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Tips, Techniques, and Questions -- Technical questions or tips

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  #61  
Old 2006-02-24, 2:44pm
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I just got mine in from Rio about three days ago... only done one piece, but

1) very putty colored
2) the wire I am suspending it from got quite thickly coated
3) the copper on the bead, once it dried, seems solid (not crumbly) but it was crumbly off of the suspension wire.

Took polishing with a dremel to get to "copper" (not putty) ... I thought it just needed a "little scrub" with a brush.

I have done a little patina(ing) and here is the results:

After 1 hr


After 11 hrs (done forming)


After scrubbing with dremel and a grinding stone bit


After a quick dip in stained glass black patina and a light dremel polish


After about 24hrs development of a green patina and a dremel polish


Now I think I will seal it and keep it this way....

I am afraid that it only looks decent because I patinaed over the remaining putty colored stuff ...

Does that help with the Rio Grand solution issue?
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  #62  
Old 2006-02-24, 4:39pm
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Here is some info from Dalmar.net that might be pertinent to your salmon color problem:

Check the work piece

After the work piece has been in the solution for about 30 minutes, lift it out. If it looks like shiny, like a new copper penny, you are using the correct setting. If the piece is salmon color, with no shine, the setting is too low. A rust or brown color, indicates a setting that is too high. Also bumps and copper crystallizing are caused from a too high setting. After the first few minutes, there should be no further adjustments of the rectifier needed.



I'm setting mine up this weekend - still making pieces to electroform!
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  #63  
Old 2006-02-24, 5:10pm
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Corinne! Wow that came out really nice!

Well, it appears that my rash was probably related to getting sun exposure while on medication...I probably had a phototoxic reaction...lovely.

Most of my electroforming issues seem to mostly be things I do wrong....miss a spot painting, need to etch the piece better...etc...

I have had some crumbly issues, but I was thinking maybe I had handled the piece too much after painting...and that sort of thing. I think I am going to like the titanium pens better than the copper paint...

Now, I am wondering....since the titanium pens are for permanently writing on glass....would that mean that you do NOT have to etch the piece before electroforming?

I have an idea about the copper paint...I am going to experiment with this before I say anything, but if it works it will be a very affordable source of paint.
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  #64  
Old 2006-02-26, 6:45am
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so the question I have is that the bead, as it came out of the bath, was what I would call a salmon color (see above) ... I since tried a bead and increased the setting to over 1.0 and still no "shiney new penny" look just plain old salmon. Tink said it would look salmony (I think she said Silly Putty) so I am curious ... has anyone got the new penny look out of the bath? what were your settings?
I am curious about the idea that there may be a bad batch of solution out there .... any follow up to that?
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  #65  
Old 2006-02-27, 8:18am
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Nothing new on the 'bad batch' from Rio issue. I plan on doing some comparison electroforming this coming weekend.

In the meantime, the issue has been brought to Rio's attention and they are also going to do some testing.

Will let you all know, if I find out anything.

JanMD
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  #66  
Old 2006-02-27, 9:17am
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I just got my kit set up this morning and now I'm waiting for the paint to dry on the bead I'm going to start with. I was so amazed at how easy it was to set it all up. Tink, you did a great job in your manual and putting everything together.

I have to say thanks to all of you that have been working with it to date. I have learned so much already from this thread and will certainly put it all to use.

Hopefully by tomorrow afternoon my test bead will be done. Absolutely nothing fancy or good about the design. I decided I just want to make sure everything is in working order, I understand the whole process and so on before getting serious about designs and such. lol !

Thanks,
Debbie A.
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  #67  
Old 2006-02-27, 3:50pm
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Just walked in the door from three days teaching at Glass Axis, but wanted to check in on the thread and see how everyone is doing.

I *very* often get the salmon/silly putty color on my work because I electroform at a very low current. Once the buildup is as thick as you think you'd like it, just buff it with a wire brush (those wire brushes that look like toothbrushes) and it will shine it right up. No problemo. Don't obsess over getting the "new penny look". You're better off, in my opinion, to get the salmon look and then buff it rather than to build up your coating at too high a current. Why? Because at too high a current, the copper buildup is crumbly and not stable.

For a typical Tink vessel (they are about 1" - 1.25" tall) I start at .15 amps, then after a while I may bump it up to .25 amps or so.

Now... For the person getting a crumbly deposit on the wire and none on the bead: Make sure you have a GOOD connection between the wire and your paint trail! If necessary, cut the end of the wire at a bit of an angle to give it more contact area where it touches the paint.
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  #68  
Old 2006-02-27, 4:28pm
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Tink -
Can you put more than one bead in the solution at a time ?
Thanks,
Debbie A.
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  #69  
Old 2006-02-27, 4:54pm
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Yep, you sure can. Just remember that if you do, the current will be divided between the number of pieces you have in the bath.

