Chrome Plating an Entire Motorcycle Frame

Look at that finish! We did all of the chrome on this motorcycle, and it turned out great. We thank Tom for his business – and being so great to work with, too. All of us a Custom Plating Specialist hope you enjoy many long rides on your beautifully chrome-plated motorcycle.

We have been chrome plating parts for nearly 30 years, and we never get tired of watching the transformation. Cars, motorcycles, hot rods – our chrome-plating process gives you the results you’re looking for.

Innovative Restoration of a Vintage Boat Horn Ring

Here is a horn ring for a steering wheel off of a vintage boat. As you can see, the “pebbled“ area is pitted deep. The customer wanted something close to the original look for his vintage boat steering wheel. The only way to get the pits out was to sand them out, but obviously then we would lose the pebbled look. So, how could we restore the horn ring of the vintage boat to its like-original state?

Taping, Texturing & Transforming the Vintage Boat Horn Ring

Here at Custom Plating Specialist, we make things happen by thinking outside of the box. To restore this horn ring, first we taped off the areas to be left shiny. Next, we sprayed a silver texture paint over the top. Then after peeling up the taped-off surfaces, we could see a silver-textured surface that looks similar to the original pebbled look.

Innovative Approach to Restoration

One thing that sets Custom Plating Specialists apart from our competition is our innovative approach and the ability to figure out ways to restore projects of all varieties. We chrome plate and restore parts of classic cars, motorcycles, bikes, vintage boats, specialized art, and antiques of all kinds. We restore projects to their original state – with the attention to detail and ingenuity that delight our clients every time.

Contact Us for Restoration or Chrome Plating

Contact us with a photo of your vintage boat part or another piece you want restored or chrome plated. We provide free quotes and responsive customer service.

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Singing the Oldies: Radio Restoration Project

If you grew up in the 1950s and 1960s, then you remember driving around town and listening to the radio. Listening to music on the radio was an iconic American pastime. Buddy Holly. Johnny Cash. Elvis Presley. You knew the words to every song. The car radio was king! That’s why restoring a classic car isn’t complete without restoring the radio to its former glory.

Colonial Radio Restoration Project

Whether you restore a classic car for a special event, a car show, or as a hobby, remember to restore the radio, also. If you need a hand with a radio restoration project, let us know. Our chrome restoration specialists helped restore an old colonial radio. It looks pretty cool, all shiny and like-new again. This radio restoration project turned out great.

150 Years of Combined Chrome-Plating Experience

Our typical work is amazingly like “show chrome” quality, yet lower in price than most of the other chrome plater’s “driver” quality. With over 150 years of combined experience on our staff, we can handle every imaginable chrome plating project.

Contact Us for a Free Quote

Getting a quote is simple. Send us a photo of the antique car, bike, boat or motorcycle part you want restored, and we’ll reply with a quote. Most restoration projects take 4-6 weeks, so we have plenty of time to restore a radio or other classic parts before the summer car show season. You’ll be singing along with the Oldies again soon.

Custom Plating One-of-a-Kind Projects

At Custom Plating Specialist, we have been chrome plating parts from all over the world for nearly 30 years. We specialize in the restoration of metal parts for cars, motorcycles, bikes, boats, specialized art, and old antiques of all kinds. But every now and again, we get a “different” kind of a job to do.

Custom Plating a Tiny Wrench

Here is a fun little project that our chrome plating specialists recently completed. A client wanted a tiny wrench chrome plated so he could add it to a bracelet. The wrench was new, so we had to de-chrome the wrench so he could heat up the metal and bend it to conform to his wrist. Then, we re-chromed the wrench, and a jeweler welded it to a polished, stainless-steel chain.

Mechanic’s Retirement Gift

This client has been wrenching on cars and motorcycles for his whole career and recently retired. He wanted something for himself that symbolizes what he has done his whole life. He is very humble, and he never really spent money on himself. When he retired, he wanted to finally do just that. Good for him!

Turning Dreams into Reality

He was so proud of his bracelet that he drove nearly an hour back to our facility in Brillion, Wisconsin, just to show us how it turned out and to say thanks for helping his dream come true. We enjoy the chrome restoration work we do, day in and day out, but we take extra pleasure in custom plating projects like these. Thanks for letting us be a part of your dream.

Contact Us with Your Unique Request

Contact us with your unique request, and we’ll put our 30 years of chrome-plating experience to the test. Rest assured that you are dealing with the best of the best. We will do our part to ensure that you are satisfied with the outcome.

