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Captain Obvious

Looking For Plating Shop Recommendations

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For you guys having parts plated... Are you shipping them, or is it always a personal drop-off ordeal? I'm thinking... If you ship them boxes of parts, then maybe I could do the same. But if you are dropping them off in person, then I would have to be in the same location as you.

I would like to have some parts plated, but I don't even know where to start. Looking to the collective for ideas.

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Yes, industrial platers!!! Have dealt with this breed for more than 35 years and no matter who you're dealing with the story never changes. First it's important to understand the difference between industrial platers and chrome platers. I've never found a shop that does both. They , chrome platers, at least those with any kind of good reputation, know that they must produce a first class product without excuses. I have never had to reject a chrome job. You're right, I've paid the price one has to pay for peace of mind but consider it the price of admission. On the other hand industrial platers will almost always lose a few of your smaller parts/fasteners, do a less, sometimes a lot less, than concourse job on 10-15% of your parts and then shrug their shoulders while sticking their hand out for payment. No, this is not just one shop, THEY ALL DO THIS! I've run out of time this evening but I'll try to get back tomorrow with what you can, no must, do to reduce your chance of heart break.     Cheers

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I agree totally with what Zspert said above. 

The local chrome shop is a dream to work with----perfect results with little to no worry. He doesn't do zinc plating. He does do pot metal restoration and plating as well!

I've sent parts to be plated to Sav-On Plating in Phoenix, AZ---same place motorman7 uses.  https://sav-onplating.com/

Fill a large USPS flat rate shipping box with as much "to be" plated material as you can--up to the 70 lbs. USPS weight limit for this type parcel. Separate the clear zinc parts from the yellow zinc parts into plastic ziplock bags.They do it in batches and at a flat rate. If you don't fill it up they won't charge you less. The items I sent did not weigh close to 70lbs.-- but the price was the same. I was advised of this before hand by Rich. I was in a hurry and needed stuff back before the Atlanta ZCON and it resulted in my batch costing more than it reasonably should for what it was.

I should have asked more questions and received more answers from them before I did it but-------

I had several large , bulky emissions and water line items to be plated and they must have done them differently.

They came back nicely  plated, although there was some discoloration in spots, usually from bleed out of the plating  solutions from cavities within the part. (IE: tubing, diaphragm chambers, etc.) I did lose some small pieces from assemblies as Zspert stated above. (2 ball sockets that screwed onto the ends of two linkage rods, and the cotter keys, washers and springs from the throttle rods)

In my experience, don't think of this as a hand work piece by piece process. I think they use a rotating barrel type plating method in a semi-automated cycle for screws, bolts, nuts and other smaller pieces, but that isn't well suited to window glass carriers, headlight buckets, etc.

I guess you really should consult with Rich. He obviously gets great results and could advise you better than I regarding your specific requirements and especially concerning this particular  plating company.

@motorman7------our Captain needs your help!

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Thanks for the info so far guys. I don't expect to have a full box either. Maybe there's another owner out there thinking the same thing that would like to share an order?

So, if you don't mind me asking...

11 hours ago, Zup said:

Separate the clear zinc parts from the yellow zinc parts into plastic ziplock bags.They do it in batches and at a flat rate. If you don't fill it up they won't charge you less. The items I sent did not weigh close to 70lbs.-- but the price was the same. I was advised of this before hand by Rich. I was in a hurry and needed stuff back before the Atlanta ZCON and it resulted in my batch costing more than it reasonably should for what it was.

How much was it for each batch?

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I have been zinc plating for a few years,  I have used 3 shops, sadly I have zero local options.  I ship via priority mail.  Usually comes back in a week or two.  Whatever shop it is, chat with them about prep.  My current shop wants pretty minimal prep unless it's painted or rusty.  Also will they do small batches?  I prefer smaller batches for say 50-75$.  

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1 hour ago, Captain Obvious said:

Thanks for the info so far guys. I don't expect to have a full box either. Maybe there's another owner out there thinking the same thing that would like to share an order?

So, if you don't mind me asking...

How much was it for each batch?

@Captain Obvious  Cost is $140 per batch.  A batch is probably about 2/3 of a 5 gallon bucket.  Parts that are fairly large, longer than 12", will be done separately at an added charge.  As @Zup mentioned, be careful with parts that have internal cavities, diaphragms,etc.  They will retain liquid and then bleed on your parts during shipping, discoloring the plating.

I put parts in zip lock bags just as Zup mentioned.  First time I sent parts USPS shipper, it weighed 33 pounds.  I felt bad for the postal guy.  Next time I broke it up into two USPS boxes, approx 20 pounds each.

I do minimal prep. Paint needs to be removed from parts, other than that grease and rust seems to be acceptable.  I usually do a quick wire wheel on parts that have a lot of rust or gunk on them.

The color or the parts is about perfect.

Let me know if you need any more info.

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What Rich says is it---I just re-told what he told me before I sent my first batch out there.

I'm thinking I was out about $160.00 for the plating and shipping. Some of my pieces were the long water tubes that go behind the block on the 73 and associated water piping and that may account for some of the added cost. It is not like I got an itemized invoice.

The price of admission as Zspert says.

Was I happy with the outcome? Yes, for the most part---there were pieces I wished were better (more consistent in finish) and now I know to seal off areas that the solution might enter and then leak out of later.

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I get all my plating done locally - lucky to not have to deal with shipping.  My philosophy is that the results will be no better than the prep so everything is thoroughly stripped of paint, rust, scale, grease, ...etc. prior to delivery.  Get rid of scratches and rough edges.  Yes... small bits can and will get lost so I secure those pieces per the pics below - problem solved!  Anything with a spring, including spring steel, will need a bake cycle to drive out nitrogen (?) molecules. if not done, the piece will break.