For example: You wish to electroform two beads at the same time. You want the kind of copper deposit on these beads that you typically get at .20 amps with one bead in the bath. With two beads in the bath, you would set the amps at .40.

Each of the beads should be suspended from the cathode holder individually, not on the same wire. The two individual beads and their associated wires should not touch.
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  #70  
Old 2006-02-28, 4:43am
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Thanks Tink ! Oh I just love this thread !~
Debbie A.
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  #71  
Old 2006-02-28, 7:58am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tink
For a typical Tink vessel (they are about 1" - 1.25" tall) I start at .15 amps, then after a while I may bump it up to .25 amps or so.
Just for a note ... in your booklet, you mentioned to start at around 0.5 amps and adjust from there ... so that is where I was starting ...

Also, the dalmar site says 0.1/ square inch ... do you know whether that is square inch of conductive material (painted surface), or square inch of total project ...
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  #72  
Old 2006-02-28, 8:11am
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Second query first: That is .1 amp per square inch of conductive area. Anything non-conductive is essentially inert, and doesn't affect the outcome.

First query: From the booklet "A half an amp is a good starting point. You may wish to turn it up or down a bit, depending upon the look you are going for. A nice, slow deposition of metal onto your work is better than a fast globby application, which can happen if your current is too high."

.5 is just a starting point. My work is very small, comparatively, and typically bears no more than 1 1/2 square inches of conductive area, which is why I start at .15 amps. If I do wish to go for a more textural, "bumpy" sort of look, I still start the work out at a very low rate of deposition, then up the amps later to add the texture.
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  #73  
Old 2006-02-28, 10:05am
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Embarrassed confession:

I've been pretty much avoiding this thread because I didn't really know what electroforming was, and it sounded way beyond my skill set. Then I saw the pic of Tink's vessel with that cool texture, and so now I'm curious. Electroforming is not what I thought it was, whatever that was. For those of us that are not familiar with this technique, could we get a general description of electroforming?

Thanks!
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  #74  
Old 2006-02-28, 11:47am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Flamechick
Embarrassed confession:

I've been pretty much avoiding this thread because I didn't really know what electroforming was, and it sounded way beyond my skill set. Then I saw the pic of Tink's vessel with that cool texture, and so now I'm curious. Electroforming is not what I thought it was, whatever that was. For those of us that are not familiar with this technique, could we get a general description of electroforming?

Thanks!
Electroforming is a type of electrodeposition, which means a metal coating is applied to an object by means of an electric current flowing through a solution containing the metal being coated.

It's basically the same thing as metal plating (chrome bumpers, gold-plated jewelry, silver-plated flatware, etc) except that the deposition of the metal is typically heavier in electroforming
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  #75  
Old 2006-02-28, 12:25pm
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Thanks for the description. I read through the thread and had a vague idea, but I didn't really understand how it all worked together. Up until this thread, it never occurred to me that it would be something I might be interested in, so thanks for educating me.
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  #76  
Old 2006-03-01, 6:53am
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Amber - - If you'd like to look at some examples of electroforming on beads, go to the electroforming section on the Mid-Atlantic web site, here: http://www.sgb-midatlantic.org/how-t...Electroforming, and click on some of the names in the top section, under the label 'Artists'.

If anyone else knows of some good online galleries of electroformed work, please let me know.

Tink - - Would it be possible for you to make the booklet that accompanies your kit separately available to folks? I have already assembled the kit, but I'd love a copy of your booklet. What say you, dearie?

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  #77  
Old 2006-03-01, 9:05am
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Jan - thanks for the link - what a resource of information!
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  #78  
Old 2006-03-01, 10:39pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tink
Just a little something else I wanted to mention. An LE member is selling some Titanium pens that she made. You can find the thread here.

What you may not know is that you can supposedly use Titanium pens to lay down a conductive line... Hmmmm... Give you any ideas? Yep. You can draw on your work with it and then electroform it, using the Titanium deposit to collect the copper instead of paint.

I haven't tried this yet, as I keep forgetting to. Maybe someone can give it a go and let us know what happens!
I have a TI Pen from a previous purchase.... actually it is MY pen that caused someone here to make them herself and now have them, right V? teehee...

I digress...

I played with my Ti Pen tonight and my pen plating kit (not my Tink Dunk Tank) and didn't get it work YET... but I was also distracted by trying to make boro pendants at the same time... multi-tasking result of not having had torch/play time in over a week and not getting much again until next week....

BUT, I'll keep you up to date....

back to reading.....
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  #79  
Old 2006-03-03, 6:00am
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I took a Kate Fowle Melaney class a couple weeks ago and we used a brand new bottle of the Rio solution for the demo. She could not get it to work. She must've redone the set-up 10 times trying to get it to work and it never did. If SHE was having trouble with it, then you know something is wrong.

