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  #11  
Old 12-21-2017, 12:26 PM
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Sorry I took so long to respond but I've been going nuts!

Many chrome platers don't have tanks large enough for bumpers. If you think of it, not many automotive (or motorcycle) parts are that large. For Squarebirds, only the front bumper requires large plating tanks. So, many of the 'show chrome' guys don't do bumpers. They do everything else.

The bumper plating company I have used for decades is re-doing their website and it appeared the company was no longer in business. I have one of their catalogs (from 10-yrs ago) but they haven't used paper cat's for many years. All their prices are online.

So, today I called the Plating Manager, Walt at (734) 718-2953. They are in full swing and doing well. Walt gave me prices for Squarebird bumpers. Remember, this is a two-step process of nickel and chrome over steel. As always, they include minor straightening in this service, mostly caused by bumper jacks, etc.

Prices as of today
Front
  • Bumper - $600
  • Guards - $127/each
Rear
  • Lower - $460
  • Upper Ends $127/each
  • Guards - $127

In the past, they usually gave me a break on the price if I have multiple items to plate. That may be because I've used them many times and they recognize me. All I know is Salesman, Bob Sutherland, has always treated me very well and their work looks just like 'stock'. - Dave
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  #12  
Old 12-21-2017, 01:18 PM
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No worries Dave ; thanks as always for your help!
I had a nice phone call with the owner of http://www.advancedcustomchrome.com/ in Erie PA this morning. They use the three stage hexavalent process, which he claims has the bluish tint "that everyone loves". He said that the trivalent process has a somewhat brownish or golden tone and he doesn't use it. He also doesn't do the two stage process. He quoted me $1150 for the chroming and $150 to patch & smooth the bumper guard mount areas. He said that he recently installed some upgraded tanks and can now handle up to 4 of these bumpers at the same time! What is the name of the company you used? These prices are definitely going in the wrong direction!
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  #13  
Old 12-21-2017, 02:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by del View Post
No worries Dave ; thanks as always for your help!
I had a nice phone call with the owner of http://www.advancedcustomchrome.com/ in Erie PA this morning. They use the three stage hexavalent process, which he claims has the bluish tint "that everyone loves". He said that the trivalent process has a somewhat brownish or golden tone and he doesn't use it. He also doesn't do the two stage process...
That beautiful 'creamy-looking' chrome from back in the day was hexavalent chrome. It is officially banned at most automotive companies including Ford because it is environmentally unsafe unless neutralized. I believe the UK won't allow it at all.

Hexavalent chrome is a big deal with the EPA and OSHA. They require 'kit samples' taken from the plating tanks just in order to stay in business. Why? Because hexavalent chrome is carcinogenic and the process uses potassium cyanide, that cannot enter our sewage system nor can it be buried. Unfortunately, this is THE chrome of all show pieces.

Trivalent chrome is much more environmentally friendly, thus cheaper to use. I can look at a chromed part and tell the difference by the blue color. Some people can't. So, trivalent chrome has a blue tint. Hexavalent chrome has NO color. It looks like a mirror. <--This is the chrome you see at shows.

If the information you got is accurate with what your PA company relayed, it seems to be conflicting.

The company I use:
The Micro Group of Companies, Chrome Plating Div.
I'm sorry their site isn't ready yet because it displays a host of services they offer including painting and sales of radiators, evaporators, fascias and a host of other things. They operate many plants. The one I use is right next to Ford's Model T plant in in Highland Park, MI.

Read about chrome in this site --> CLICK HERE - Dave
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  #14  
Old 10-04-2018, 06:49 PM
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Just to close out this thread, I found a local fabrication guy back in February who was happy to weld in some metal and fill in the bumper guard mounts, but he needed to do it in his spare time as he had a lot of other work backed-up. I believe that it was some time in May when he had it done for me. $100. I'm pretty sure it was the same day, I dropped it off back at our local plating guy TRIPP PLATING. In July, he got back to me with the revised chroming quote, which was a little more than what was originally quoted for the re-chrome because the modified bumper had more stuff to deal with corrosion wise than was expected. Whatever...
With perfect timing, as the re-cored radiator came back from the shop, the modified bumper is also ready! Picked it up on Wednesday, just coincidently, the same day I busted off a bolt for the expansion tank mount!

