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Old 02-03-2020, 10:03 AM   #1
David J
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Default Chrome shop using dull nickel .

Read somewhere there is a chrome shop that uses the old style dull nickel .
I have a NOS 33-34 roadster windshield frame [std-painted] that I want to plate and some trim pieces also .

Thanks
Dave
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Old 02-03-2020, 10:21 AM   #2
51 MERC-CT
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Default Re: Chrome shop using dull nickel .

Quote:
Originally Posted by David J View Post
Read somewhere there is a chrome shop that uses the old style dull nickel .
I have a NOS 33-34 roadster windshield frame [std-painted] that I want to plate and some trim pieces also .

Thanks
Dave
Any shop that does chrome plating can do nickel plating.
Just do a Yellow page search for chrome platers in your area.
Bet you will find one within 50 miles.
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Old 02-03-2020, 10:26 AM   #3
David J
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Default Re: Chrome shop using dull nickel .

Sorry bout not being more clear here .
I am looking for the chrome shop that I read about that uses dull nickel in the plating process .
Look at a original 34 grille and you will see the non-polished areas are dull grey .
That is what I seek .


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Originally Posted by 51 MERC-CT View Post
Any shop that does chrome plating can do nickel plating.
Just do a Yellow page search for chrome platers in your area.
Bet you will find one within 50 miles.
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Old 02-03-2020, 10:46 AM   #4
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Default Re: Chrome shop using dull nickel .

Hard for anyone else to know what or where you may have read something...

There is a house in Madison that has a variety of restoration finishes - including nickel. I've seen his work at the Jefferson meet several times. Worth a call:

Madison Custom Polishing and Plating - John Allen, owner 608 273-1929
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Old 02-03-2020, 11:19 AM   #5
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Default Re: Chrome shop using dull nickel .

Nickel is always dull. That's the natural color of it.
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Old 02-03-2020, 11:29 AM   #6
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Default Re: Chrome shop using dull nickel .

I think you want Butler Nickle plating. http://www.fordgarage.com/pages/butlerfinish.htm
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Old 02-03-2020, 11:51 AM   #7
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Default Re: Chrome shop using dull nickel .

David,
Looks like the nickel plating that Ford used in the '30s is something of a secret shared by too few. Unfortunately, when they shifted from dull to bright nickel, the demand fell for the former version to the point of near non-existence. We replicate the effect of chrome over unpolished dull nickel, such as on the sides of '34-'37 grille bars, etc., mechanically, Fewer that 5% of the restored grilles on '34-'37s that are shown at V8 Club national meets have the correct finish. Less than 1% of the restored '33 grilles that I see have completely dull grille bars as original.
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Old 02-03-2020, 12:33 PM   #8
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Default Re: Chrome shop using dull nickel .

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Originally Posted by David J View Post
Sorry bout not being more clear here .
I am looking for the chrome shop that I read about that uses dull nickel in the plating process .
Look at a original 34 grille and you will see the non-polished areas are dull grey .
That is what I seek .
Sorry, but I and I suspect many others do not have an "original 34 grille" to look at but have you in fact contacted any platers to see what they offer?
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Old 02-03-2020, 01:03 PM   #9
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Default Re: Chrome shop using dull nickel .

You add brightener to the plating solution.
Even zinc comes out very dull without brightener.
That said platers would probably charge a high rate if they have to change the mix of the plating solution for a few pieces...
You have to come together for a group buy ??
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Old 02-03-2020, 01:13 PM   #10
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Default Re: Chrome shop using dull nickel .

Yes, it requires a dedicated tank at the platers and that gets expensive in a hurry for just a few items. Some years ago the two premier platers in Toronto knew the correct finish for the subject grilles and both of them had a dedicated tank for the dull nickel and they would only pre-chrome polish the surround and the leading edges of the bars, just like Ford did back in the day, which adds a whole extra buffing round They were small shops and you paid for the privilege, but boy, do I miss them (RIP).
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Old 02-03-2020, 02:07 PM   #11
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Default Re: Chrome shop using dull nickel .

We do maintenance for this chrome shop ,To get the affect we bead blast the bars then just polish the fronts ,a friend needed a wiper motor the supplier in the states didn't have his Chromer any more so he sent down to this Chrome shop then back for assemble ,
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File Type: jpg progresive platers 005.jpg (67.2 KB, 101 views)
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Old 02-03-2020, 04:38 PM   #12
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Default Re: Chrome shop using dull nickel .

