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Tbird1044
04-07-2015, 10:48 PM
Well, after waiting patiently for 6 months, I finally picked up my tail light waffle plates and lens bezels. They look pretty nice. They should for the price.
I also bought the decal kit from Thunderbird Ranch to do all the little black squares. If it works well, I will take some pics of the finished product and post them.
Nyles

YellowRose
04-07-2015, 11:21 PM
Nyles, that looks to be a beautifully done chrome job on the tail light pieces.. Good luck with putting all those squares on! It has been done before and takes awhile to do it, but it should look great when you are done.

partsetal
04-08-2015, 06:34 AM
Putting the squares in is not too bad. What is bad is cutting the squares and fitting them at the edges. I've got one started and am thinking masking and painting might be simpler.
Carl

toddgilroy
04-08-2015, 06:58 AM
Nyles - Do you have any pictures of what they looked like before you had them rechromed? Were the assemblies pitted at all? Would be interested to see how they compared to the condition mine are in.

Thanks!

jopizz
04-08-2015, 10:49 AM
I've had better luck painting it black and going over the raised part with lacquer thinner.

John

yellow98cobra
04-08-2015, 11:37 AM
Using several different sizes of brushes I hand painted in the squares on mine. It looks ok. Like the rest of the car it looks nice at 20'

fomoco59
04-08-2015, 03:25 PM
That re-chrome looks great !

Many years ago I bought a Blue '60 to flip and the tailight plates were in real bad shape. I powdercoated them. Car was a 20 footer and they came out ok. Some pics in this old thread.

http://squarebirds.org/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=5045

Tbird1044
04-08-2015, 03:35 PM
Here are some pics of the assemblies prior to chrome. They were pretty pitted, but I have seen worse.
I also started putting the black decals in last night and am really happy with the results so far. I'll attach another pic when I have one complete. I did practice on a spare set prior to ordering the decals, and am really glad I ordered the decals now. I tried paint and also powder coat. Getting paint to stick to new chrome is a challenge. The powder coat sticks really well, but had trouble getting it smooth and also was reluctant to put my new chrome in a 400F oven. The plates are not totally smooth in the small squares and the decals really smooth out the surface. Time will tell how they hold up, but this car won't see much abuse.
Nyles

Restifier52
04-08-2015, 04:03 PM
They look Mahvelous! I used a toothpick and a bottle of Testor's model paint for my black squares. I'm happy with the result. I was not trying to put paint on chrome however. I had my plates powdercoated and the paint has held on to that quite well.

Dan Leavens
04-09-2015, 08:05 AM
Rick did you use a clear coat over the black squares to protect from the elements?

Ford351c594
04-09-2015, 12:45 PM
you can also wipe the things down with a pre paint and cover the whole thing in Nyalic clear. protect the chrome as well.......
I use it on almost anything that is polished aluminum. No more polishing.

Tbird1044
04-09-2015, 10:32 PM
Nyalic clear?? Never heard of it. Would love to see some info on the product. Spent a lot of time buffing aluminum and would love to preserve it.
Nyles

Restifier52
04-09-2015, 11:32 PM
No Dan I did not. I just let a drop of paint fall from the toothpick onto the square and spread out. I may have used a couple drops per full square. I can't remember precisely. I don't really clean them. When I wash the car they just get a sponge off and a rinse.

Ford351c594
04-10-2015, 05:24 PM
http://www.piehtoolco.com/contents/en-us/p11539_Nyalic_Clear_Protectant,_12_oz.html

this is where a buy it from. decent write up.


http://www.nyalic.com/ a bit more info as well.

619Square
04-13-2015, 12:03 AM
Using several different sizes of brushes I hand painted in the squares on mine. It looks ok. Like the rest of the car it looks nice at 20'

lol... I can relate to that... except I am thinking 30' is the optimum viewing distance for mine! :D

Anders
04-13-2015, 09:03 AM
That looks F A N T A S T I C !! Can we have the chrome companys name and information? Also, what did they call this job? Showchrome or something else? Do you have any idea how many layers of copper they used?

Richard Honeycutt
05-09-2015, 08:26 PM
I've searched over 15 years to replace the ones on my '59, these look great. How bad were they before the refurbishing? I don't mean to be indelicate but may I ask where you sent them and the cost?
Regards,
Richard Honeycutt
.

Tbird1044
05-09-2015, 09:11 PM
Richard:
The chrome work was done by Artistic Silver Plating Inc. in Signal Hill, Calif. They are not cheap nor are they fast. The 4 pieces for the tail lights cost me $1150. No idea if the 59 with 2 lights instead of 3 would make a difference. It is getting hard, to find platers that will deal with pot metal. I did post some pictures of the parts prior to restoration. I also used the decal kit from John Draxler, Thunderbird Ranch, to do all of the little squares. He also has the decal kit for the 59, which I would bet is a lot easier to install. I believe Ray used this decal kit on his car.
If you would like any further info, just send me a Private message.
Nyles

Richard Honeycutt
05-10-2015, 09:35 PM
Thanks Nyles. I'm looking into a couple of ideas which may or may not work. I'll get an estimate from a machine shop, but I'm fairly certain it'll be cost prohibitive . The second idea is to try something I found on the net. Have you ever heard of a "Muggy Weld Super Alloy"? I saw a demo of them refurbishing a pot metal part which had pitted. They grind out the pit and then apply their flux. They heat around or beneath the pit until the flux darkens then apply the low temp solder to fill the pit. Of course the repair must be shaped afterward, but it looked as if it would be ready for plating when they were finished. Lots of work but I haven't found anything else as of yet. The website is HTTP: Muggyweld.com I'd be interested in knowing if anyone has tried it.
Regards,
Richard

Tbird1044
05-10-2015, 11:32 PM
I did ask my chrome shop about the muggyweld and they said they had trouble with the chrome bubbling where the repairs were made. You may ask your chrome shop and see what they have to say about it.
Nyles

simplyconnected
05-11-2015, 12:17 AM
Chrome plating on pot metal is expensive because of so many labor intensive steps. Every other step is a polish step.