For further updates on this ongoing project , please refer to this thread http://www.squarebirds.org/vbulletin...ad.php?t=22987
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File Type: jpg NewBumper.JPG (129.0 KB, 63 views)
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  #15  
Old 10-05-2018, 08:19 AM
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Don the bumper looks great
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  #16  
Old 10-05-2018, 08:32 PM
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I also like the Idea, especially with the '60. The ends of the center piece is hidden & doesn't look quite right. If it was me, I would place the bumper guard mounts closer together, in the center. However, mine is going to stay the way it is as it looks like new,& no damage. The cost for us to fill holes & re-chrome would be around $2-3 thousand. How much $ was the end result Del.?

Chris.....From OZ.
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  #17  
Old 10-05-2018, 09:45 PM
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I learned more about plating in the 10 minutes it took me to read this thread than in the previous 20 years of my life.

I’ve never had a problem with nickel and chrome processes because they were cheaper and to me they looked “factory”.
But now, I’m a grumpy old coot and I’m liking that hexavalent method more and more.
After all, the 59’s gonna be my last restoration/rebuild, right?

I’ve always thought on a 55 Crown, the two step process on the bumpers and grille better matched the half acre of buffed stainless you put back on the car.

With no real stainless side trim on a squarebird, going all the way with hexavalent seems to make more sense.

Oh, and pulling off those bumper guards was the right thing to do. It looks seriously kick-*** now.
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Old 10-05-2018, 10:06 PM
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Total cost was $1450 - $100 to fill the divots, $1350 for remaining corrosion cleanup and re-chroming.
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  #19  
Old 10-06-2018, 12:19 AM
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I'll try to summarize the chrome plating process for both pot metal and steel.

We always used hexavalent chrome. Today, it's nearly outlawed by all corporations. I say 'nearly'. The chemical process for neutralizing the potassium cyanide is expensive. Plating tank samples must be submitted to the EPA to ensure none of it enters the ground or waste water system. Hexavalent chrome is carcinogenic. Trivalent chrome is not.

Trivalent chrome is widely used today. The trained eye can see a blue tinge in it but it closely resembles hexavalent chrome.

The old process involved plain old nickel plated on steel but it tarnished to a golden color. Everyone had to polish it get the tarnish out.

Then, we used the two-plate process: Nickel plate then (hexavalent) Chrome plate. Chrome is so thin, you see the bright nickel through it. The purpose of chrome is to stop nickel from tarnishing.

In every plating process where the part is under high visibility, the base must be polished to a mirror shine because every tiny scratch will show through. For example, we polished the top side of our bumpers but not the bottoms. I takes too long to do all the surfaces and nobody ever sees the bottom or insides.

"Show Chrome" is a three-plate process. The metal must be polished first. If the pot metal had pits, they were drilled or ground out to get down to base metal. Steel must be rust free. Since copper will stick to just about anything, this is the first plate in either, pot metal pieces or steel pieces.

After copper plating, pot metal pieces still have divots from drilling out the rot. Lead solder is used to fill the divots because it sticks so well to the copper plate. Then the pot metal piece is smoothed, polished and re-copper plated.

After polishing the final copper plate, nickel is plated on either the pot metal or steel piece. Again, another polish, and finally hexavalent chrome is plated.

There's your three-plate process - copper-nickel-chrome and it's done as 'show chrome' on either pot metal or steel.

Notice the number of times we polish. In a plating shop, the polishing room is larger than the plating room and polishing requires more people. That's why plating is expensive.

There's more to this... Plating does not warp metal because the plating process is done while submerged. Sandblasting warps metal. Another method of removing rot is by chemicals like sulfuric acid, etc. Again, the plating company must not use chemicals that will dissolve the part. This happened to me on radio knobs with that little spring steel piece inside. The little piece was GONE on six of them.

When you bring your pieces in, COUNT THEM. Your order may be mixed with other work. A good plating shop will not lose your pieces and they will offer a warranty. - Dave
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  #20  
Old 10-06-2018, 12:29 AM
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Coolness! Thanks.

Back in the early 90s I tried to get my 56 Merc headliner a/c vents plated.
The pot metal surrounds were easy enough, but the plastic louvres were another story.
“Nobody plates plastic” is what I heard again and again.
So how’s it done? It isn’t just paint, is it?
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