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  #1091  
Old 01-12-2019, 04:29 AM
Jon Thompson Jon Thompson is offline
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Default Beautiful

Very nice!
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  #1092  
Old 01-12-2019, 04:20 PM
John Buchtenkirch John Buchtenkirch is offline
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Default Don't be too hard on yourself.

Jack, I feel your pain………. however just about any parts that are being plated or polished to perfection are not novice level. While a really good polisher may be able to polish out some minor imperfections I’d say the metal work / finishing has “got to be 99% there” for a lack of a better way to describe it. I have helped prepare many trim parts thru the years for my friend’s plating & polishing business https://vtwinscycleshop.com/polish.html and it’s not relaxing work, you get away with almost nothing unless your plater has access to illegal cyanide copper plating tanks. No parts can be mig welded, it doesn’t polish out the same as surrounding metal.

I will add whenever a job beats me up I try to move on to some easier portion of the job so I’m still making some progress but my thoughts will keep flashing back to figuring out the harder job. I also purposely place unsuccessful pieces where I’m forced to see them many times during the day as a constant reminder to me of where my thought process should be focused. Time away from the stress portion of jobs has allowed me to outsmart problems many times which is why I hate jobs with an absolute deadline…………… guess I’m not ready to do a TV show . ~ John Buchtenkirch

P.S. I have enjoyed your updates on your build. THANK YOU.
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Last edited by John Buchtenkirch; 01-12-2019 at 04:23 PM.
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  #1093  
Old 01-13-2019, 12:20 AM
norson norson is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Buchtenkirch View Post
Jack, I feel your pain………. however just about any parts that are being plated or polished to perfection are not novice level. While a really good polisher may be able to polish out some minor imperfections I’d say the metal work / finishing has “got to be 99% there” for a lack of a better way to describe it. I have helped prepare many trim parts thru the years for my friend’s plating & polishing business https://vtwinscycleshop.com/polish.html and it’s not relaxing work, you get away with almost nothing unless your plater has access to illegal cyanide copper plating tanks. No parts can be mig welded, it doesn’t polish out the same as surrounding metal.

I will add whenever a job beats me up I try to move on to some easier portion of the job so I’m still making some progress but my thoughts will keep flashing back to figuring out the harder job. I also purposely place unsuccessful pieces where I’m forced to see them many times during the day as a constant reminder to me of where my thought process should be focused. Time away from the stress portion of jobs has allowed me to outsmart problems many times which is why I hate jobs with an absolute deadline…………… guess I’m not ready to do a TV show . ~ John Buchtenkirch

P.S. I have enjoyed your updates on your build. THANK YOU.
John
Could you expand on the cyanide copper part of the plating process and ways around it and how to better prepare for chrome plating? Or a layman's source of information?
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  #1094  
Old 01-13-2019, 01:46 AM
John Buchtenkirch John Buchtenkirch is offline
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Norm, I’m not a plater myself and know very little about the business but I’m told that cyanide copper plating is like the Bondo of the plating business, a very high build plating that can fill pits and build up too thin metal. The down side is it is illegal in many areas so the only other choice that I know of is the parts to be plated have to be nearly perfect. ~ John Buchtenkirch
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  #1095  
Old 01-13-2019, 06:51 AM
Chris_Hamilton Chris_Hamilton is offline
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Cyanide copper provides a more even plate. The other process is acid copper plating which actually provides more buildup but also is less even, more build around edges.Either process will work, the acid plate requires more prep labor. It is less toxic but actually everything about chrome plating is toxic. Actually if it's legal to operate a plating facility in a particualar locale it is legal to use cyanide copper tanks. Hexavalent chromium is the most toxic chemical used in the plating process. Main reason platers look for alternatives is the disposal fees for the chemical waste. The EPA really cracked down on platers over the last 20 years.
I am probably wrong but I don't know of any place that doesn't use copper as the first layer in the plating process. Copper adheres better to steel substrates far better than nickel will. I wouldn't want anything of mine to be directly nickel plated over steel.


