Author Topic: Chrome Plating Vendors Recommendation Needed  (Read 1643 times)

StevenF

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Chrome Plating Vendors Recommendation Needed
« on: December 13, 2022, 00:16:11 »
Dear Group Members,

I need a few recommendations for Chrome Plating.
I used Detray and when I called, they told me that they are no longer accepting work.  I spoke with another vendor who told me that the cost for his services are more expensive then buying OEM new parts....talk about being ridiculous!

Please advise

Steven

1971 280sl
Red Metallic
Bamboo MB Tex

Lorsar

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Re: Chrome Plating Vendors Recommendation Needed
« Reply #1 on: December 13, 2022, 01:39:02 »
I was at a car show a few weeks ago and there was Chevy nomad next my car.  The chrome looked great.  I asked where and the Guy had told me Advanced Plating in TN about 2 years ago. 

https://www.advancedplating.com/site/

Lori
1968 280SL (US)

johnk

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Re: Chrome Plating Vendors Recommendation Needed
« Reply #2 on: December 13, 2022, 03:45:10 »
Custom Chrome in Lagrange Ohio has a Nationwide reputation and have been used by several members here with great results including myself. They offer two different levels standard and show and I found to be very competitively priced. Last I knew from a little over a year ago is they had a year waiting list. Maybe not as so busy now.
John Krystowski
Avon Ohio
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MikeSimon

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Re: Chrome Plating Vendors Recommendation Needed
« Reply #3 on: December 13, 2022, 13:34:54 »
Chrome plating services will be increasingly difficult to find because it is on its way out due to stringent environmental regulations. Take what you can find, even if you have to ship across the country
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mdsalemi

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Re: Chrome Plating Vendors Recommendation Needed
« Reply #4 on: December 13, 2022, 17:57:25 »
Chrome plating services will be increasingly difficult to find because it is on its way out due to stringent environmental regulations.

I've been hearing this for 25 years! Yet, plenty of places still doing chrome. Pack your patience and ensure you have a healthy budget. Time and money, it's always been this way.

In January 1995, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued the Maximum Achievable Control Technology (or MACT) standard regulating air pollution from chromium electroplating operations. The pollutants addressed in this federal standard are hexavalent chromium as well as trivalent chromium—hazardous air pollutants (HAPs) known to cause harm to the lungs. Chromium electroplating and anodizing tanks are one of the largest sources of these pollutants in the USA.

So...regulations have been in place for a long time. It's not as if this is anything new, or the rules are changing daily (with the exception of perhaps California through CARB which has a habit, right or wrong, of setting some standards that either are impossible to achieve or simply make it worthwhile for a company to locate elsewhere.) Surely the amount of decorative chrome plating used in production cars (such as chrome bumpers) has gone way down and thus the need for this has been reduced significantly. One of the platers I used for parts on my car, B&L Plating of Warren, Michigan, did custom decorative chrome plating for car guys and gals kind of as a sideline to their production chrome business. B&L once had a contract for chrome plating those massive bumpers on Freightliner trucks.

B&L did a great job for me; they did all the chrome on my interior dash parts. As I recall I was dealing with the son, while the father was the one handling the big business there. Graves Plating in Alabama was used by my initial restorer since they had such a great reputation and were able to do things like the brass grill surround without destroying it. My bumpers were personally "smuggled" across the border into Canada to a small old school bumper shop in Windsor, long gone, that repaired them first, and then sent them to a place in Toronto or London Ontario for plating. I did that when the exchange rate made it useful to do so. Back 22 years ago, it was USD $1,200 to repair and re-plate the bumper set...much less costly than the American places I checked. More recently, in 2020-2021, Motorwerks Group in Commerce Michigan restored my hard top. They send all their chrome work to a local place called Fini-Finish, also in Warren, Michigan. So, four different platers over 20+ years, along with a couple of pieces of new chrome...

