Do you have a power supply and can’t figure out how to set it up properly? Don’t worry, I’m here to help! In this post, I’m going to explain how to quickly and easily set up your rectifier for electroforming.
I have a small Eventek DC power supply, which I’ve been using for quite a while now. If you don’t have a power supply yet, you can find it on Amazon for less than $60. And you’ll know exactly how to set it up with this tutorial. Let’s get started
Note: I don’t know if the way I set up my rectifier is the same for all rectifiers. Probably not, but if you try this tutorial on a different power supply, please let me know in the comments if it worked for you!
Before you set up your rectifier
Before you set up your rectifier, you should calculate your amperage measurements. The standard measurement is 0.1 per square inch of surface area to be plated.
You can use this surface area calculator to accurately calculate what number to multiply by 0.1 amps. You need to take all sides of your item into consideration when doing your calculation.
For example, if your surface area is 2 square inches, then your ideal setting for that piece is 0.2 amps.
Once you’ve done the calculation, you’ll know exactly how to set up your power supply. If you’re unsure, set it up to the lowest possible setting (0.1) and adjust it as you go.
If you notice that your object is dark brown, then you should lower the amperage. On the contrary, if your piece is salmony, turn up the power a little bit.
How to set up your rectifier for electroforming
Below, you’ll find step by step instructions on how to set up your power supply before electroforming. But first, here is what you need to set up your rectifier for electroforming:
- Alligator clips
- Output power cord
- Power socket
- Your electroforming bath
1. Plug the power cord
First, take the power cord and plug the part with three holes at the back of your rectifier.
2. Choose the voltage
At the back of your power supply, there is a button where you can change between 115V and 230V. This is a setting that must be made according to the standard voltage of your country.
The standard voltage in Europe is 220V, so I set up my power supply on 230V. In the USA, appliances run on 120V, so you should set up your power supply on 115V.
3. Plug in a power socket
Plug the other side of the power cord to a power socket.
4. Set up your alligator clips
Your power supply has two buttons at the front. One is red and the other one is black. Just like your alligator clips. Place your red alligator clip on top of the red button. Then, turn the button to the right to tighten it. Do the same thing with the black alligator clip.
5. Turn the buttons
Next, we’re going to set up the buttons so that we don’t burn our object in the bath when we turn on the rectifier. Turn the two buttons on the right and the bottom left one all the way to the right. Then, turn the top left button all the way to the left.
6. Attach your wires
Set up your electroforming bath and attach your red wire to your copper coil. Next, attach the black wire to your hanging wire (or bus bar if it’s in copper).
7. Power up
Push the power main switch to turn on your rectifier. All the numbers should be on 0. And the red light next to the numbers should be on. This means your power supply is in CC mode, and that’s what we want. If the power supply has a green light on, it means it’s in CV mode and it won’t work for electroforming.
8. Set to your desired voltage
Now, turn the top left button slowly until it starts showing numbers. I have only one object in my bath so I set up my power supply on 0.01 volts, 0.10 amps.
That’s it! All you have to do now is monitor progress. You will see that the numbers will slightly change as you go. This is totally normal. You can set it back to your original setting whenever you see the numbers change.
Watch the process in video:
Setting up your rectifier for the first time can be confusing. Especially when you’ve never had one before. If you have an Eventek DC power supply, I hope this tutorial helped you electroform your first objects.
If you have a different power supply, I’d recommend turning all the buttons all the way down to 0. Then, turn them slowly one by one, until numbers start showing up. This is what I did to figure out how to use mine.
How do you set up your rectifier for electroforming? Let me know in the comments below!