Historical Articles

July, 1952 issue of Plating


The Story of A.E.S. Gavels

When Ken Huston became President of the American Electroplaters Society there began a tradition, for he was the first to receive a silver-plated gavel from T. R. Boggess. This custom has continued up to the present time, Franklyn MacStoker having been presented with one at the final business session of the Thirty-ninth Annual Convention.

Mr. Boggess tells us that he became an electroplater purely by accident when, as shop man in the Mechanical Department, he was assigned to bring some order to a small plating shop of the railroad with whom he was employed. The shop had been closed for several months as the result of a strike, but even the dust and cobwebs were insufficient to discourage him. In fact, the interest was so great that within a few months he contrived a transfer to the plating shop as a helper. Advancing through the usual stages—helper, apprentice, electroplater, and foreman plater—and seeing the shop grow from a total current capacity of 50 to 20,000 amperes, he has not only maintained his interest in plating as a lifes work, but has also made specialized plating operations one of his hobbies. For example, when the local high school won a district championship, Boggess plated, mounted, and engraved the football used. He says cleaning the mud off the ball was not the toughest part of the job.

The A.E.S. gavels, he tells us, are prepared as follows: “The gavel is preferably made of hard wood and is first coated with a solution of cellophane in acetone to fill the grain of the wood. After air-drying for approximately one hour it is shellaced and allowed to dry over night, after which it is provided with a coat of acid-resisting lacquer similar to that used for a stop-off when chromium plating. The gavel is then coated with copper-platers bronze mixed with, lacquer, Egyptian clear, and again allowed to dry for thirty minutes, after which it is placed in a standard acid-copper solution and flashed for a few seconds at high amperage. The gavel is then plated at a normal plating current density until, the desired thickness is obtained.”

“After the copper plating the deposit is polished, using a 180 emery set-up wheel or equivalent, followed with a good grade buffing compound or tripoli. At this point the gavel may be plated in silver, nickel, or any other metal that may be plated.”

Those who had the opportunity to view the gavel presented to Mr. Franklyn MacStoker will agree that Mr. Boggess knows how to do the job.




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