More Playing with Niobium - sponging method

On the weekend I played more with Niobium -  the problem is its over so fast - what takes the longest is preparing your metal for dipping - as with any project its get it to its most final stage before  annodizing your metal -  with Niobium  you  cannot  solder  - I thnk you can spot weld or something but that is not in the current budget to find out as yet .  So its basically  straight forward single pieces or cold connections such as rivets or tiny tiny screws -  which I got from RMS (Reactive Metal Studios)

so I prepared some rounded edge square  and some small hearts for earrings - wire -crimped  - punched holes  and cleaned  - but this time dapped them in a wooden dap set I have  - I noticed that  when metal on metal mashing I get gall or a metal rubbing on metal sort of stain on the metal that is hard to clean up  - using the wooden dap set was way better

then I cleaned again and  I read that  if you want a nice shiny surface put them in the tumbler with some shot - I put in for about 1 hours as that is all you really need -  and they came out nice and shinny - which gives it a better reflective surface - I use dish soap - usually the blue  Dawn and put a squirt in and just enough water to cover the shot -  once out of the shot I rinse and try not to handle too much and put any finger oils onto the piece

Now this time I wanted to try the sponge method - this is  having the red anode attached to the piece - using that nifty   one I got from RMS that has a niobium tip that locks onto the piece  and  I put a piece of sea sponge  clipped into the black anode ( keeping the rubber sleeve over the clip )
I soaked it in the tsp/water solution (supposed to be distilled water and tsp but I used bottle water or my filtered well water that has no chemicals in  - I will buy a bottle this week and try to see if any difference in color application ) 
Now I got confused - cause it worked - about the stainless steel anode -  but I think the stainless steel on the alligator clip may be the secret to it working  as I've seen them put the piece on stainless steel to apply -  but I held the red with the piece in my hand  and dabbed with the black/sponge 
I did plain - crimped some and made some crimped earrings using this method - 
in the end I ended up  dipping the parts at 75 amps  to get the nice purple background on both sides (as sponging only colors the side you sponge )  then up to  95 and then to 115  to get some varigation of color - and I love it 

in love with this method 


  1. Beautiful colours! You could set the domed discs like cabochons in a bezel or tab setting as an alternative to cold connections pieces.

  2. so many options. yes mini domes would work very well - really like palaying with this stuff

  3. Deborah, the stainless steel cathode is only needed to conduct the electricity into the electrolyte for bath anofizing. Yes, the alligator clip serves as the cathode... happy anodizing! I like what you've done.