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"Different shades of chrome--new vs. old shine"



2002

RFQ: I have two 1977 Fiat 124 Spider bumpers that need rust repair/replating. Anywhere in the MD/DC/ Northern VA area is fine.

Brad Johnson
- Gaithersburg, Maryland
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2003

RFQ: Need bumpers plated and other parts on 1955 Packard. I am redoing 1955 Packard and need to have the chrome replated some of the metal is pot metal.

Ray Rogers
hobbyist - Winter Haven, Florida, USA
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Hi Ray. The pot metal will be the hard part :-(

The inevitable pits cannot be filled with plating, and filler isn't plateable, and solder is hardly so. Shop carefully as plating old pot metal is truly an art.

Regards,

Ted Mooney, finishing.com
Ted Mooney, P.E.
Striving to live Aloha
finishing.com - Pine Beach, New Jersey
^


2004

RFQ: I need chrome plating of the bumpers on a '47 Plymouth. Is there a local shop in the Southern Illinois / Western Kentucky area?

Micky F [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
hobbyist - Golconda, Illinois, USA
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2004

RFQ: I have a 1972 Karmann Ghia and I need the front and rear bumpers chromed. Few minor dents, etc., in the metal.

There are three blades on each bumper and three tube over-riders as well as two bumper guards on both front and rear.

I have some extra pieces that are in good shape, but I expect all need to be chromed to look uniform.

Not a show car, but I want a good, quality job for several years service.

Thanks
Joe

Joe Gassen
Hobbyist - Athens, Alabama
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2004

RFQ: I have a bumper for a 68 Dodge Dart that I would like to Acid Dip, and then have rechromed. Anyone aware of such a company, and where are they located?

Thanks,

Brooks Lee
auto - Binghamton, New York
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2004

RFQ: I have fabricated a rear bumper for my truck and need it chromed. It is made out of construction grade 4" steel tubing.

Two sections 6'long. -----------------------------

Two sections 2'long. -----------------------------

Set up like this: --------- ---------

For what I'm worth, it has been sanded/cleaned and prepped for coating but professional sanding/buffing may or may not still be needed.

A copper plating, at least two nickel platings and at least two chromium platings would be preferable.

Jason Johnson
Hobbyist - Poolesville, Maryland, U.S.A.
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September 2013

A. Hi Jason. It's fine to specify copper plating if you wish. Two layers of nickel plating (semi-bright and bright) is fine, too. But you never do multiple layers of chrome. When people talk about "triple chrome plating", they actually mean copper - nickel - chrome or semi-bright nickel - bright nickel - chrome -- not three layers of chrome. You might find our "Introduction to Chrome Plating" interesting. Good luck.

Regards,

Ted Mooney, finishing.com
Ted Mooney, P.E.
Striving to live Aloha
finishing.com - Pine Beach, New Jersey
^



2005

Q. I notice at car shows that some bumpers for example are way too bright and don't really seem like they match what was supposed to be originally compared to the more older and deeper chrome from bumpers on cars that were never plated over and preserved. I want to replate my '56 olds bumper-how do I ask for the original finish I'm looking for--I really hate to gamble because what would the business say: "you don't like it because it's too shiny?", and I wouldn't be satisfied. Does anybody know what I mean about this? Thanks.

Pete Prosser
hobbyist - Moncton, N.B., Canada
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2005

A. Hi Pete. There a few possibilities --

First, some restorations today use "chrome-look paint" rather than real chrome plating. This is either mirror silvering underneath a clear coat, or tiny aluminum flakes under the clearcoat to form a mirror finish. Silver and aluminum are "whiter" than the slightly "blue" color of real chrome, so I guess there's at least a possibility that it's what you are seeing.

Chrome from 1956, however, would have been brighter than most of today's OEM chrome or the chrome of the last 40 years. Back then, the bumper was copper plated, and the copper was buffed to a mirror finish before the nickel and chrome plating for absolute maximum shine. Cost cutting since then removed the copper plating, and the chrome today just isn't mirror smooth like then.

Look at some well maintained Harleys and see if that's the color you are looking for, because they are real hexavalent chrome over buffed copper just like a '56 Olds was. If you like the Harleys and then demand real hexavalent chrome plating, I think you will get the tint you seek. If you don't like the Harleys, you may be referring to a patina that some old bumpers have acquired over the years, rather than the color of the original plating. Unless you are in your seventies with an awful good memory, I'd say you're in error about "show chrome" today being brighter than 1956 OEM chrome. I am quite sure that if you could get in a time machine and go back to an Oldsmobile showroom in 1956 that you would see bright, bright, bright chrome. Good luck.

Ted Mooney, finishing.com
Ted Mooney, P.E.
Striving to live Aloha
finishing.com - Pine Beach, New Jersey
^


2007

RFQ: Looking for a shop to re plate/chrome 1 to 5 piece bumpers from classic cars. Immediate need for replating of 68 Lincoln front & rear bumpers.

Patrick Hulswitt
Classic car restoration/customization - Manchester, Michigan
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December 1, 2009

I need my bumpers and other trim work re-chromed on My 1971 Ford LTD.

Dave Fairley
- Memphis, Tennessee
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