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Testing the waters. Possible chrome venture being considered.

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Jimmy2s83, Sep 24, 2013.

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  1. Belchfire8
    Joined: Sep 18, 2005
    Posts: 1,542

    Belchfire8
    Member

    I'm in, I understand what you want to do. Can you give an idea of how large a part you could handle?
     
  2. Jimmy2s83
    Joined: Apr 25, 2010
    Posts: 100

    Jimmy2s83
    Member
    from Indiana

    Currently thinking air breathers, and valve covers being the biggest to start. Probably be some time before consdering much larger items like axles, bumpers, grilles, ect. Anything specific you had in mind?
     
  3. Yeah, there was a guy locally a number of years ago that opened a bootleg shop in his barn and ended up in prison... they take this very seriously. His wife almost got nailed too, but a quick divorce kept her out of jail.

    Will you be doing aluminum also?
     
  4. F&J
    Joined: Apr 5, 2007
    Posts: 13,217

    F&J
    Member


    Jimmy, the brand name "Copy Chrome" is a electroplate system. It states right up front that the plating is NOT real chrome, (as that would be illegal for home use).

    I only mentioned that youtube video of a customer using it, to let people know that any type of electroplate is not a "filler" like the way high build primer is used in painting a car. My point was, that prep work needs to be as smooth as chrome, BEFORE it gets plated....or expect to see some flaws.

    Bear in mind that many installed parts usually have areas that are difficult to see....so, if you send these to a high end shop for plating, you are "wasting" money to have them polish those hidden areas to perfection.

    good wishes with your project. I am sure you will be flooded with work. Once a few hambers report back, you may need a bigger shop;)
     
  5. fastcar1953
    Joined: Oct 23, 2009
    Posts: 2,227

    fastcar1953
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    are you set up to do it now? i will send a piece to show your work. you can show my prep and your plating.
    would there be pieces to small? what about minimum orders? one small part or one big part , or several small parts?
    would as bought raw steel parts work or do they need prep?
     
  6. Belchfire8
    Joined: Sep 18, 2005
    Posts: 1,542

    Belchfire8
    Member

    I have some small parts but I have a '46 Chevy grill that needs chrome. I think the grill would come apart.
     
  7. Jimmy2s83
    Joined: Apr 25, 2010
    Posts: 100

    Jimmy2s83
    Member
    from Indiana

    F&J, I was responding to others that mentioned doing alternative coatings as well. I just wanted to clarify that I wasn't interested in pursuing those options as I don't see many wanting to go that route as well as all my experience is with electroplating of actual chromium and not an alternative.

    Fastcar1953, As long as the part can be racked it can be plated. As for prep I can do the prep work but won't be doing repairs such as pit filling, crack welding, dent removal, ect. That would be up to the owner of the parts to do that work if they wanted it done. I just need to make sure the parts no longer have anything on them that would contaminate the baths. Rust, grease, paint, old chrome plating, ect. I can see there is enough interest to get things going on this so I'll be making arrangements to get this thing off the ground.

    Thanks again for all the interest. I will keep you guys posted!
     
  8. Hemishovel
    Joined: Mar 18, 2013
    Posts: 614

    Hemishovel
    Member

    I'm in I have a lot of small parts
     
  9. rottenleonard
    Joined: Nov 7, 2008
    Posts: 1,970

    rottenleonard
    Member

    I think it's a good idea, some parts like say a headlight stand need to be a "10", but something like say a internal trunk hinge, a sand blasted and quick plated "4" would do the trick.

    What is involved with the EPA side of it do you just need some sort of spill containment system and a proper means of disposal? or is there more to it than that?
     
  10. I'm on L.I. and the number of finishing shops has dropped off. There are a few abandoned ones that are Superfund sites.

    And not just for chrome, everyone has gotten religion with the RoHS (reduction of hazardous substances) movement. Most of which is customer-driven.

    Bob
     
  11. Atwater Mike
    Joined: May 31, 2002
    Posts: 10,263

    Atwater Mike
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    There was a small group of 'biker types' that opened a small polishing-and-chrome site in San Jose, in Chinatown! (really)

    I sent my partner over there with my 6-71 case and ends to be polished, when I went to get them, the place was crawling with shoulder holsters.
    I got my I.D. and business card photo'ed, and was handed back my parts with a warning:

    "This 'mend' of business is a felony, and you would be best advised to distance yourself far from it."

    I wondered at the 'gravity' of the agent's statement...but was pretty sure he was caught up in his own grandeur, with the forced frown, thin soled oxfords, and Air Force shades...
     