Chrome Plating: GTO Spinners Restored to Original Glory

At Custom Plating Specialists, we go the extra mile, so the classic auto parts we restore look like they just came out of the automobile factory. Our crew has a combined 150-plus years of experience, and our passion for chrome plating shows in every auto part we restore. Recently, we restored the spinners on a 1964 Pontiac GTO. The chrome plating “brushing” really shows our attention to detail and commitment to the best possible restoration.

Brushing Effect Gives Spinners an Original Look

Here’s how it happened. A client asked us to restore four spinners from a 1964 Pontiac GTO. We had our buddy Steve Reynolds make us a jig so we could spin them, and then we did a “brushing” effect on the center. When we finished, they looked like they were the originals. The chrome plated spinners turned out fantastic! Zinc diecast is difficult to work with, but our crew did a great job with the restoration. These beautiful spinners will add extra pizazz to the 1964 classic car. The1964 Pontiac GTO is America’s first muscle car, so our crew felt a good deal of pride restoring these hubcap spinners to their original glory.

Contact Us or Restoring or Chrome Plating

Chrome plating requires time, effort, and precision to restore classic auto parts that look like the original. Our attention to detail and painstaking chrome plating processes set us apart from our competitors. Contact us with a photo of your classic car part, motorcycle part, or antique piece you want restored or chrome plated. We triple plate all parts with copper first, nickel and finally chrome. Our reputation shines through every piece of chrome we do.

Tail Light Restoration Requires Ingenuity & Craftsmanship

If you restore classic cars as a hobby, then you probably smile every time you start ‘em up and hear ‘em rumbling. What a gratifying reward for all the time and automotive work you put into your antique car. Sometimes, the car restoration process goes well, and you make good progress on your classic. You might be thrilled to find a rare part that you desperately needed in a junk pile across town. However, sometimes the automotive restoration progress is painfully slow, and you can’t find the part you need at car shows, swap meets, auctions, or salvage yards. (For car part search tips, read our article, 5 Places to Find Old Car Parts When You’re Restoring a Vehicle)

Classic Car Tail Light Restoration Process

Unfortunately, many of the parts we are commissioned to restore are not available to buy new or used. So, our restoration craftsmen do whatever they can to make the originals look awesome again. For example, here are some tail lights we restored for a classic car client with a 1971 AMX. As you can see, the tail lights had a number of holes that were rotted through. because all of the years that road salt got caught behind the tail lights. Every time the salt got wet, the salt reactivated and corroded the base metal. We metal finished the parts, then copper plated them, soldered the holes shut, sanded the welds smooth, then plated with copper, nickel and chrome plating. These vintage tail lights are going to look beautiful with red lenses in them.

Contact Us to Restore or Chrome Plate Your Part

This is just another day at Custom Plating Specialist, using our ingenuity and craftsmanship to restore the parts to get a classic car one step closer to road-ready. Contact us with a photo of your classic car part, motorcycle part, or antique piece you want restored or chrome plated. We triple plate all parts with copper first, nickel and finally chrome. Our reputation shines through every piece of chrome we do.

Custom Plating Specialist sanded the metal of the 1971 AMX tail lights. You can see the holes drilled through to clean out the decay.
Custom Plating Specialist sent the tail light to get nickel plated, followed by chrome plating. These vintage tail lights are back to their original condition.
Custom Plating Specialist lightly copper plated the metal of the 1971 AMX tail lights. We melted a low temp solder to fill in the holes. From there, we sanded the excess solder so that it’s flat or flush. Then put a thick coat of copper plating on the tail light and sanded it down. We copper plated the tail light one more time and sanded and polished the copper.
rechroming is expensive

Three Reasons Why Re-Chroming is Expensive

Why is re-chroming so expensive?

Why is re-chroming so expensive? This is a great question, and as an expert with over 35 years of chrome experience, Custom Plating Specialist, Inc. (CPS) sheds some light on this age-old question.

Owner of CPS, Terry Meetz comments “First, it’s important to understand that the process isn’t considered “dipping” like many people tend to think. This is a misconception in the chroming industry.” The CPS re-chroming process is a plating process where the parts are plated and not dipped. Here are three reasons why re-chroming can be expensive.

#1 – Overhead – chemicals, tanks, structure to house the tanks and equipment, electricity, labor, and more. With any business, there are expenses. As a consumer, it is important to understand the overhead involved in chroming. The plating process involves several different process tanks, each containing a very specific and different chemistry. The tanks are regulated daily by CPS experts to ensure that all chemicals maintain the proper operating levels. Electricity which is an integral part of this process is another expense that must be calculated into the cost of re-chroming.

Here are some parts getting the plating stripped off. It’s a combination of acid and water as well as electricity that dissolves the plating from the parts.

