper would be free, just some copper pipe scrap. A table spoon, or so, of root killer (used to kill roots in your plumbing) per quart of water. Some wires, alligator clips, and a battery. That's it.
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Ranger_Dave
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« Reply #11 on: November 03, 2015, 07:53:52 pm »

One of my plans didn't work. That's not unusual.  dancer5

To derust old tools and such the rusted tool is attached to the negative wire, the sacrificial piece is on the positive wire. The bath is just water with a bit of Borax added, not much, just enough to get the water to carry a current. I use a trickle charger as the power source.

That works great for restoring old tractor parts, not so good for metal plating. I tried a copper anode (on the positive side) and an old nail on the negative side. Didn't work, but the copper anode, actually a piece of copper pipe, quickly got a blue green fuzz all over the outside. The nail just got wet.
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Ranger_Dave
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« Reply #12 on: November 23, 2015, 06:17:24 pm »

Not success.... but progress. Using the root killer copper solution, a piece of copper pipe, and a 12 volt power supply, I got some copper to stick to another piece of metal. I had to clean the piece that was to be plated with some muratic acid. I was using pretty cold water. Hot water will probably work better.
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Ranger_Dave
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« Reply #13 on: December 13, 2015, 10:09:17 am »

Success, I guess. I've gotten a nice coating of copper on a dime. A few more tweaks and I'll see if I can make a video or at least a series of pictures.
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betc
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« Reply #14 on: December 13, 2015, 08:35:59 pm »

There are quite a few sources of information online---both written instructions and YouTube videos. Look for electroforming or electroplating on organic objects. I do electrolytic etching of silver and I know if I reverse the leads it will plate, but I don't know the process for actually coating an object with the metal. I believe it calls for some type of conductive paint, but you could get that info from any number of online sites.

Good luck.
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