100_3115.JPG

100_3116.JPG

100_3117.JPG

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7 hours ago, jfa.series1 said:

I get all my plating done locally - lucky to not have to deal with shipping.  My philosophy is that the results will be no better than the prep so everything is thoroughly stripped of paint, rust, scale, grease, ...etc. prior to delivery.  Get rid of scratches and rough edges.  Yes... small bits can and will get lost so I secure those pieces per the pics below - problem solved!  Anything with a spring, including spring steel, will need a bake cycle to drive out nitrogen (?) molecules. if not done, the piece will break.

100_3115.JPG

100_3116.JPG

100_3117.JPG

Are you doing the post plating bake or the plater?

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There are two techniques used for industrial plating, rack plating and barrel plating. Barrel plating is used for small parts.  The parts are dumped through the hatch of a plastic barrel, the hatch is shut and the barrel is sent down the plating line. Think nuts, bolts, washers,  windshield washer nozzles, hood latch parts etc. Rack plating is as the name implies, the parts are secured to a rack by fine wire or hooks. Rack plating is used for parts like the plate between the engine and transmission, long brake, clutch and fuel lines (more about these long lines later) water pump pulley, etc. Be careful, the plater may want to put some of the larger parts in the barrel so have your preferences decided ahead of time. Sometimes rack plating may leave a dark spot where the wire or hook touches the part. The more conscientious platers will work with you to minimize or eliminate the chance of the dark spot, plan ahead. Here's how I deal with the long lines. I first use Brakleen to remove any oil or grease. Then I use single O steel wool to remove any rust, paint, etc followed by the same texture steel wool to polish the lines.  I have yet to find a plater with tanks large enough to plate these long lines so I carefully bend them around a 55 gallon drum making the overall length small enough for the plating tanks. Because I want to be very selective about reusing replated 50 year old lines through which flow critical fluids under pressure I always take another step. I bend and flare a complete set of new brake, clutch and fuel lines which I have plated at the same time as the original lines.  I buy a length of line from my NAPA store in each of the sizes required and NAPA fittings which happen to come with the correct 10mm flats and are already plated in yellow zinc. Yes, a lot of work but when all the lines have been replated I can choose the best, and safest, of the litter. Damn,  he sure goes through a lot of work but hey,  I've been doing this long enough that making a new set isn't a big deal and I know I can have confidence in the finished product. Prep work for everything else - I start with brakleen - a product that doesn't leave a residue - then glass bead blasting to remove paint, rust, etc followed by many hours of tumbling in a rock tumbler filled with my small parts and crushed corn cobs. The end product will have a lightly polished finish. An excellent start to the zinc plating process. Yes, Jfa.series1, your use of wire to keep the small stuff together is an excellent idea, a must for SU carb parts. For the past 3 loads I've been using a shop just south of Philadelphia. Every time I drop off a load they ask me about the environment the parts will live in. I'm impressed by that as I had NEVER been asked that before. However, I've gotten good reports about Sav-On from more than one source. If I ever have issues with the Phila folks I'll give Sav-In a go. The Royal Pain In The arse work I've outlined is what separates a quality restoration one can be proud of from everything else. Good Hunting (plating)! 

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1 hour ago, jfa.series1 said:

The plater covers that automatically.

Any issues with the baked parts being a different color?

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8 hours ago, Patcon said:

Any issues with the baked parts being a different color?

They don't separate the parts, all of the batch goes thru the bake cycle so everything is consistent in color whether its clear or yellow.

Per the comments by @zspert above, this shop has tanks large enough to handle the long fuel/hydraulic lines.  A buddy has his done and they came out awesome.

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Zspert----

The original poster of this thread lives near Philadelphia and I am sure Bruce (Captain Obvious) would be extremely interested to know which Philly plater outfit you use.

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Thanks again guys. Some follow-up questions...

motorman7 and Zup, Does that $140-$150 per batch at Sav-On cover both colors of chromate dip, or are the two different colors considered two different batches? The reason I ask is that I was figuring I would only do one color chromate (yellow this time), but if I've got the option to do different colors without affecting the cost, I would include some clear chromate parts as well (like the ashtray).

duffymahoney, Would you share some more info about the shop you are using currently? I like the sounds of the cost and the batch size, but can you put a little more definition around what constitutes a small batch? And what about different chromate dip colors? Do different colors add to the cost?

jfa.series1, How does your plater stack up cost-wise to the other options above? And does it have to be an in-person transaction?

zspert , How does your plater stack up cost-wise as well. And as Zup mentioned above, I'm in the Philadelphia area, so something south of the city would be possible to do drop off and pick-up instead of shipping. I could spend shipping money on gas for the car instead.

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CO - the most recent batch was about 25 lbs., both clear and yellow.  Three of us went in together, the total cost was $200, no breakout on the color.  The largest pieces were a fuel rail and a heat shield.  For individuals like me, it is a cash-only (check) transaction - no credit cards.  I'm sure they have billing for the commercial accounts.  As to whether they would ship, that would be a question to raise in a contact with them.  The company is Texas Precision Plating, http://www.texasprecision.net/

Speaking of ashtrays, this one just completed (soon to be listed for sale :love:):

100_3322.JPG

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Hey Captain, 

The best option is if you can find a plating shop within driving distance. 

I 've tried many plating shops over the years and find that you should look for a shop that has been in business for 

many years. Most plating process are not difficult , but consistency is usually the problem. I have a place in CA, Van Nuys Plating, that does my

plating  and they do it all, are second generation platers, ,and at a reasonable cost. 

Call and talk to Linda at Van Nuys Plating   vannuysplating.com . Check out their web site.

Ron

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CO, I’d be happy to share a batch with you if you can’t fill it up.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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