...and it all still matches!  ;)

I gave a couple of these references to our friend StevenF last night. He asked if they are reasonable. I laughed at reading it and replied, no, none are reasonable. They are all outrageous and go up from there. Outrageous is just the starting point. :)
Michael Salemi
Davidson, North Carolina (Charlotte Area) USA
1969 280SL (USA-Spec)
Signal Red 568G w/Black Leather (Restored)
2019 Ford Flex SEL
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MikeSimon

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Re: Chrome Plating Vendors Recommendation Needed
« Reply #5 on: December 13, 2022, 19:37:44 »
I know quite a few places that have stopped chroming. And I wonder what the reason is, that it is getting more and more expensive. Because many places are doing it?
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mdsalemi

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Re: Chrome Plating Vendors Recommendation Needed
« Reply #6 on: December 13, 2022, 21:22:46 »
EVERYTHING is getting more expensive! I was just talking with our friend Mauro in Sicily the other day, commenting on the cost of the thermo time switch at over 300€. Well, my Miller's catalog from 1997 has the thermo time switch for $85.

Yes, chrome plating is getting more expensive, and if you look at the splash page of Fini-Finish, they say, quite accurately, "...is very labor intensive and all parts must be inspected prior to determining costs." Graves won't quote without the parts in hand. Curiously, all of the chrome platers used on my car--dating back more than 20 years, are still in business.

https://finifinish.com
https://blplating.com
https://gravesplating.com

The last guy--International Bumper Works, Windsor Ontario, wasn't a chrome shop but rather an old school bumper repair. I don't know specifically which shop he sent my bumpers to, probably Dan Caron would guess, but it may have been:

https://platinghouse.com
http://www.cambridgecustomchrome.com
http://superior-metal-finishing.com/

All of the places I used in the USA have been in business for a very long time--they were not new when I used them, and that was 20 years ago. The ones in Canada are also long established.

But the bottom line is there are plenty of chrome platers to choose from, all over the place. Custom chrome has never been inexpensive, it's always taken a long time. When our cars were new, there was lots of chrome on them, and on all other cars too. Name a car that has real chrome-plated metal on it now. None. There's your demand falling.

There was a lot of what was pejoratively called "Tijuana Chrome" jobs in SoCal, when it was a lot easier to cross the border. Small shops in LA and SoCal would work on parts and take them across the border for final work and plating. You get what you pay for. My friend had his bumpers replaced with such chrome by an outfit called "Bumper Boyz" and in a year, they were pitted like nobody's business.

While we are debating this, two things are happening: one, the queue is getting longer, and two, the price is going up...just saying...
Michael Salemi
Davidson, North Carolina (Charlotte Area) USA
1969 280SL (USA-Spec)
Signal Red 568G w/Black Leather (Restored)
2019 Ford Flex SEL
2022 Ford Escape Hybrid
2021 Ford Bronco Sport Outer Banks

Eric280SL

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Re: Chrome Plating Vendors Recommendation Needed
« Reply #7 on: January 22, 2023, 08:38:35 »
highly recommend Queen City plating


https://www.queencityplating.com/

WA staty

Cees Klumper

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Re: Chrome Plating Vendors Recommendation Needed
« Reply #8 on: January 22, 2023, 12:29:23 »
From Queen City Plating's website:

"The cost of refinishing has been driven up in recent years by environmental concerns. The cost of purchasing raw materials, solid waste disposal, and regulatory permits have all increased. Waste, both toxic and otherwise, is a natural by-product of our industry in particular.
We at Queen City Plating, Inc. strongly believe that protection of the environment is, and must continue to be, a major consideration of our production process. Therefore, in September of 1997 we installed a state of the art waste  treatment system that recycles our wastewater, eliminating the discharge of wastewater and hazardous waste to the environment. Because this addition to our facility has increased our operating costs significantly, we have added a nominal surcharge to all orders. Thank you for your understanding and support required to meet the challenge of
helping to protect our environment."
Cees Klumper
1969 Mercedes 280 SL automatic
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1962 FIAT 1500S OSCA convertible
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rwmastel

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Re: Chrome Plating Vendors Recommendation Needed
« Reply #9 on: January 25, 2023, 18:11:05 »
.... We at Queen City Plating, Inc. strongly believe that protection of the environment is, and must continue to be, a major consideration of our production process. Therefore, in September of 1997 we installed a state of the art waste  treatment system ....
25 years ago.  I'm sure there have been many price increases since.  Maybe I'm missing the point?
Rodd
Did you search the forum before asking?
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Benz Dr.

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Re: Chrome Plating Vendors Recommendation Needed
« Reply #10 on: January 25, 2023, 19:28:00 »
EVERYTHING is getting more expensive! I was just talking with our friend Mauro in Sicily the other day, commenting on the cost of the thermo time switch at over 300€. Well, my Miller's catalog from 1997 has the thermo time switch for $85.