  12. I'd be interested.

    On all the pictures I've seen in the restoration book the "Job Rated" grill plate on the front of my truck was chrome from the factory. At some point, it wound up being painted over (so I suspect the chrome had flaked off).

    It's not a perfect piece, so I don't want to pay for it to get done...but if the price was right, I'd ship it off to you to have it plated.

    Here's a picture of how it looks now. I painted it silver, but don't really like it.
    [​IMG]

    What's your estimate on a cost for a piece of this size?
     
  13. Jimmy2s83
    Joined: Apr 25, 2010
    Posts: 100

    Jimmy2s83
    Member
    from Indiana


    Alot is involved with the EPA. Federal and State. Alot of new guidlines just came out recently as well. Nickel plating is now under more scrutiny.

    Also to another question that was asked. Plating on aluminum will be offered.

    Not sure if minimum orders will be implemented. Not initially anyways.

    As for a date to start processing thats up in the air. Will post updates as things start to fall in place.
     
  14. Jimmy2s83
    Joined: Apr 25, 2010
    Posts: 100

    Jimmy2s83
    Member
    from Indiana

    Still trying to get things worked out. Will get some prices figured out on popular parts and post those. Obviously I will have to see how much cost will be involved and go from there.
     
  15. falcongeorge
    Joined: Aug 26, 2010
    Posts: 18,341

    falcongeorge
    Member
    from BC

    I've been following this thread closely since the beginning, I do think you are on to something here, and I would be interested if you were closer to me, plating is BLOODY expensive, and doing your own prep is a good way to save. Someone mentioned that you should post polishing/prep tips on your website, I agree that this is an EXCELLENT idea. PLEASE, PLEASE PLEASE! Maybe you could even post some here, I have been waiting for a plater that would give some specific tips/tricks about prep. I do have some smaller parts that need plating that are practical to ship, like a horn ring, column shift lever ect., put me down in the "very interested" category.

    However, I also agree that you will probably get a lot of grief from guys who dont really grasp the concept. I would say you should probably use some discretion vetting potential clients, and probably just turn down the ones that dont really get it.
     
  16. Jimmy2s83
    Joined: Apr 25, 2010
    Posts: 100

    Jimmy2s83
    Member
    from Indiana

    I'll try to get something up about prepping parts but its really tough as it really depends on the type of part as well as condition. The best way to explain it would be to figure its getting painted. Then when its ready to paint you just go to the next 2 grits. Once its polished really fine its ready for a buff. Obviously if you can't take it that far down just the initial polishing will greatly help cut the costs.

    My biggest concern is guys doing their own prep work and then not being satisfied with the job thinking they had polished it well enough for a "show quality" and it was me that messed it up. Or someone says the part is almost done so just touch it up a little and I know it will be perfect.... That is not what I am going for at all.

    I know many understand what this is but yes I do know there will be the ones that think its top notch quality for a low end price. Certainly try to weed out those that think its high end quality.

    Also potmetal will be a risky one. I'll do it but know that if there is corrosion embedded in the part that needs drilled and filled it likely will "blister" once plated. Little bubbles in the surface. The big cost in potmetal is finding the rot and getting it removed and then repairing the drilled out spots. All this while maintaining the detail. This venture would just be polishing the surface without any drilling and filling. Pitting would be blasted clean but blisters can still occur.

    Thanks for all the posts!
     
  17. falcongeorge
    Joined: Aug 26, 2010
    Posts: 18,341

    falcongeorge
    Member
    from BC

    I can go to the "buff " level, I have the equipment. As long as I can do it without getting whanged in the face with a headlight door again...:eek::rolleyes::D
     
  18. Jimmy2s83
    Joined: Apr 25, 2010
    Posts: 100

    Jimmy2s83
    Member
    from Indiana

    OK,

    I will be offline for a couple days. Might be on tomorrow... Possibly. So if you don't hear back from me until Monday that is why. Working on a way to get things rolling a little sooner while at the same time reducing the upfront risks. We will see how it goes.

    Hopefully it won't be too long before we can get some things chromed!
     
  19. budd
    Joined: Oct 31, 2006
    Posts: 3,478

    budd
    Member

    are there any Indian reserves near you? sometimes the rules to set up a plant are different.
     
  20. Jimmy2s83
    Joined: Apr 25, 2010
    Posts: 100

    Jimmy2s83
    Member
    from Indiana

    I'm back!

    Getting close to a test run. I will show varied quality of parts coming in and what they would look like coming out.

