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Old Oct 14, 2012, 12:54 AM
Just Limin'
laser110's Avatar
United States, NJ, East Brunswick
Joined Nov 2008
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Chroming vs Chrome Paint

As I move toward the completion of my Chris Craft I am thinking about what to do with the metal peices. They appear to be white metal and in some cases not molded well. I'll have some time to sand off excess, open up recesses and smooth things out.

Once done, thinking about chroming these peices or possibly using a chrome paint to cover them, wanted the thoughts of the forum. Is it hard to chrome white metal? I am assuming I need an intermediary coat of nickel or copper first? Good chrome kits that won't cost me an arm and a leg? Has anyone sent their peice out to be chromed? where? cost?

Anyone use chrome paint? I am thinking of spraying a primer coat on first and then 2-3 lights coats of chrome paint. Again any thoughts would be appreciated.

Scott
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Old Oct 14, 2012, 03:40 AM
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Stuttgart, Germany
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I'm facing the same questions for my gar wood speedster, while there are good metalizing paints that you can buff to a high shine, nothing shines like Chrome. That being said, I wonder if, after cleanup sanding, the pits can be filled with lead-free silver solder, then the whole part polished. There is alot of cheap costume type jewelry available that is little more than polished zinc alloy, and they shine up very well and seem not to tarnish. The metal is somehow darker than Chrome, but that might suit the scale and age of an old runabout.
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Old Oct 14, 2012, 03:41 AM
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Old Oct 14, 2012, 07:52 AM
Veni, Vidi, Feci
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Motor City
Joined Dec 2004
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There are many threads around here on both...

Alclad by Kmot: http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showt...2#post10005687

Nickel plating (ferget the chrome) by Ed C.: http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1221282

IMHO: The paint can be convincing enough, but nothing beats the wow factor of properly polished and plated metal parts.

I have used a very inexpensive brush-plating kit from Texas Platers Supply:

2453 W. 5 Mile Pkwy
Dallas, TX 75233
214-330-7168

No web presence, call them (hope they're still around, it's been a few years)

Yes you must lay down a copper plate first... buff THAT to a shine, then nickel plate.

A hint on the nickel: When you think you have it covered, do it maybe three more times! You can be fooled at first and lay down such a thin coating that the right light will show the brass or copper underneath...
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Old Oct 14, 2012, 06:53 PM
Just Limin'
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United States, NJ, East Brunswick
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Pat thanks for the advice. Are you saying that the nickel can be polished up to a high shine?

Scott
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Old Oct 14, 2012, 07:14 PM
Veni, Vidi, Feci
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Motor City
Joined Dec 2004
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Almost. The COPPER is polished up to a high shine, the nickel just gives it the color and oxidation resistance. But yes, nickel plating on a model can be indistinguishable from chrome... and chrome is just another layer added on top of a good nickel plate anyway.
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Old Oct 15, 2012, 06:27 AM
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I have used the chrome paint and I am quite thrilled with the out come. Obviously plating is probably the best solution and if I was planing on doing more than one of these kits I would order a plating kit. However for the 50 to 60 dollars before shipping, for me I am not sure the cost is worth how much I would use it. Again I was quite impressed with the chrome paint I bought for $9.99 at Canadian Tire.
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Old Oct 15, 2012, 09:06 AM
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Stuttgart, Germany
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I've been googling around to find a source for the copper and nickel solutions and plating wand, when I stumbled on several howto articles on DIY electroplating. It seems the basic idea is to apply a low voltage (~2v) to the part to be plated, and a piece of 'donor' metal (penny or stripped copper wire to plate in copper, or a piece of something made of nickel..... a nickel?, for nickel plating) and immerse them in an acid like vinegar; the molecules which are dissolved from the positively charged donor are collected on the surface of the negatively charged part, depositing a thin layer which can be polished.

In my case, I will be casting my own hardware from zinc alloy, smoothing them over, then plating several times in copper to fill imperfections, which will then be smoothed and polished before applying 2-3 layers of nickel to give it the silver sheen. I expect this method is much more time consuming than commercial materials, and will require a lot of fiddling, but like most aspects of this wonderful hobby good results can be achieved on a shoestring budget.
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Old Oct 15, 2012, 11:29 AM
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Sweden
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JayJay, I would like to watch your process. Please start a thread as you proceed. I am wondering about "filling in the imperfections" with several layers of copper though... I plate myself. I can tell you 1st hand that a very thin layer of plate actualy adhears to the metal. However the longer you swipe or dip the part the more metal adhears... That being said imperfections in my experience have never been "filled in"...
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Old Oct 15, 2012, 03:21 PM
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I heard somewhere, if painting chrome, start with a black, then spray chrome for the best results.
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Old Oct 15, 2012, 04:25 PM
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Fort Wayne IN
Joined Aug 2007
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Chrome Plating

I have tried various techniques with a wide variety of results.

Foil - not good
Laquer paint - fair
Home plating kits - OK for small parts, difficult for large surfaces.

I finally decided that if I was putting this much work into the wood and varnish, I should have fittings that are up to the same standard.

Two months ago, I sent two cutwaters, two sets of fenders, and a window frame to a company called New England Chrome Plating. For $85 (which included return shipping), I received the parts shown in the photos.

Over time, I have come to the conclusion that nothing has the look and durability of chrome plating like real chrome plating.

Too much money? My money, my boat, my call. I love my new chrome parts. I would use this shop again in the future.
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Old Oct 15, 2012, 05:15 PM
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I agree if the fittings will be installed on a $350 kit, but for a scratch-builders there are cheaper options.
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Old Oct 15, 2012, 08:15 PM
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Lake Balboa, CA
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Chroming vs. Chrome Paint...
No comparison.
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Old Oct 15, 2012, 09:29 PM
Just Limin'
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United States, NJ, East Brunswick
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Linerfanatic I looked up New England Chrome Plating. That looks like the way to go for me. I can make all my peices and then send them off to be done. I am not a fan of buying and using expensive chemicals, especially if I don't plan on doing naother boat like this for a while.

Scott
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Old Oct 16, 2012, 01:30 AM
oldtribefan
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United States, GA, Kennesaw
Joined May 2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by woodybob View Post
Chroming vs. Chrome Paint...
No comparison.
I agree! Went the chrome plating route on my Triple. $250 for plating 50 some parts (and this was 10 years ago) was money well spent after I spent hundereds of hours building the boat.
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