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Help with info on thru-hole plating PCB's

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Advanced Member level 5
Jun 1, 2002
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help with pcb holes


I want to try my hand at thru-hole plating my own proto pcb's

It will only be limited to double-sided boards. I want to use my pcb CNC-milling machine to drill all the holes first and then do the plating myself.

Info from the net recommends using a conductive ink to provide a conductive path between the layers before plating.

I wondered if it be possible to use one of these hobby kits for plating spoons, jewelry etc. instead of using these expensive solutions that these PCB suppliers want to sell. Some of these hobby supplies also provide a solution for plating on non-conductive surfaces but at a fraction of the cost.

If anyone experimented with this before, I will be grateful for any advice. My boards are limited to about 150mm x 100mm in size.


I didn't have any success trying to electroplate thru-holes with a plating brush (I assume that is what you are talking about). You tend to get uneven plugs in the holes instead of uniform plating around the inside of the hole.

It is a LOT of work to try and plate holes in a home environment. I tried the method at h**p:// It took a week of spare time after I rounded-up/made all the stuff. The results were passible, but it would have been easier and cheaper to use one of the discount prototype PCB fabs. You can get 4 layer panels for less than $100US.


I looked at this company's stuff, but also at


They have very cheap kits for plating spoons and other things. They also offer a conductive paint for treating other non-conductive materials, (the holes in my case) before plating. I agree that spending a lot of $'s just to do an experiment is not on. At least with these guys I will waste about $50 at the most.

It will be nice if I could get a workable result for my proto's instead of waiting a few days for a PCB before testing a design.


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