Rio was out of the solution when I tried to order it before getting the kit. I ordered from Dalmar and have had no troubles.
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  #80  
Old 2006-03-03, 7:08am
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She is here next weekend. I'll let you know what we use! Paula
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  #81  
Old 2006-03-04, 6:18am
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Tink - - Would it be possible for you to make the booklet that accompanies your kit separately available to folks? I have already assembled the kit, but I'd love a copy of your booklet. Possible? Probable? A chance?

JanMD
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  #82  
Old 2006-03-04, 7:07am
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I've had a ton of requests for the booklet, and I'm still debating what to do. A lot of you guys know that I've distributed my silver core and riveted beads booklet freely over the years. I've been approached about having the electroforming booklet published, both as a book and as a magazine article, and I am still struggling with the decision.

The thing is that even if I distribute it on my own, I want it to be simply bound instead of stapled. I figure it will cost me over $6 each at the small quantities I'd need.

So I'm still debating and thinking about it. I've got a lot on my plate right now --- many committments that I'm trying to stay on top of. If and when I do make it available, I'll be sure to post in this thread, at least.
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  #83  
Old 2006-03-04, 7:36am
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Thank you, Tink! I understand what you mean about a full plate. (I am a big believer in the adage that the more information you have, the better. I devour how-to info. While plunge-right-in trial+error is one very good way to learn, it's often not the most efficient way. I think you learn more quickly when you have some initial success. At least, I do.)

In any event, when you decide what you want to do, be sure to let us know.

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  #84  
Old 2006-03-04, 8:39am
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I have to run out for a while today, but I've decided to offer the booklet for sale by itself at least while I'm gone. We'll see how it goes and how I feel about it. Details on my tools page.
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  #85  
Old 2006-03-04, 9:04pm
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I tried something new for anodes..and they worked great. I had tried to find copper flashing but the only one I could find had a tar paper backing...So I used some small lengths of copper pipe with wire wrapped around them. So far they have worked GREAT! They are pretty thick so they should last quite awhile!

Tink, do you have any plans to sell the paint on your website?
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  #86  
Old 2006-03-04, 9:16pm
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Good job, Anna! I really encourage you guys to reach out and experiment like this. The ONLY right or wrong involved is "did it work?" and "did I get the result I wanted?" or even "did I learn something?"!

Yes, I do have the paint available. I just got it posted on my site. It's a little jar like the one in the kit for $10 including shipping. I have added the paint to the Tink Store along with pre-cut and punched anodes.

For a limited time I am also offering the instructional book for sale. I just put up a Buy It Now PayPal button for it today.

For those of you wanting to electroform big stuff or who have a need for more paint (but not a whole pint) Safer Solutions is now offering their conductive paint in a 4 oz size.
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  #87  
Old 2006-03-05, 6:00am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tink
A lot of you guys know that I've distributed my silver core and riveted beads booklet freely over the years.
Hey is it still available? I would love to get my hands of the Tink style of doing this!
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  #88  
Old 2006-03-10, 4:03pm
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Well I finally got my electroforming rig set-up. However, being the stubborn person that I am I decided to try this on a non-etched bead! The set-up worked perfectly - I purchased my solution from Dalmar. However - you -guessed it - the whole thing peeled off the bead. So - I learned something

So - I peeled that whole thing and I etched it. Then I repainted it last night. I just now put it back in the solution. (Isn't it a thing of beautfy when those displays light up - contact - yeah!)

I really like the look of etched beads - but there has to be a way to do this on a shiny bead. I looked up every single photograph of electroformed beads that I could fins. And - I did find many that were most certainly shiny!

So does any one want to give up the secret on how to do this? I'm thinking of buying some etching creme to get a good etch on the selected areas where I will place the paint. Has anyone tried this - I mean really - it should work - maybe?
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  #89  
Old 2006-03-11, 9:22am
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OMG I just LOVE that moment when I turn everything on. LOL!

Seems like every couple of months, I just HAVE TO try the process on a non-etched or blasted piece. Like I think the laws of physics are going to change when I'm not paying attention or something.

You can mask off the areas that you DON'T want to etch. Then just apply the copper paint to the etched areas.
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  #90  
Old 2006-03-11, 1:39pm
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Yay - it worked! Now I need to go get a brass brush! I think the .15 is just right for smaller pieces - I do need to use a lighter touch with the paint - less is more. I might post a pic once I get the finish I want on the copper.

I have a ton more ideas to try. Now to see if I can get this sculptural bead I want to electroform out of my head and onto the mandrel!

Thanks again, Tink for putting these kits together. I probably wouldn't have bothered on my own. I really feel like my creativity is flowing again.
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Mary Beth


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