Take an ordinary glass fruit jar or any other receptacle in glass, not metal, which will hold 1 qt. of liquid and fill it with rain or distilled water and then add 3/4 oz. of silver chloride and 1-1/2 oz. of c.p. potassium cyanide. Let this dissolve and incorporate well with the water before using. Take an ordinary wet battery and fasten two copper wires to the terminals and fasten the other ends of the wires to two pieces of heavy copper wire or 1/4-in. brass pipe. The wires must be well soldered to the brass pipe to make a good connection. When the solution is made up and entirely dissolved the outfit is ready for plating.
Procure a small piece of silver, a silver button, ring, chain or anything made entirely of silver and fasten a small copper wire to it and hang on the brass pipe with connections to the carbon of the battery. Clean the article to be plated well with pumice and a brush saturated in water. When cleaning any article there should be a copper wire attached to it. Do not touch the article after you once start to clean it, or the places touched by your fingers will cause the silver plate to peel off when finished. When well scoured, run clear, cold water over the article and if it appears greasy, place in hot water. When well cleaned place in the plating bath and carefully watch the results. If small bubbles come to the surface you will know that you have too much of the anode or the piece of silver hanging in the solution and you must draw out enough of the piece until you can see no more bubbles. Leave the piece to be plated in the solution for about one-half hour, then take the article out and with a tooth brush and some pumice, clean the yellowish scum off, rinse in clear water and dry in sawdust. When thoroughly dry, take a cotton flannel rag and some polishing powder and polish the article. The article must have a fine polish before plating if it is desired to have a finely polished surface after the plate is put on.
Illustration: Plating Jar and Battery
In order to see if your battery is working, take a small copper wire and touch one end to the anode pipe and the other end to the pipe holding the article to be plated. When these two parts touch there will be a small spark. Always take the zincs out of the solution when not in use and the batteries will last longer. This description applies only to silver plating. Articles of lead, pewter, tin or any soft metal cannot be silver plated unless the article is first copper plated.