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  #21  
Old 05-11-2015, 12:17 AM
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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.
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  #22  
Old 05-20-2015, 07:55 PM
Daleo56 Daleo56 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by simplyconnected View Post
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.
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  #23  
Old 05-20-2015, 08:39 PM
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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.
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  #24  
Old 08-29-2015, 12:09 PM
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Hey Nyles, how did the tail lights turn out? Do you recommend the black sticker kit?
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  #25  
Old 08-29-2015, 02:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wudro View Post
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
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  #26  
Old 08-30-2015, 07:44 AM
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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.
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  #27  
Old 08-30-2015, 08:12 AM
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WOW, that looks dynamite!
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  #28  
Old 08-30-2015, 09:09 AM
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Carl I agree with Dave very nicely done.
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  #29  
Old 11-13-2015, 05:38 PM
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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.
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  #30  
Old 11-14-2015, 09:18 AM
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Looking good and starting to come together
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