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Thread: Replate/Chrome?

  1. #1
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    Replate/Chrome?

    Is there any way to re-chrome parts? The handwheel on my machine is missing a piece of chrome. Looks like it chipped off. And way to repair?

  2. #2
    Super Member J Miller's Avatar
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    Patty,

    I suspect the best answer would come from a plating shop. I know that previously plated items have to be un-plated and prepped and re-plated. So they would be the best to ask questions of.

    Joe

  3. #3
    Super Member SteveH's Avatar
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    Patty,

    Joe is 100% correct. I do Jewelry plating (silver, copper) but the concept is the same.

    some advice...

    1. Try looking on old car boards (they are one of the biggest users of this service)
    2. Try looking on old boat boards (they are the second most common re-platers)
    3. This process is not cheap mostly because of the labyrinthine regulations and permits required.
    (one of the most toxic processes in manufacturing)

    In most cases it is cheaper to buy a unit that to re-chrome. If the part is rare, it is worth it.

    Also, there are some good "chrome" paints being sold that with hand touch-up work can make an unsightly spot less noticeable.

    Lastly, if you let me know where you are at i can help you locate a service (Private Message if you'd rather)

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by SteveH View Post
    Patty,

    Joe is 100% correct. I do Jewelry plating (silver, copper) but the concept is the same.

    some advice...

    1. Try looking on old car boards (they are one of the biggest users of this service)
    2. Try looking on old boat boards (they are the second most common re-platers)
    3. This process is not cheap mostly because of the labyrinthine regulations and permits required.
    (one of the most toxic processes in manufacturing)

    In most cases it is cheaper to buy a unit that to re-chrome. If the part is rare, it is worth it.

    Also, there are some good "chrome" paints being sold that with hand touch-up work can make an unsightly spot less noticeable.

    Lastly, if you let me know where you are at i can help you locate a service (Private Message if you'd rather)
    I live in Las Vegas, NV.

  5. #5
    Junior Member Pam1111's Avatar
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    I think I have the same question as Patty. I soaked the hand wheel in evaporust and all the rust came off but is now a dull gray finish. What did I do wrong?Name:  photo(4).jpg
Views: 444
Size:  32.8 KB

  6. #6
    Super Member SteveH's Avatar
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    Patty - I was able to find the following in your area;
    http://gorillachrome.com/las-vegas-w...chrome-plating
    http://decometalfinishing.com/
    http://www.yelp.com/biz/american-pol...ting-henderson
    http://www.chromeplatingusa.com/


    Pam - I just read the website for the "Evaporust". cool stuff. What this did was to basically "eat" (read breakdown) the rust and leave the metal. I would not believe that you did anything wrong. It just needs to be polished now.

    So, to explain in really basic terms how metal shines....

    If you imagine taking a piece of dull metal, cutting it, and then looking at the side REALLY close the top and bottom surface would look like this...

    Top surface: \/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/
    Bottom surface: ----------------------

    When light comes from the top towards the metal it hits all of those angled faces and the light bounces off at a different angle.

    Since only a small portion of the light is actually bounced back to the viewer and the light that does make it back is not all "side by side" the surface looks dull.

    When you polish a surface and then cut it, viewed from the side it looks like this...

    Top surface: -----------------------
    Bottom surface: -----------------------

    The light now bounces mostly back to the viewer making the surface reflective.

    Now Imagine your piece of metal with rust on it...

    Top surface: -0-0-0---00-0---0--
    Bottom surface: ----------------------

    Now remove the rust.... ( the "v" is the pocket left when the rust particle leaves)

    Top surface: -v-v-v---vv-v---v--
    Bottom surface: ----------------------

    The process of polishing lowers the rest of the surface until there are less "disturbances" in the surface.

    Another "image" of this is to imagine a pool of water. when it is Still it is reflective, when it is "rippled" it is not. (actually it is, but the reflections are strongly distorted)

  7. #7
    Junior Member Pam1111's Avatar
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    What would be the best way to polish? I tried Brasso from its current dull state.

  8. #8
    Super Member SteveH's Avatar
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    Pam,

    Well, in "my' shop it would be a buffing wheel and polishing compounds.

    I can make a couple suggestions for you though;
    First try any non-abrasive (contradiction in terms) polish. I use "Flitz". (old fashioned toothpaste works well also)
    You can also try putting it on the machine and using "00000 Steel wool" while it is spinning.
    But if there is any pitting, it will need to be really polished.

    If you would like to send it to California, I would be willing to buff it up for you, no cost.

  9. #9
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    Thanks Steve!

  10. #10
    Junior Member Pam1111's Avatar
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    Steve: Just sent you a PM. Thanks! Pam

  11. #11
    Super Member SteveH's Avatar
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    It arrived today!

