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(1) 2 »

Making chrome pot metal look good
#1
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casey rog
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Does anyone know how to clean-up, or fix, or make the corroded chrome plated pot metal metal parts look decent?
I took delivery of my 1951 300 Saturday, 10/4/08. I will have lots more questions as time goes on. Currently I am rebuilding the brakes. I think I got a deal on most of the parts. But, let me recieve same before I discuss where I bought same

Posted on: 2008/10/8 21:33
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Re: Making chrome pot metal look good
#2
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Jim
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I am afraid there is very little good news on re-chroming pot metal. In some cases, parts are to far gone to do. In other cases, the cost outweighs the benefit. Sometimes the platers will throw so much copper to fill pits that the part is literally distorted and does not match parts it mates with. In other cases, the part gets over buffed it looses all detail having no crisp lines or sharp transition.

This is best left to the very best platers, who charge big $$ to do the job right.

Best of luck,
Jim

Posted on: 2008/10/8 21:56
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Re: Making chrome pot metal look good
#3
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BigKev
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I agree, unless it is minor pitting, and just needs to be rechomed, it is usually cheaper to source better used parts.
Also small pieces may be cheaper to just buy good used pieces, the staight rechrome.

I was able to find a complete driver quaility grille for my '54 Clipper for $250. I could have bought all used (good/driver quality) pieces to replace the entire grille from Kanter for about $800. But to fix the original grille (fill all the pits, repair the cracks, and rechrome) the quotes were over $1500.

So you will need to figure out what level you want to take the car to, and pick the best option for you.

Ebay will be your new best friend, and also post here for the parts you are looking for, as you never know what someone may have squirelled away in their garage or shed.

Posted on: 2008/10/8 22:06
-BigKev


1954 Packard Clipper Deluxe Touring Sedan -> Registry | Project Blog

1937 Packard 115-C Convertible Coupe -> Registry | Project Blog
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Re: Making chrome pot metal look good
#4
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Jay Faubion
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If my newbie-ness at this subject doesn't deserve a reply, then feel free to ignore this post.

I've been "preparing myself" to take a stab at some of this.

Say we have a pitted piece of chromed pot metal, like a door handle. What about de-chroming it first, then smoothing out the pits with solder. Smooth it out the best you can. Use a cheap plating kit to put the copper on, and then use the same technique to do the chrome over the copper?

That's the right order, right? I confess I've never done that, but I've been considering trying my hand at it. No, I don't think I would consider doing a bumper. More like something that would fit in the bottom of a five-gallon bucket.

I bought one of the little nickle plating kits from Caswell and it worked out pretty well.

Caswell also has a cobalt plating process that may work well. I would love to talk with anyone who's had experience with that. This could be a worthwhile and interesting winter learning project.

Posted on: 2008/10/9 13:32
Jay Faubion
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Re: Making chrome pot metal look good
#5
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gone1951
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I'm thinking that the chrome process would dissolve the solder. I seem to remember a guy I knew soldering up a steel radiator shell for some car. When he sent it to the plater it looked good. When it came back all the solder was gone leaving the holes.

Posted on: 2008/10/9 13:40
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Re: Making chrome pot metal look good
#6
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BigKev
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The trick is finding a solder with a high enough melting point not to be melted by the Plating process, and not high enough that it melts the pot-metal upon application.

I know there are "special" solders that are being sold for fixing cracks in Pot-Metal.

Posted on: 2008/10/9 14:22
-BigKev


1954 Packard Clipper Deluxe Touring Sedan -> Registry | Project Blog

1937 Packard 115-C Convertible Coupe -> Registry | Project Blog
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Re: Making chrome pot metal look good
#7
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HH56
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The process some have used to save labor charges is to have the piece stripped, then take home and buff, straighten, etc then take back for heavy copper plate, take home and use silver solder to fill pits, buff and smooth etc then take back for regular finish plating.

The silver solder is hard enough and has a high melting point (around 500-550 degrees) that the ordinary plating won't disturb it. Trick is not to burn through the copper or get any gas bubbles underneath that's generated in pot metal lifting the copper and popping through. The pot metal melts around 700 degrees, so a fine point is reached, then all h--k breaks loose.

I too have been interested in the copy chrome kit method but again, no one seems to have used it or has any recommendations.

Posted on: 2008/10/9 17:31
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Re: Making chrome pot metal look good
#8
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BH
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Well, I purchased a plating kit from Dalmar a few years ago, but have yet to try it. I just don't seme to have the quiet, uninterrupted time to attempt such meticulous work - even on a practice piece. There's just too much else requiring my attention.

Posted on: 2008/10/9 17:42
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Re: Making chrome pot metal look good
#9
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todd landis
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Since I restore and collect many old cars and jukeboxes, I purchased many years ago from a local firm here in Valencia California called Brooktronics a Brush Plating system. Over the years I have done many small, and smaller parts in Nickel, Brass, and Chrome plating. And with much good results. Have not tried these tub systems as I have not heard better than average results. And, I can tell you as the part gets bigger, the more you need a professional that you know and trust. You want to ask Caswel on the fill of the copper. If it is not a high fill you will be replating copper over and over again for days. Each time you plate with the copper you need to sand off excess using something straight under the sandpaper to take off only what is on the flat surface. And not sanding into what you are trying to fill. Then nickel, then chrome. Now the problem you may have with the chrome is on smaller parts it is fine but on any kind of large part you cannot get the coating think enough to last any length of time. They call it the build. So you need to check again with Caswel about the build on larger parts. I live in the Los Angeles area, and in years past there was a plater on every block. But, with all the state laws in the past few years just about all have closed shop, and there are only just a couple left that can do any kind of good job. I can go to either one of these places, see samples of their work, talk with the owner and tell them exactly what I want them to do and not to do. Especially as far as grinding or sanding the part. Some jukebox people have used Courtesy Metal Polishing in your neck of the woods in Villa Park, Illinois. I have not used them but others have. If you want their number let me know. Thanks

Posted on: 2008/10/9 18:21
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Re: Making chrome pot metal look good
#10
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todd landis
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Also I might add, if your time is worth about .25 cents an hour you will just love grinding, sanding, straightening, filling,and plating over and over again. Then again this Caswel system might be magic. If you get it and it works good please let us know. Thanks again.

Posted on: 2008/10/9 18:27
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