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Best of Chrome Shops Poll!


buick man

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Thought I would start The Best Of Chrome Shops poll just to see where the best chroming is coming out of.

Also very important please include if the shop performs the real original true blue hexavalent chrome process including the nickel and multiple copper coatings processes as needed before the actual chroming is done or just the newer trivalent chrome process? If you can include turn-around-times and ease of dealing with the shop and end quality of workmanship.

BTW: Also just wondering if anyone has used this shop: Superior Chrome Plating out of Houston, Texas. In business since 1952?

Edited by buick man (see edit history)
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I won't name my favorite shop but some things to keep in mind. Any QUALITY restoration of your chrome is going to be EXPENSIVE. Go cheap at your peril. A quality shop will give you an HONEST turn around time and be within a couple of weeks of it. A year lead time is not out of the question. If he's really good he's got lots of work. A quality shop will give you an upfront price and stick to it. If a part is iffy he will tell you that part will be time and material. A quality shop will not need upfront money. He has your parts. If he's strapped for cash his work is lacking. A quality shop will give you a picture of every part with a price so there is no question of what you gave him and what it will cost...............Bob

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Good advice Bob. That's why I started this post so everyone could express their opinions not only on who they think does the best job and why, but also the best way to go about getting something chromed. What to look out for, how to tread and deal with these guys and the best chroming processes as well. Thought this would be a great place to put it all down right here. Whatever anyone has to say or add on the topic.

On a side note, For myself, I am in the process of gearing into that chrome corner and would like to see who does what, where and how good. This economy ( or rather lack of ) is throwing a wrench into the usual business model analysis of things and I would think there may be a lot of pit falls out there to be avoided or opportunities to be embraced.

Edited by buick man (see edit history)
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I suggest that you look at plating in two different groups. Diecast and steel or brass base metal. Diecast is a whole different skill set and you only want to use the best. Removal of old chrome on diecast is a hand grinding process. Remember, chrome is hard and diecast is soft!! much detail on diecast parts can get lost in the chrome removal process. Maintaining sharp edges is a real challenge. You can shop more on price on steel and brass base parts as they can be deplated using a reverse plating process.

Bob

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I have had bumpers done by Superior and a bumper is flaking because they plated over rust. Yes, they will replate it, but it means pulling the bumper and lights off the car.

Speed and Sport in Houston is very good and will turn around fairly quickly.

Finishing Touch in Chicago is excellent but takes awhile. They kept my diecast and pot metal looking excellent.

Edited by Bill Stoneberg (see edit history)
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I did not use Superior again after the bumper problem.

I gave you my opinions of the two shops I used and continue to use.

I have no idea on the process used by either one but the chrome for both of them turned out beautifully. If I had lots of pot metal to plate, I would go to the Finishing Touch and they take the time to keep it looking correct. Plus they give BCA members a 5 % discount.

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Good points.

Mike, I asked that because I thought perhaps this may have been an isolated goof up or something like that.

I always thought you could also remove the largest percentage of chrome off of pot metal as well through a polarity bath then fine abrasive removal of remaining plating remnants and then off to the copper baths. I did not think you had to grind the whole thing off. But I suppose it would react with the zinc that way in the pot metal. Perhaps sand blasting the part gently would be the way to go to get the old chrome plating off.

Edited by buick man (see edit history)
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It may have been an isolated incident. I wasn't trying to bust your BB's. I just know that I have been burned by places that I had heard bad stuff about and ignored advice (NJ parts suppliers)...

I used J&P plating in Indiana with good results. I would give them a B plus, BUT I was given the option of paying for B plus work which is why I gave them my money. They have different levels of chrome and I opted for "Super Street". There are higher levels and lower levels and they will give multiple quotes. I was overall happy with the price and quality.

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Mike, Good points for sure. It is true about the varying levels of chrome plating and the type. It is nice to know that they can give you those options on the quotation, thus making your decision more tuned to your vehicle (i.e., why spend a forutne on show chrome for a vehicle that will never recover it when you sell it - non-converts, non-desirealbles) when you can get what you need for your vehicle at a reasonable (OK this is chorme plating) price / value for your vehicle.

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We used Paul's Chrome in Evans City, PA, with excellent results for a '56 Lincoln 'vert

& '58 M-B 220S Cabrio. They're not inexpensive, but they go to a lot of shows, and can

pick up your stuff there to save on shipping. I've been on a guided tour of their shop,

for an article yet to be written, and can attest to their great quality. If a part doesn't

pass their muster, they'll redo it as part of the quoted price.

TG

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:DGraves Plating in Florence, Alabama:D. I recommend them highly. January 2005, Graves replated front and rear bumpers for our 55 Roadmaster. Turnaround was about 4 weeks. Cost was $3,000+/-

I don't recall what method they used. Excellent work done by them is holding up very well 6 years later (looks brand new).

(I dropped off and picked up the bumpers myself)

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Guest my3buicks
We used Paul's Chrome in Evans City, PA, with excellent results for a '56 Lincoln 'vert

& '58 M-B 220S Cabrio. They're not inexpensive, but they go to a lot of shows, and can

pick up your stuff there to save on shipping. I've been on a guided tour of their shop,

for an article yet to be written, and can attest to their great quality. If a part doesn't

pass their muster, they'll redo it as part of the quoted price.

TG

They have been doing my work for 30 years, and parts I had done 30 Years ago are still as beautiful as the day I put them back on the car. It's been a couple years since I have been in, but that's where I would go in a heartbeat. Of course being only 15 minutes from me helps!!

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Thanks Cubelodyte, I inquired about your lead in Sacratomatoe. They wrote back to me and said they use the Hexavalent process. This is most promising. I thought most of these guys got chased out of CA. So I will follow up and see what they have to say.

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