Procedures & Capabilities at CCP
We work on steel, cast iron, stainless steel, brass, bronze, aluminum, copper and zinc die castings. We specialize in the repair and plating of difficult pot metal parts as well as damaged parts made of any of the above materials. CustomChrome is truly a “custom” shop and does not do any production type plating.
CCP’s tanks are large enough to plate bumpers, and we can accommodate some parts longer than 8 feet. We do not have a hoist line, so weight is restricted to what two workers are able to lift comfortably.
CCP offers TRIPLE PLATING, which means three layers of plating. CCP uses acid copper, bright nickel, and trivalent chrome for the three basic layers of plating. Most often a part will have more than three layers of plating applied before the job is completed. This could be multiple thin layers of a copper strike, multiple layers of acid copper, bright nickel as needed, and a final layer of chrome.
CCP also offers Watts nickel, also referred to as dull nickel plating. This is the original plating that was applied prior to the introduction of chrome plating in 1928-1929. This type of nickel plates on dull and needs to be buffed to achieve the final luster of the nickel. The one advantage of this type of nickel is that it tarnishes at a slower rate than the bright nickel plating baths.
CCP has the ability to fabricate custom racks to hold odd shaped parts and also the fabrication of auxiliary anodes that are used to aid in the plating of deep recessed areas of parts that are so difficult to plate without auxiliary anodes.
What we don’t do – CCP does not do one piece wheels. We can do wheels that come apart, such as wire wheels that have an inner hub and an outer rim.
CCP does not plate plastic, wood, ceramic, or any other non-conductive part. And lastly, CCP does not plate parts made of magnesium.
The polishing department has many means at its disposal to process your job. After a job is checked in by a polisher or polishers, patterns are made of any part that may show signs of “moving” during the polishing process, this is a key in retaining the correct shape of the part. At this point the parts may be metal finished in a variety of methods, either on a polishing lathe with various wheels and belts, or with hand tools, such as a die grinder, disc grinder, orbital sander, body file, or hand block.
For repair work, we can do MIG and TIG welding, brazing, silver brazing, silver soldering and soft soldering, depending on what the base metal is and what type of repair is required. As parts are worked down extra care is given to make sure that any detail on a part will still be there when the part is done. If a part is too thin to remove imperfections, or if it is made of a cast material that has voids in it, or if a repair has been made to a part, or if the finish is just not good enough, we start plating on thin layers of acid copper and working the copper between coats until we achieve the finish that we are looking for. Parts are then buffed to a mirror finish and are ready to be nickel plated and then chrome plated. When the parts reach this stage the polisher does a final check off of the photo and the parts go to the plating department.
When parts are shipped in, we ask that a parts list be included with the parts, and any special instructions. This can be repairs needed, areas that will be painted after plating, areas with any type of fit issues, quality of work desired, finish that is desired, and time frame that you would like the job completed. Parts are unpacked, laid out, and photographed and a base price is determined for the job. Any questions or concerns that we have will be addressed at this time by either e-mail, telephone, or note on a work order mailed to you.
At this time a work order will be made and 3 sets of photos printed, one copy of the work order and photo goes to the customer, one set stays in our office, and one set goes out into the shop with the job. This is how we keep track of every job. Whoever has anything to do with the job must check off the photos when they are through with their part of the job.
The work order will contain customer’s information, job information, a stated quality of the work being done, a base price of the job, a start date, and any other information that will be needed to complete the job to CCP’s standards. Your job will then be stored until your scheduled start date arrives.
When your scheduled start date approaches, your job will be pulled and you will be asked to make a 50% deposit on your job. As soon as we receive your deposit your job will be sent to the stripping department.
Your job will be checked in by our stripping department, then each part will be appropriately stripped. We have a paint and powder coating stripper, an acid bath that removes rust from steel parts, an electrified acid bath that removes old plating, and a caustic bath that removes anodizing from aluminum.
Any threaded holes or studs will be plugged or capped to protect the threads. The parts may also be glass bead blasted at this time to clean the backs to insure plating will adhere to these areas. After the stripping process is done, the stripper once again checks the photo of the job and signs off on the order that his work is done, then the job goes to the polishing department.
When the platers pull the job to be plated, they also check the photo and look for any special plating info for the job (plating type, quality, and critical fit areas).
The parts are examined through magnifying visors to check for any imperfections left in them, any threaded holes will have studs or rubber plugs put in them, any threaded studs will be capped off, and the parts will be racked using copper wire or copper hooks to hang the parts for plating.
Parts are run through multiple cleaning tanks to assure that all buffing compound is removed along with any dirt or oil from their fingers. The parts must be totally cleaned in order to be sure that the plating will adhere to the parts.
The parts will be run through a number of water rinses and mild acid tanks to activate the metal on the way to one of the main plating baths. The length of time in a tank is determined by the size of the parts and current that is being run through the tank at the time to achieve the desired finish. After the final layer of chrome is plated onto the part it is rinsed and given to the packer to be checked for final finish.
This is where the final approval or rejection of a part occurs.
The parts are un-racked, waxed and inspected for any flaws. If any flaws are found, the chrome is stripped off, the nickel on the part is buffed with a very fine wheel and the part is run through the final stages of the plating process again. If the part passes inspection it is wrapped in tissue paper, newsprint paper, or bubble wrap to protect the finish. The parts are checked off the photo a final time and when the job is completely checked off it is either packaged for pick up, or packaged for shipment. In shipping the parts we try to use the same box it was sent to CCP in, (if in good condition) or a new box or even a crate will be used to insure it will arrive at its destination undamaged.
At this point the office will then let the customer know that the job is completed and arrange for final payment before the job is picked up or shipped.
Some Information About Wheels
Factory and after market chromed wheels. We generally do not re-work and plate these types of wheels since they can be replaced by new ones at lesser cost to the customer. Also, there are a few wheel platers that are set up to do this type of work, at a lesser cost.
Chrome after-market steel wheels. These wheels are polished and plated in 2 pieces (a rim and a center section), and then welded together after plating. If the customer has them disassembled, we can re-finish them and return them to the customer to re-weld.
2 or 3 piece custom made aluminum wheels. We can refinish these wheels.
Spoked wire wheels for motorcycles, vintage sports cars and classic vehicles. If the spokes can be removed, we can do the rims and the hubs. New spokes are available elsewhere in stainless or chrome for reassembling the wheel.
Feel free to call us for more detailed information on wheels or any other parts!