# 2- Re-chroming is not a quick process. At CPS, every part that is re-chromed must go through several steps in order to ensure that the final product is of the highest quality chrome. In the beginning of the process, parts are “racked up.” What this means is that the parts are affixed to a copper plating rack that will enter the strip tank. The power entering into the tank is reversed and the chemicals dissolve the plating. The parts are then sand-blasted to remove rust and other impurities. At this point the metal finishing process is started, sanding. We start with 150 grit, move to 320, and 500, and respectfully finish with 800 grit. Once the sanding is complete, the polished metal is buffed until it shines, but that isn’t where it stops. 

This is a vent window frame that just had its chrome plating stripped off.

Our industry award winning triple plating process is next. The first coat of copper plating comes next after the parts are racked up. This time the part enters some cleaner tanks and an acid wash to make sure the bare metal is free from any dirt and buffing compound. The parts are suspended in the copper plating tank for about two hours and then are removed along with the racking. The copper-plated part is sanded with 800-grit sandpaper and then polished out with various buffing wheels until all scratches are gone and the part is as shiny as a brand-new penny. The part is then racked up again, this time it is nickel and chrome plated. After chrome plating, the piece is un-racked and then hand waxed. It also goes through an inspection process to look for any defects prior to being wrapped in a soft protective wrap and shipped out. At CPS, we don’t take shortcuts.

Here are some parts that metal finishing to sand out the pits and such. Notice the extra drilled holes. That is because some of the pits so too deep so we drill them all the way through and will weld them up after a coat of copper plating.

Left side: Copper plated part that gets multiple coats of copper plating before we attempt to solder up the rotted areas. This isn’t a standard way to fill ill holes, but the part is so bad and thin that we need to build some thickness first. Right side: These parts are now all polished and ready for nickel and chrome plating. These parts will be in the nickel tank for about 30 minutes before getting plated with the chrome.

#3 Unexpected Repairs are Common. Similar to a contractor remodeling a house. Sometimes there are challenges or surprises that are unexpected that add more time or costs to the project. In our world, many parts need repairs, which, by itself, is an art, and takes many years of experience to figure out ways of fixing broken or rotted-out parts. 

Here is a 1946 Chevrolet grille that is rotted at the bottom. We will be welding this part up to fill in where the metal has rotted away.

Let’s recap. The top three reasons why re-chroming is expensive. 1) There is a high amount of overhead with chemicals, labor, electricity, and more to re-chroming. 2) The re-chroming process has several steps and requires hours for processing. You can’t cut corners in the chrome industry if you want to have award-winning chrome. 3) In many cases rotted car parts need to be repaired. This takes time and experience and is sometimes an unexpected expense.

Parts ready to be hand-waxed, wrapped in soft paper and then sent back to customer.

Custom Plating Specialist, Inc., located in Brillion, Wisconsin, has the experience and knowledge in producing triple-plated award-winning chrome. Next time you have a project that requires chroming, remember these reasons why re-chroming can be costly. It’s a specialty service that CPS has perfected over the years. Proven testimonials and repeated work time after time can confirm that the CPS process provides exceptional re-chroming services, hands down. To learn more about CPS visit the website https://customplatingspecialist.com/.

chrome restoration

What Three Things to Look for in a Chrome Restoration Specialist?

Whether you restore old vehicles, boats, or motorcycles as a hobby, or it’s your profession. You may already realize that getting parts for old cars can sometimes be a process. Some cars have an abundance of parts, and some do not. Some parts are available as reproductions. You can read this blog to find out where you can get these parts. Even if you can get a part, it may not be in the best condition, and chrome restoration services might be on your task list. With certain vehicles, there isn’t that option and you are left with only one option and that is getting your parts restored. Here are three things to look for when you are searching for a good chrome restoration specialist.

#1 – Do they triple plate with copper, nickel, and chrome plating? It’s important to know that as chrome experts for over 35 years, we’ve been around the block and know what works and what doesn’t in the restoration process. 

Re-chroming a part involves stripping away the old chrome, nickel, and copper. After it is stripped, sanding the metal smooth is important before the electrolysis process begins. This is where the copper is applied to fill any small pits or scratches. After this is polished, the nickel plating process, followed by the chrome is where it all happens. The purpose of the nickel is to add smoothness, reflectivity, and corrosion resistance to the part. The chrome is very thin and the appearance of the decorative chrome comes from the nickel plating. Whether you start with bare steel or buffed copper, at least two layers of plating follow — a layer of nickel and a layer of chrome. But high-quality plating usually requires two layers of nickel. Check out one process of chrome plating here.