    Also will show a part rechromed and then hit with a hammer to show the plating isn't going to just peel off after installing. I know that was a concern brought up. Plating will adhere to a sandblasted and pitted surface just as well as if it were a highly polished and smooth surface. Its all a matter of the pretreatment in making sure its clean and properly etched for the plating to properly bond to the surface.

    The comment that factory chrome is superior to custom shops is not necessarily true. In fact most shops all buy from the same chemical suppliers. The trick is properly maintaining your tanks and not letting them get contaminated or out of spec. Also following a standard operating procedure for each metal to ensure quality and consistency.
    Even major industrial plating companies have had their share of failed products. I worked in one where the company literally changed out an entire plating bath after failed attempts to correct the problem only for it to remain. The problem ended up being an acid bath was not properly etching the surface for good adhesion to occur. Intial tests of the acid showed it was in range. Once changed out the problem was no more. What caused it was a and still is a mystery. Some things just happen.
    Large companies invest more into testing and maintaing their solutions to keep down time to a minimum. The product however is the same. Its all a matter of how well one keeps up the bath and how long they plate it for durability.
    Prep work generally only affects the appearance of the part, not the durability. If a part still has corrosion, paint, grease, old plating, ect then obviously that can affect the quality of the plating as well as the appearance.

    I will not be plating any parts that have anything that could contaminate the baths. If it needs more stripping or cleaning it will receive it before plating.
     
  21. TR Waters
    Joined: Nov 18, 2006
    Posts: 1,439

    TR Waters
    Member
    from Vermont
    1. Early Hemi Tech

    Good news. Keep us posted as to when you want to start receiving parts.
     
  22. falcongeorge
    Joined: Aug 26, 2010
    Posts: 18,341

    falcongeorge
    Member
    from BC

    Bump, Hows this going? Would you be able to handle a piece as large as a desoto hemi valve cover?
     
  23. Jimmy2s83
    Joined: Apr 25, 2010
    Posts: 100

    Jimmy2s83
    Member
    from Indiana

    Hey!

    Hoping to have some parts ran by next week or so. Holiday season coming up will certainly press me for time unfortunately. Halloween already has occupied some of my free time.

    A desoto Hemi valve cover would be about as big as I would want to go. I am going to trial run a BBC valve cover and see how it goes to make sure. If that goes well enough I would consider trying a Hemi.
     
  24. F&J
    Joined: Apr 5, 2007
    Posts: 13,217

    F&J
    Member

    Jimmy, do you have a maximum length for skinny parts a bit longer than a valve cover?
     
  25. Jimmy2s83
    Joined: Apr 25, 2010
    Posts: 100

    Jimmy2s83
    Member
    from Indiana

    How much longer? 34" might be about max but possibly a little more.
    I can check if you need something more than that.

    The problem with larger parts is blemishes show up much more than if they were smaller insignificant pieces that are mainly secoundary to the overall appearance. Willing to do the main pieces but results once again will depend on the beginning quality of parts being processed.
     
  26. EARLYHEMIBILL
    Joined: Apr 7, 2008
    Posts: 465

    EARLYHEMIBILL
    Member
    from ?

    Do you know if it costs much to do anodizing?
     
  27. Jimmy2s83
    Joined: Apr 25, 2010
    Posts: 100

    Jimmy2s83
    Member
    from Indiana

    Got a run in finally!

    As soon as I can post the pictures I will. Didn't take as many as I wanted but it did give an idea as to how best to charge.

    On anodizing its actually a simple process (in comparison to the chrome plating). However its not something I would want to get into at this point. Hands full enough as it is.

    Hopefully I get the pictures posted really soon! Come new year I will be taking on orders. Don't want to fill my plate any more as I have so many obligations taking up my free time up until the 3rd of January.
     
  28. alchemy
    Joined: Sep 27, 2002
    Posts: 15,863

    alchemy
    Member

    I can be the first to attest that Jimmy's work is NICE! I sent him an old flathead Ford water pump that was chromed "back in the day" but had rusted and pealed way too much. I told him that it was an Honest Charlie quickie chrome back then, and that's what I was expecting now.

    The part I received yesterday was smooth and shiney. Way better than I was expecting for "driver chrome". He didn't sand out all the casting in the nooks and crannies, just like I wanted.

    I can recommend Jimmy's work to anybody wanting good chrome work of this fashion. I will be sending more engine parts to him as soon as he's ready.

    If Jimmy doesn't post pics soon I'll get some taken of my water pump.
     
  29. aonemarine
    Joined: Nov 2, 2013
    Posts: 501

    aonemarine
    Member
    from Delaware

    Cheap chrome kinda sounds like free money to me.... I want to see what you can do with some old pot metal parts...
     
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