Yes, chrome plating is getting more expensive, and if you look at the splash page of Fini-Finish, they say, quite accurately, "...is very labor intensive and all parts must be inspected prior to determining costs." Graves won't quote without the parts in hand. Curiously, all of the chrome platers used on my car--dating back more than 20 years, are still in business.

https://finifinish.com
https://blplating.com
https://gravesplating.c
The last guy--International Bumper Works, Windsor Ontario, wasn't a chrome shop but rather an old school bumper repair. I don't know specifically which shop he sent my bumpers to, probably Dan Caron would guess, but it may have been:

https://platinghouse.com
http://www.cambridgecustomchrome.com
http://superior-metal-finishing.com/

All of the places I used in the USA have been in business for a very long time--they were not new when I used them, and that was 20 years ago. The ones in Canada are also long established.

But the bottom line is there are plenty of chrome platers to choose from, all over the place. Custom chrome has never been inexpensive, it's always taken a long time. When our cars were new, there was lots of chrome on them, and on all other cars too. Name a car that has real chrome-plated metal on it now. None. There's your demand falling.

There was a lot of what was pejoratively called "Tijuana Chrome" jobs in SoCal, when it was a lot easier to cross the border. Small shops in LA and SoCal would work on parts and take them across the border for final work and plating. You get what you pay for. My friend had his bumpers replaced with such chrome by an outfit called "Bumper Boyz" and in a year, they were pitted like nobody's business.

While we are debating this, two things are happening: one, the queue is getting longer, and two, the price is going up...just saying...

Two different things here. Injection pump thermostats are under 100 dollars for a 280 and close to 1,000 for a 230SL. So, you have to know which unit you are pricing.

Plating places in Ontario are few and far between. Superior Metal Finishing really isn't a chrome plating shop. They do some but most of their work is in zinc chromate, black oxide, and other decorative finishes.
I'm familiar with Cambridge Custom Chrome, who do good work, but I've rarely used them. I've used a place in London but for the most part I've moved away from things like chrome plating, body work and paint, or upholstery. Nothing to be had on already retail pricing except the responsibility for things I didn't work on if something goes wrong.
1966 230SL 5 speed, LSD, header pipes, 300SE distributor, ported, polished and balanced, AKA  ''The Red Rocket ''
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Leester

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Re: Chrome Plating Vendors Recommendation Needed
« Reply #11 on: January 27, 2023, 00:30:49 »
I used Librandi's in Middletown, PA. Was pleased with their work. I don't remember turn around time exactly but I think it was about four months for four pieces. Wasn't cheap but as other have pointed out, the process has built in expenses. I have heard good things about Advanced Plating.
Lee Backus
1963 220SE Cabriolet
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66andBlue

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Re: Chrome Plating Vendors Recommendation Needed
« Reply #12 on: February 06, 2023, 23:29:26 »
......
So...regulations have been in place for a long time. It's not as if this is anything new, or the rules are changing daily (with the exception of perhaps California through CARB which has a habit, right or wrong, of setting some standards that either are impossible to achieve or simply make it worthwhile for a company to locate elsewhere.) Surely the amount of decorative chrome plating used in production cars (such as chrome bumpers) has gone way down and thus the need for this has been reduced significantly. .......
Here are some data points:
https://www.latimes.com/environment/story/2023-01-26/california-proposes-banning-use-of-toxic-chrome

"In California, there are more than 110 chrome-plating facilities, and more than 70% of them are in disadvantaged communities. Los Angeles County in particular — with its abundance of car enthusiasts and aerospace companies — has the greatest concentration of chrome platers in the nation."

For me the most interesting bits in this article are these:
"California’s 58 large chrome platers produce less than 1% of hexavalent chromium pollution, according to state data. The vast majority comes from burning fossil fuels; cement production and lumber industries also emit more.
“We’re less than 1% of emissions statewide, but we’re the only industry facing a ban right now,” Leiker said." ...
"California is home to some of the world’s largest aerospace companies and defense contractors, and trivalent chromium coating does not meet U.S. Department of Defense specifications for thickness, hardness and corrosion resistance. “The Department of Defense is looking into less toxic alternative coatings to hexavalent chromium, including applications via additive manufacturing processes,” Navy Lt. Cmdr. Timothy Gorman, a Pentagon spokesperson, said in a statement. “We will continue to work with our public and private industry partners and communicate on potential changes in this area.”

