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Headlamp reflector nickel plater needed.


AzBob
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Spoke with Bill Atwood of Uvira reflector coatings regarding re-plating the headlamp reflectors for my 1926 Buick. Before he can apply his coating the reflectors must be nickel plated first. He didn't have any plating shop recommendations. In as much as the reflectors are rather delicate, I would prefer to send them to a shop that has experience handling headlamp reflectors. Any suggestions will be appreciated.

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I don't know of any place that is local for you, but I had my reflectors nickel plated at Customchrome Plating in Ohio. They have a great reputation and I know they have done a lot of chrome work on high end restorations. I was surprised they were only $5 higher than another local shop for the nickel plating. When I talked to Bill Atwood he mentioned that they had done a number of reflectors and did good work. They even shipped the reflectors directly to Uvira saving me a little money. You can check out their website at www.customchromeplating.com . Their address is 963 Mechanic St. P.O. Box 125 Grafton, Ohio 44044. Phone number is 440-926-3116

Carl

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1937-44,

Thanks for the info and recommendation! Called CCP, and like you said, they will ship the reflectors directly to Uvira. The fact that CCP has direct experience in plating the delicate reflectors puts the mind at ease.

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Chrome over nickel seems to work okay, but originally they were silver plated because I've heard it said chrome doesn't give off as good reflection as silver.

In this case the nickel is a base layer for the vacuum deposited aluminum that Uvira will put down. On top of that there will be a thin glass protective layer. While the aluminum is not quite as good a reflector as silver, it with the protective glass coating are very good and will last indefinitely with no maintenance. I had my headlight reflectors done by Uvira back in the 1980s and they are still perfect.

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Hi Bob,

Your welcome for the lead and recommendation. I just hope your experience with them is good if you use them. I've had great luck with them but I always get nervous making recommendations.

One thing I did learn which was a surprise is you can't send the check to the address you ship the reflectors too. When ccp told me they had shipped the reflectors I mailed a check to Uvira which promptly came back in a few days. I talked to Bill and he assured me that UPS had delivered the reflectors but told me the USPS couldn't find his location and that I needed to mail the check to a P.O. Box. Unfortunately I can't find the address off hand, but you might want to ask Bill before putting the check in the mail to avoid the scare I had when I thought my reflectors were also undelivered.

Carl

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1937-44

Appreciate the tip about UVIRA's UPS address and P.O. Box. Will probably just have Custom Chrome Plating ship to me and then will forward on to UVIRA. I am in no hurry.

Thanks Marty for Paul's Plating recommendation. Their website showcases some impressive work.

Thanks all for the tips and recommendations.

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It's simple physics on the chrome plating issue. Silver reflects about 97% of light, the Uvira process is right up there in that percentage with the advantage, as mentioned, of not tarnishing. Chrome reflects about 60% of the light, and is thus a very poor choice for a reflector.

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1937-44

Appreciate the tip about UVIRA's UPS address and P.O. Box. Will probably just have Custom Chrome Plating ship to me and then will forward on to UVIRA. I am in no hurry.

Thanks Marty for Paul's Plating recommendation. Their website showcases some impressive work.

Thanks all for the tips and recommendations.

Always happy to pass along a reference we feel strongly about - especially when a vendor consistently goes above and beyond, as do the folks at Paul's Plating. You want, at least, to get what you pay for, and they have never disappointed me. The quality is exceptional.

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Bob:

I had my reflectors tor my 1925-25 silver plated at FRANK MANCE Plating in Pittsburgh Pa. They gave me I believe a 3 week turn around and I felt they did a fabulous job! I originally tried several large scale platters just to nickel plate and send to do the UVIRA process. In several cases the platter would only quote for full chrome and gave no discount to only plate in nickel. After paying shipping/insurance to/from them for a bid and waiting over a month to get them back. Off hand I don't have my prices handy. The cost to me was more reasonable for Mance's to plate in nickel and then silver. Then the added cost to ship to the west coast and then the Uvira cost. To me was not worth it. All this for my driver Buick. When I bought the car the headlight reflectors looked as if they had been routinely cleaned with Ajax or Comet. I don't' believe I will live long enough to polish off the plating. My 1937 Buick still has the original silvered reflectors and still look very good. I would consider having them done with the Uvira process since I have had to drive it after dark.

But the 1925 has much brighter lights now! I am pleased. After all I am still saving up to be able to replace my "Oakie Chrome" finish on my radiator shell with nickel.

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Larry,

Your silver plated reflectors look absolutely outstanding. Mance plating certainly is capable of incredible work. 3 week turn around is reasonable. The headlamp rims look nice as well. Are they the same finish as the radiator shell?

Thanks for sharing.

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Bob:

The original rims were pretty shabby, cracked, scratched and dented up. I purchased another set of lights on e-bay(1924s) and they were in somewhat better shape.

I had the buckets powder coated. I polished and painted the edge reveals black as original. So they are very presentable. In the meantime Fred from Texas found me what looks like a set of NOS rims. They look beautiful. I will replace the temporary ones when /if I can afford to get the very deeply pitted radiator shell re-nickeled.

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Larry,

Those rims look like new! Restoring the original edge reveal is a nice touch. My rims have small dents and one has several radial cracks starting at the bead on the edge. Will be dealing with them next. My concern is if the cracks are repaired new ones could possibly appear in other areas of the rim. Powder coating the buckets hadn't occurred to me. The advantage would be a tough rust resistant finish.

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