Muggy would be great if it eliminated one step in plating, but it doesn't. So Muggy ends up being more expensive than using lead. Both metals will accept copper.

Nickel doesn't stick to pot metal but copper sticks to both. Copper also sticks to lead. Soooooo... they strip the pot metal (usually by sand blasting), dig out all the pits and powdered rot, then copper plate. Copper 'flows' nicely in and around pits but it won't fill them.

So they fill the holes with lead, smooth it and copper plate again. If the copper buffs out to a mirror shine, they nickel plate. The slightest imperfection glares out from under a shiny surface so all the little tiny scratches must be polished out. Too much buffing and the soft copper is gone and the piece must be copper electroplated again, and polished again.

The last two steps are, nickel electroplate and then a very thin chrome to stop the nickee from tarnishing.

The only way to drive plating prices down is by mass producing the same part thousands of times. Instead of the least expensive piece costing fifty bucks to plate, a whole rack of them might cost half of that. That's why steel bumpers can be done cheaply, they do them in racks with no copper plate.

Daleo56
05-20-2015, 07:55 PM
Chrome plating on pot metal is expensive because of so many labor intensive steps. Every other step is a polish step.

I had no idea sandblasting was part of the process. What a headache.

simplyconnected
05-20-2015, 08:39 PM
A good quality plating shop will not sand blast but harsh chemicals meant to remove chrome and nickel can also eat away soft pot metal (zinc). Excessive sand blasting does two things, it eats away too much metal (especially pot metal) and it creates too much warping. Those sand particles are like sharp little hammers.

Warping is not from electroplating as the parts are dipped in a heated solution, not a boiling solution. 212 degrees F, is not enough to warp pot metal but this temp is much lower. Some small parts get warped from soldering with excessive heat with a torch, instead of using a big soldering iron that can localize heat.

How many times have you seen all the detail washed out of a pot metal piece that was replated? All the sharp edges are now round and the part looks nothing like the original. The copper electroplating process tends to fill-in much of the detail if it is too thick. Excessive buffing, too much sand blasting, or a combination of all will produce a big round blob.

Filling with copper isn't all bad if your piece has pin holes that go all the way through (like my steel parking light housings for the '55 did). Where there was no metal before, there is now, and the part has no rust on the inside. Copper can only do so much before lead is needed. Then more copper.

So each process requires a lot more skill than it appears. Knowing when enough is enough is most important. I tried buffing a part (because I just 'knew I could'). Then I watched the guy who does it all the time. Mine looked miserable and his looked beautiful.

Wudro
08-29-2015, 12:09 PM
Hey Nyles, how did the tail lights turn out? Do you recommend the black sticker kit?

Tbird1044
08-29-2015, 02:42 PM
Hey Nyles, how did the tail lights turn out? Do you recommend the black sticker kit?

I was very happy with the final results of the tail light assemblies. I would recommend the black stickers, as long as you have the patience to put them all in. Painting each square would also be time consuming, and the black stickers give a nice flat, consistent finish.
I think that Carl (partseal) also used the black stickers and would be good for a second opinion
Nyles

partsetal
08-30-2015, 07:44 AM
I actually started with the stickers. The square ones were time consuming but went well. The odd sizes that had to be cut did not, so I abandoned the stickers and masked and painted. Much simpler for me. After masking, I used an adhesion promoter and then mixed up some black single stage and sprayed them. Using a rattle can does not work as the viscosity causes the paint to migrate to the corners of the squares and leave the centers unpainted. By controlling the viscosity I got excellent coverage.
Carl

simplyconnected
08-30-2015, 08:12 AM
WOW, that looks dynamite!

Dan Leavens
08-30-2015, 09:09 AM
Carl I agree with Dave very nicely done.

toddgilroy
11-13-2015, 05:38 PM
Well I got my tail light assemblies (along with a few other pieces) back from the chrome shop here in Omaha and I am very pleased with the results. Now I just need to get the rest of the car finished! Here's a few before and after pics.

Dan Leavens
11-14-2015, 09:18 AM
Looking good and starting to come together:rolleyes:

Tbird1044
11-14-2015, 01:43 PM
Nothing like a nice set of tail lights on the old bird. Now the fun part begins with turning all those little squares black.
Nyles


Well I got my tail light assemblies (along with a few other pieces) back from the chrome shop here in Omaha and I am very pleased with the results. Now I just need to get the rest of the car finished! Here's a few before and after pics.

toddgilroy
11-14-2015, 03:18 PM
Those look great, Nyles.

I think I will be spending a few cold, snowy Nebraska nights applying stickers.

sidewalkman
12-15-2015, 02:12 PM
I actually started with the stickers. The square ones were time consuming but went well. The odd sizes that had to be cut did not, so I abandoned the stickers and masked and painted. Much simpler for me. After masking, I used an adhesion promoter and then mixed up some black single stage and sprayed them. Using a rattle can does not work as the viscosity causes the paint to migrate to the corners of the squares and leave the centers unpainted. By controlling the viscosity I got excellent coverage.
Carl

Hey Carl

How about I send my tail light waffles to you for masking, because there is no way that I can ever do a masking job like that?

I'll paint them...I'm not lazy!!!