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Show quality chrome & minor repair recomendations


Durant Mike

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I know this has been covered to death, but I'm wanting to start getting some parts chromed for my Durant. I sent a small tail light bucket and outside ring to Graves Plating in Alabama, but have not received it back yet. Looked fine to me and they quoted around $275 for it to be nickeled. I have the usual front radiator surround, two parking lights, windshield and a cowl band metal trim to do as well as head light buckets and rims. I know that there will be some small repair on the headlight and parking light rims as they have splits from age. I have narrowed the search down to three companies. Graves Plating in Alabama, Librandi's plating in Pennsylvania and Custom Plating in Snellville, Georgia. Can anyone provide me some recomendations on any of these companies. If you have any negative comments on these please send them via private email to me. We can't post negative comments about companies on the forums.

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No experience with these three, but would recommend including Paul's Chrome, Evans City, PA (near Pittsburgh, PA) in your search. Paul's is priced around with the others and their photo identification process attributes to them having never lost a single part of mine, not even the smallest spring. Price and part's condition go hand-in-hand.

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Librandi's has been accustomed to working on prewar car parts for decades and the owner is himself an experienced old car owner. They did all the trim on my 1957, the grille and bumpers are stunning, both die castings and stamped parts and this is after 6 years of storage. I cannot personally speak for their nickel plating but they are certainly experienced. Good luck, Todd

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I use Librandi. He's close enough that I can visit personaly. He also does the picture bit. What I like is Todd will tell you what it will cost upfront and sticks to it. If the parts looks like there might be hidden problems he will tell you up front and it will be a time and materials charge. He also gives a very realistic delivery time and he has always been within a couple of weeks of meeting it.

All that being said, he does know how to charge, but like everything else, you get what you pay for..............Bob

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Show plating, what a joke.

You have to be very careful making sure the plater understands what you are trying to do. They will try their best to make the part look pretty, but you want correct fit too.

You car is early so it would have been done with a dull nickel plate that would have been buffed. Today most shops use only bright nickel. The problem is the oxidizers cause the nickel to tarnish MUCH faster. Since you are not top coating with a chrome clear (chrome adds a clear blue hue). So you might want to talk about using a Watts or dull nickle plate that is then buffed to a bright nickel. Shops like Frankford Plating in Phila have 3 nickel tanks. The turn of the century bath, the dull (or Watts), and the bright nickel.

Librandi's will tell you to go else where if you start asking questions about the process. He does not seem to want to deal with people that understand the process. He does not have a dull nickel tank and does not know the history of plating.

Pauls will tell you lots of nice stuff on the phone and never do it to your parts. I spent $2000 there and they ruined some parts. Twice I sent them the parts and they still could not read the directions telling them that the 3 parts have to fit together for my top to work. From the people I have talked with it seems Pauls is very good at fixing their mistakes, so it appears that they make a lot of mistakes. They also could not chrome plate over dull nickel.

Frankford plating is slow, but they seem to do good work. I have limited exposure to their final products. They were very open when I went to visit and toured me around the shop. They had a lot of parts where they were maintaining the proper shape and squareness of the parts. They were also the first shop that had 3 nickel tanks.

There is a shop in GA that I talked to the owner at Hershey a couple of years ago. He would be another place I would try. He understood the concepts of dull nickel not tarnishing as fast and he could chrome plate dull nickel.

The need for plating chrome over dull nickel is because some part were only polished on the front side. This is true on the Model A bumpers. The front was buffed and then the bumper was chrome plates. This resulted in the back side having the appearance of the back side of tin foil.

Always remember that when someone says he got great plating from a shop his idea of great may not be your idea of great.

Good Luck with your search.

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Thanks so far for the reply everyone, it helps me make a decision on where to go. There are so many platers out there without some advise it's a shot in the dark. A By The Sea, my car has chrome on the outside, nickel on the inside. It was the first year Durant offered the "new" chrome process on some of their cars. I have several original sales brochures that highlight the "New chrome process". For some reason only the tail light is specifically mentioned as Nickel.

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