    Here is 1 minute in the shop as a quick test.
    Name:  handwheel test.jpg
Views: 141
Size:  182.1 KB

    I think it will work out fine.

    What I see is that the grey is a residue. It wirewheels off just fine

    The rust has reduced the surface through MINOR pitting which leaves a fine grainy surface

    The polish pass just shined up the surface, so the grainy surface is shiny (not our preferred outcome)

    I would suggest that I make a gentle pass with my surfacing tools to put the metal back to smooth, then buff. They should shine right up. If that sounds too "invasive" I can just wirewheel and buff.

    Your choice

    Steve

  12. #12
    Junior Member Pam1111's Avatar
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    Hey Steve I like your suggestion above to put the metal back to smooth and buff. Thanks

  13. #13
    Super Member J Miller's Avatar
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    After the buffing and polishing what do you suggest to use on them to keep future rust away?

    Joe

  14. #14
    Super Member SteveH's Avatar
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    I use Museum Wax (Microcrystaline wax) when needed but truth is once it is polished it is rust resistant (the reason we started polishing things in the first place)

    use it, love it, wipe off fingerprints (oil and dirt), should be good.

  15. #15
    Super Member thepolyparrot's Avatar
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    Steve, I think that "chrome" on the older handwheels is just nickel plating. Wouldn't a wire wheel grind off that thin nickel pretty fast?

    I was thinking that a series of buffing wheels with cutting/buffing compounds might be the safest way to start after the Evaporust?

    The wire wheel scares me. A tad. Okay, more than a tad - it scares me a lot because it sparks, too! I know, I'm a chicken.

    I've read some very good things about the nickel electro-plating kits you can buy for small parts, too. Have you ever tried any of those?

  16. #16
    Super Member SteveH's Avatar
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    I will post a pic later to show but this handwheel had about 10% of the nickel plating left.

    I work with coal and gas forges regularly, so not so stressed by sparks
    Although I have to say in doing this process I don't get any sparks at all, I use a 6 inch diameter soft/fine wheel on a 1/2 HP motor.

    You're also quite correct if this had it's nickel plating the wire Wheeling would just remove it in a heartbeat. In fact that's why I chose the wire wheel for this is because it would remove what's left of the nickel plating to even up the surface.

  17. #17
    Super Member SteveH's Avatar
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    Then the light sanding to remove the pitting from
    the original rust damage, then a series of compounds. (Actually two)

  18. #18
    Super Member J Miller's Avatar
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    I cleaned one up a bit in a similar but amateurish manner. I used one of those sponge type sanding blocks and turned the hand wheel by the motor with the stop motion knob loosened. It actually came out fair to middlen OK.
    I'm looking forward to seeing yours.

    Joe

  19. #19
    Super Member SteveH's Avatar
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    that is a good method, my only worry is particulates getting in the machine from that. I do a similar proess but use a wooden dowel in the center of the wheel and turn it against the wire-wheel.

  20. #20
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    Looks so much better!

  21. #21
    Super Member thepolyparrot's Avatar
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    Thanks so much! It's interesting to see that you get so bright a finish after the nickel plating is gone! I think I just lost some of my chicken-ness.

  22. #22
    Super Member SteveH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by thepolyparrot View Post
    I've read some very good things about the nickel electro-plating kits you can buy for small parts, too. Have you ever tried any of those?
    I have an electroplating rig. I usually use it for silver plating (yep, already considered it...)
    To plate in nickel I would just need to get some of the solution/salts, but it is doable.

    The main reason manufacturers use nickel plating is because it costs about $2 to plate something, but takes about a hour of labor to actually put a mirror shine on something. WAY cheaper.

    After thinking about this and going to check on a couple of my other "fading plating" old hand-wheels, it seems that Singer did this process of not fully polishing, then plating.

  23. #23
    Super Member SteveH's Avatar
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    Well, How does it look?

    Name:  handwheel - After.jpg
Views: 95
Size:  65.4 KB

    Before (after first test)
    Name:  handwheel test.jpg
Views: 102
Size:  125.5 KB
    Last edited by SteveH; 01-04-2013 at 02:38 PM.

  24. #24
    Super Member JudyTheSewer's Avatar
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    It looks great! I am sure it looks better in person. Good job.

  25. #25
    Super Member SteveH's Avatar
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    thanks, and you are right, it was a crappy picture...
    Name:  handwheel - After.jpg
Views: 101
Size:  85.6 KB

    I like the look of these wheels without the original nickel plating.
    I REALLY like polished iron...
    Last edited by SteveH; 01-04-2013 at 03:18 PM.

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