#2 – How many years of experience does the chromer have? Albert Einstein said it best “The only source of knowledge is experience.” More experience in the field of chroming that a company has gives them a competitive advantage. At Custom Platinging Specialist, we believe that another advantage is the experience of working on a wide array of projects like old cars, boats, airplanes, motorcycles, pot belly stoves, jukeboxes, hood ornaments, gas pumps, antique tricycles, and more.

#3 Do they also do repairs on diecast parts (pot metal)? Not many companies repair pot metal. According to Wikipedia, the term “pot metal” or monkey metal, came about around the early 20th century, basically throwing non-ferrous metal scraps and melting them to form cast products. Pot metal was used in the auto industry because it was inexpensive and able to produce complex shapes. In fact, this process is still used today. However, what is also known to chromers, is that it is difficult to re-chrome. The biggest issue with pot metal is pitting and how to get rid of the corrosion area. If you don’t sand below the corrosion then plating will not stick to those areas, much like a dentist has to get all of the tooth decay before filling it or the filler will not adhere to it. Chrome plating companies that can repair pot metal areas that go all the way through a part without any sign that a repair was made tells you that that company is a good company to have work on your parts. In fact, you probably found a chrome restoration company for life.

When dealing with old nostalgic parts, choosing the right company is highly important. Asking these three questions will help you to seek out the right partner for the project. 1) Make sure they triple plate chrome – copper, nickel, and chrome plating. 2) The more years of experience the better, and 3) Knowing they have experience with pot metal makes them of high caliber in the chroming industry. Finally, if you are searching for an industry expert, with years of experience, check out the google reviews. Custom Plating Specialist is highly rated in “show chrome”, just a quick google search on Facebook and Google will provide you with the credentials you need to get started with your project.

5 Places to Find Old Car Parts When Your Restoring an Vehicle

5 Places to Find Old Car Parts When Your Restoring an Vehicle

Terry Meetz – Custom Plating Specialist Inc.

If you’ve ever restored a car or car restoration is your hobby, you might already know that at times, it can be difficult to find parts. As an example, 1961 Chrysler Imperial owners had a tough time finding parts, mostly due to the fact that Chrysler didn’t produce as many Cadillacs or Lincolns as did GM or Ford. (Lentinello, 2013) Unlike grocery shopping, car part shopping is not that easy. Most of the time, you can’t just walk into a store and purchase a new “old part”. That’s exactly what keeps chromers, like Custom Plating Specialist, Inc. (CPS) in business.

If you are in the process of restoring an old vehicle, there are several places you can search for parts. The experts at Custom Plating Specialist, recommend starting your search in the following locations.

  1. Car Shows/Swap Meets. In marketing, you want to market to your target audience, and you need to know where your audience is. Finding a car part is similar to marketing, you need to go where your audience is. You’ll find car enthusiasts at old car shows/swap meets, and you’ll be able to network with people that are “in your target market”. For a list of upcoming shows visit https://customplatingspecialist.com/events/ for more information.
  2. Salvage/Junk Yards – If you’re an expert in car restoration, and are looking for inexpensive parts, an automobile salvage yard might be a great place to start. You know what you are looking for, you know where to find it, and you probably know what the market value is.
  3. Google Search. If you can’t find it, most people “google it.” Google has 4.3 billion users worldwide. Based on 4.72 billion internet users worldwide and a market share of 92.24%. (Walsh, 2021) There are online forums like the Antique Automobile Club that allow you to ask questions and provide recommendations to your challenges. When searching, make sure to be specific with your car part, make and model, and you’re likely to find a plethora of online car part stores. As a company, offering chrome services, we advertise in https://www.hemmings.com/, an online magazine/marketplace for all automotive enthusiasts. Another great search engine for finding old parts is http://www.classiccardatabase.com/, a database for exactly that, searching for parts.
  4. On-line Auctions. This is another great place to search for information in regards to your old parts. Three types of auctions might include https://www.ebay.com/, https://www.liveauctioneers.com/ or ​​https://www.auctionspear.com/auction/194.  Most live on-line auctions have a search engine that allows you to search for exactly what you are looking for. In an auction, the market will determine the price.
  5. Local Brick-and-Mortar Stores. Yes, these still exist, and you might even be able leave the store with the part in your hand. According to this article “10 Places To Look for Classic Auto Parts”, an unspoken rule is that “if you use the expert, buy the part.” (Sundem, 2011) It’s not right extracting advice and then going home and searching for it online.

Once you find what you are looking for, and your part needs to be rechromed, contact the chroming team at CPS. As challenging as it might be to make an old part look new, we have a passion for creating “miracles” in old parts. If you don’t believe us, check out our Google reviews

For more information on Custom Plating Specialists Inc., our team and the chrome process, go to the website; www.customplatingspecialist.com.