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"Getting started in plating"
If you are interested in plating for your own personal restoration projects, items such as heater vents, glove box lids , ashtray's etc... do brush systems do an acceptable job? And just for the hell of it what is the approx. start up cost for a system like you would see at a jobbers shop?Cory Joe Olson Sr.
Hobbyist - Cottage Grove, Oregon, USA
If you are skilled and the substrate has been properly polished and pre-treated, it is probably possible to do satisfactory decorative plating on a small part. The cost of a good brush plating outfit is probably about $1000 to $2500 dollars.
The systems you see at a job shop probably cost between $200,000 to $1,000,000 depending on how large and fancy you are picturing. A small plating installation could cost as little as $50,000 and some larger plating installations exceed the million dollar mark several times over.
Ever watch American Chopper on Discovery TV, where they show us the goings-on at Orange County Chopper? Note that despite the willingness of the staff to build just about anything, their desire to do it all themselves, and the goodly amount of chrome plating they need on short order, they still send all their plating work out to "the plating shop" instead of trying it in-house.
You probably will not get into trouble if the plating is just for your own use (although you're likely in violation of your sewer permit), but there's plenty of potential for trouble.
Ted Mooney, P.E.
Striving to live Aloha
finishing.com - Pine Beach, New Jersey