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  #1096  
Old 01-13-2019, 07:55 AM
Jon Thompson Jon Thompson is offline
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I have repaired parts for platers in the past and have gotten an inside view on the plating process. I have only worked with four polishers/platers in the past 33 years in business. Here is my knowledge and experience with the plating process as a consumer. I am not a plater. We have recently switched to Custom Chrome Plating in Grafton Ohio. The longest relationship was with Matt at J and R in western Massachusetts. Matt is a polisher. He regularly has his plating on Pebble Beach automobiles and has a vast knowledge of the plating process. As it has been explained to me in laymen terms. Copper, the copper plate is the first plate applied, we send all of our plated parts to be stripped and returned to us first, we cut, shape, tweek and weld until we get a nice fit, for instance a bumperette to a bumper face bar, then we finish the the bare steel (in this example) to a 150-180 grit. The part(s) are shipped back to the plater and he reduces the surface profile scratch (150 grit) to at least 320 grit. The parts are then placed in the copper tank where copper ingot is suspended in a fluid and charged negative and the suspended parts are charged positive. The electrical current causes the copper to migrate to the positive charged parts. If we are shooting for a crazy fit up we ask for an over flash and feather edge, that happens when the time spent (and other aspects of the plating process such as but not limited to, positioning, are considered). The parts are sent back to us and we use the overplate to fit plated parts to an eventual painted surface or another plated surface by profiling via sanding the edge to fit the mating part. Here's where the science takes a back seat to art, triple plate is about .014" thick so we are careful not to create an air tight fit as it is almost always on a radius and too tight a fit will cause a part to have too small of a radius. After the fit up the parts are sent back to the plater block sanded, prepared and polished. I have been told it's the copper polish you see. The people I have trusted and repaired parts for have told me it's the copper polish you see. The time spent on and in the nickle and chrome tanks are just a fraction of the time and effort spent on and in the copper tanks for triple plate custom chrome. It's science and art.
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  #1097  
Old 01-13-2019, 11:04 AM
John Buchtenkirch John Buchtenkirch is offline
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Okay guys, I was really only trying to console Jack over a bit of a rough patch in his build. Let’s not change his excellent build thread into one about plating metal, that could easily be another thread altogether for those who are interested . ~ John Buchtenkirch
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  #1098  
Old 01-13-2019, 01:56 PM
Jon Thompson Jon Thompson is offline
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My apology. Jon T
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  #1099  
Old 01-13-2019, 03:14 PM
norson norson is offline
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My apology. Jon T
Jon
I greatly appreciate your information. I think it is worthy of it's own thread and urge you to make it part of it. Many of us will need chrome plating at some point and to have knowledge of the process would be priceless.
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  #1100  
Old 01-17-2019, 08:17 PM
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Jack 1957 Jack 1957 is offline
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The last thing I need to get done on the front end is the parking lamp housings. I think the most efficient way to make these would be to cast them in aluminum. My go to guy with a home foundry has left us for greener pastures so I'll have to find someone to do the pour for me, but I can make the moulds
Since I'll be casting the tail light housings also, I'll do them all at one time.
I thought about making them from 24ga stainless but they'll be pretty intricate and a lot of welding in tight areas on thin sheet metal. Plus, bolting them together would probably leave indentations on the finished outer surfaces.
There are a few different ways to do this but I'll be using a method called lost wax investment casting, or plaster casting. It involves making a wax plug, then pouring a mixture of plaster and silica sand around it. When the plaster mix is cured, you flip it upside down and heat it to melt the wax and it runs out of the mold. Then heat the mold to at least 800 degrees for about 6 to 8 hours to get all the moisture out of the mold, then pour the aluminum.
The downside to this method is that it's very dangerous and you could get killed or seriously mamed. Also, you don't know if you have a good mold until the very end when you bust the mold open and inspect the part. The plug is lost and the mold is destroyed so if the part is bad you have to start over from the very beginning. The upside is that if all goes well you have some very clean, well made and durable parts that will polish up easily.
The first thing I did was take apart a headlight and a tail light to sort out what I need and where everything will go and to determine the shapes of the housings.

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This is the part that can get you killed or severly mamed. Grab your wife's electric skillet and some tin foil and get out to the garage quick. Don't forget to hang the "Do Not Disturb" sign on the door. (You didn't think I was talking about the pour, did you?). Fill the skillet about half full with water and hang some foil around the sides to reach down below the water line, and turn the heat on to about 200 degrees. This will bring the water temp up high enough to melt the wax but not hot enough to boil the water. Bust up the wax into smaller chunks and put it in the skillet to melt.
You'll have to experiment with how much wax to use. I wanted a sheet of wax about 3/16" thick. I ended up with closer to 1/4" thick. A little overkill, but I'll use it. This skillet is 12 x 16" I put about 1 1/2 pounds of wax in and came up with almost 1/4" thickness.

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As the wax melts then starts to cool, it will start to shrink. The foil will help keep the wax from splitting because it will move out with the wax as it shrinks instead of the wax sticking to the side of the skillet. You'll probably get some air bubbles so use a micro torch to pop them.

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When the wax is mostly cooled lift it out, set it on a flat surface and set some weight on top to keep it from curling up til it cools completely.

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I had 4 1/2 pounds of wax and got 3 sheets from it. I'll probably need more but I'll see how far this gets me.

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Next, I got some of this green foam. I think it's called wet foam or something like that. It's that stuff you see in flower arrangements. They poke the stems into it. It's very soft, light and very easy to work with. It's good for what I'm doing here with wax but not for anything heavy. It's not strong at all. You can cut through the whole block cleanly with a steak knife and finish on a belt sander in less than 5 minutes.

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Last edited by Jack 1957; 01-17-2019 at 08:28 PM.
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