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Author Topic: "Rechroming" a straight key?  (Read 2475 times)
W4HIJ
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Posts: 367




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« on: January 27, 2013, 03:09:49 PM »

Forgive me if this is in the wrong place and slightly off topic but I didn't know where else to put it. I have a McElroy "stream key" with a tear drop base that belonged to my late Father, the original holder of W4HIJ. It's in working order but over the years wear and tear and time in general have done a number on the chrome finish. I've cleaned it before but there are places the chrome finish is completely missing. I'd love to be able to have it restored to new looking condition by 'rechroming" it. Is something like that even possible? Where in the world would one go to inquire about having something like that done? I remember seeing a restored boat anchor rig where the owner had had some chrome work done and it's been in the back of my mind to have this key done ever since. Any suggestions anyone has would be great. I can still remember my Father telling me the story of how he worked for 25 cents an hour at a grocery store when he was a teenager to buy that key. Not sure if he was exaggerating or not! Cheesy
Tnx and 73,
Michael, W4HIJ
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K3STX
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Posts: 981




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« Reply #1 on: January 27, 2013, 06:50:24 PM »

You mean like this:

http://www.caswellplating.com/plug-n-plate-brush-plating-kits.html

DIY chrome plating is done all the time. I would NOT send it out, #1 it is expensive and I have been told #2 they put it on THICK and not so good for key parts.  I have been thinking of doing nickel plating for my old bugs too. It is surely do-able.

paul
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KB4QAA
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Posts: 2371




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« Reply #2 on: January 27, 2013, 07:41:47 PM »

Plating shops are widely available in every state. Antique/vintage car hobbyists are folks who use their services.

Look in the phone book or google for 'plating shops' or 'chrome  plating shops'.   Or check with local machine shops, since they too send parts for plating. 
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K3STX
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Posts: 981




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« Reply #3 on: January 28, 2013, 08:02:28 AM »

Michael, If you DO send it out to a shop make sure they know what you want them to do. I have been told that many of these guys want nice chrome, so they HEAVILY plate the parts. The problem for bugs is that a thick coating of chrome on a contact screw (or nut) can actually prevent the screw from fitting in the post!! That is NOT what you want.

I asked a local plating company a couple of years ago how much they would charge me to re-nickel plate the small parts of an old Vibroplex. NOT the base, just the hardware was a $150 estimate! Forget that. The DIY chrome kit is $30, I would try that first.

paul
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KB4QAA
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Posts: 2371




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« Reply #4 on: January 28, 2013, 01:34:16 PM »

Differences in expectation.  I would never have considered re-doing all the small parts.  When you considered all the prep work involved to do tiny parts, $150 is pretty reasonable.  Re-plating a base should be lower cost.
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W8AAZ
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Posts: 343




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« Reply #5 on: January 30, 2013, 03:23:01 PM »

I have use the Texas Platers Supply electroplating kits to do silver and nickel.  Can get reasonable results with them. I have no idea about chrome plating, other than chromium is rather toxic and I would not mess with it at all. 
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W6SDW
Member

Posts: 5




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« Reply #6 on: February 20, 2013, 11:14:57 PM »

The one I have in my collection doesn't appear to be Chrome... I'd sat that it was Nickel plated.  Would suggest that you do a little research first. 
Due to the high cost of commerical platers, if you are going to go that route - grab "everything" you can think off to have plated, replated.  Small lot batches are pretty costly.  Texas Platers Supply kits do a pretty fair job, inexpensively... Doesn't (usually) lay down a "heavy" coating but it will do the job.
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