My bet is that the  chroming industry will come up with solutions to make trivalent chrome acceptable. 🤞

Alfred
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Pinder

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Re: Chrome Plating Vendors Recommendation Needed
« Reply #13 on: February 07, 2023, 00:55:04 »
This is a little far out there but some parts I have tried to do a chrome wrap. I am no expert but the results on less complex parts is pretty nice. (of course this was just an experiment while I could find a place to do some chrome parts for me.) but the chrome wraps are getting better.
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StevenF

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Re: Chrome Plating Vendors Recommendation Needed
« Reply #14 on: February 07, 2023, 23:15:15 »
Thank you all for the advice and information.
I was pleasantly surprised to find a local company (less than 10 miles from my house) that has been in busy for many years and was very competitively priced.   I should be getting back my stuff in March.
I will circle back to the forum and let you know the quality.

Best Regards to all
Steven
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mdsalemi

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Re: Chrome Plating Vendors Recommendation Needed
« Reply #15 on: February 10, 2023, 15:09:55 »

I was pleasantly surprised to find a local company...I will circle back to the forum and let you know the quality.


Please do! Always looking to add to our vendor list...
Michael Salemi
Davidson, North Carolina (Charlotte Area) USA
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Signal Red 568G w/Black Leather (Restored)
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Bruce Rudin

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Re: Chrome Plating Vendors Recommendation Needed
« Reply #16 on: February 26, 2023, 03:21:33 »
Brightworks in Ohio is about the best in the US.  Long lead time near any big shows, especially Pebble Beach.  That is who does Paul Russell's work.  Your parts come back looking like jewelry.  threads chased, just perfect.  Expensive, but top shelf show quality.

StevenF

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Re: Chrome Plating Vendors Recommendation Needed
« Reply #17 on: March 21, 2023, 16:24:27 »
While removing my chrome, I removed the spare tire and set it aside.  It has been roughly 3 months since I even looked at the tire and for some reason, I decided to pull back the leather. 

I was amazed to find an original Tire!  It still has the color markings.

 Is this worth anything?

Steven
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neelyrc

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Re: Chrome Plating Vendors Recommendation Needed
« Reply #18 on: March 21, 2023, 19:41:30 »
Souvenir value only!

I also have my never used original spare on the original rim. I bought and refinished an additional wheel to use as an everyday spare.
Ralph

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MikeSimon

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Re: Chrome Plating Vendors Recommendation Needed
« Reply #19 on: March 21, 2023, 22:04:47 »
While removing my chrome, I removed the spare tire and set it aside.  It has been roughly 3 months since I even looked at the tire and for some reason, I decided to pull back the leather. 

I was amazed to find an original Tire!  It still has the color markings.

 Is this worth anything?

Steven

Only if it has the original air in it!!!
1970/71 280SL Automatic
Sandy Beige
Parchment Leather
Power Steering
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Hardtop
Heated Tinted Rear Window
German specs
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lowpad

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Re: Chrome Plating Vendors Recommendation Needed
« Reply #20 on: April 18, 2023, 21:57:42 »
Bruce,

Did you get your parts back? If so, how was your experience?

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Benz280

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Re: Chrome Plating Vendors Recommendation Needed
« Reply #21 on: April 18, 2023, 22:42:53 »
I came across these guys in Mineola New York Nassau Chrome Plating. Haven't used but saw some of their work, looked good.
Address is 112-122 Second Street Mineola New York NY 11501 PH 516-746-6666

 
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Bruce Rudin

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Re: Chrome Plating Vendors Recommendation Needed
« Reply #22 on: April 24, 2023, 01:05:06 »
I have used them for years.  I have never been disappointed.  They are exceptional and you pay for the privilege.   But Paul Russell uses them for all of their restorations.  DL George for all of theirs.  I was not kidding about jewelry.  Unwrapping parts from them is an experience. I would bet that they have more cars on the show field than any others at Pebble.  You also need to be patient. Very patient. Highest of recommendations as I think that chrome and interior work are the most important differentiators of a quality build.  Sending them all of my 300 SL roadster chrome this winter.  It is all 1957 original and very nice, but not great. 

StevenF

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Re: Chrome Plating Vendors Recommendation Needed
« Reply #23 on: April 24, 2023, 12:49:43 »
I did use Nassau Chrome
Nice work and good prices
1971 280sl
Red Metallic
Bamboo MB Tex