St. Louis plating will plate dull nickel, they are on Franklin Ave. They have plated several things for me in dull nickel.
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Old 02-03-2020, 05:20 PM   #13
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Default Re: Chrome shop using dull nickel .

Jon Wright Custom Chrome Plating can do it in Grafton Ohio. 440 926 3116
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Old 02-03-2020, 05:38 PM   #14
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Default Re: Chrome shop using dull nickel .

Good to know; thanks. The Grafton plater has an excellent reputation among classic era car restorers. However, given that clientele, they are also known as being very pricey.
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Old 02-03-2020, 05:38 PM   #15
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Default Re: Chrome shop using dull nickel .

Thanks all for the guidance . Thought it was here that I read about this . I will post how it goes .
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Old 02-03-2020, 07:08 PM   #16
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Default Re: Chrome shop using dull nickel .

Who's the guy at Hershey who does the Butler nickel? I think he's really into old Buicks.
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Old 02-03-2020, 07:15 PM   #17
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Default Re: Chrome shop using dull nickel .

Good point; that's what a Butler finish is, namely chrome over unpolished nickel. Three more examples are '32-'34 accelerator pedals, '32-'37 cowl vent lever handles, and the lower two-thirds of '32-'35 hand brake handles.
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Old 02-03-2020, 07:17 PM   #18
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Default Re: Chrome shop using dull nickel .

Brite Metals in Franklin KY used to be able to do it years ago... Who knows if they still do/can
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Old 02-03-2020, 07:33 PM   #19
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Default Re: Chrome shop using dull nickel .

The gear shift lever and cowl vent handle on early fords was known to me as satin chrome plating finish. Some called it butler finish. Nickel has always had a yellow tinge about it and different to any chrome. Not sure if satin chrome is the result of the finish on the metal surface before plating or something to do with the plating process. Different countries maybe call various plating finishes by different names. Regards, Kevin.
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Old 02-03-2020, 08:17 PM   #20
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Default Re: Chrome shop using dull nickel .

Kevin,


Good catch! The shift lever, shift lever washer, and retainer should have been on my additions in #17.

The finish is created in the plating process and not dependent on the finish of the bare metal before plating
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Old 02-03-2020, 08:53 PM   #21
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Default Re: Chrome shop using dull nickel .

Going by the vent handle and hand brakes I have looked at, if you polished the part then plated it with a satin chrome or whatever it wouldn't come out the butler Finnish look, it seems to me to require the texture of the bare metal (as you said David ) coupled with the type of plating to get the look ,But hay ??
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Old 02-03-2020, 09:42 PM   #22
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Default Re: Chrome shop using dull nickel .

Sorry, but I don't think I wrote that the bare metal had to be prepped to create a satin finish, but rather the opposite. The nickel plating's finish (back then using dull nickel) came out dull, it was then selectively polished mechanically (grille bar leading edges, lower part of handbrake, etc.) and then chrome plated. There excellent photos at the BFRC showing this being done on '34 grilles. The chrome plating did/does not significantly alter the finish of the underlying nickel plating. The polished portion came/comes out bright and the unpolished portions stay dull. Any NOS or excellent original '33-'37 grille shows off the effect dramatically when comparing the bright finish of the raised portion of the perimeter compared to the dull finish of the recessed area outside the raised portion.



Another example are original deluxe closed car windshield frames, bright on the outside, dull on the inside as only the outside of the frame was mechanically polished post nickel plating.
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Old 02-03-2020, 11:20 PM   #23
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Default Re: Chrome shop using dull nickel .

I think were on the same page here David to use your example of the windscreen frame using just one plating process plus not masking of you get two different finishes ,one on the front because its polished and one on the back with no polishing thus utilising the frosted texture of the steel to get two looks with the one process. In the case of the hand brake the grip is usually polished and the shank is textured like what sand blasting would give you ,
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Old 02-03-2020, 11:47 PM   #24
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Default Re: Chrome shop using dull nickel .

But it is the polishing of the dull nickel plating post plating, not the polishing of the base metal before plating that creates the different finish outcome.
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Old 02-04-2020, 02:30 AM   #25
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Default Re: Chrome shop using dull nickel .

I can see why Ford with there high production would utilise sand blasting to remove stamping marks on grill bar edges and hand brakes ,
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Old 02-05-2020, 03:28 PM   #26
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Default Re: Chrome shop using dull nickel .

This is where it is headed .
After talking with Jon I am comfortable with his shop doing the plating .

I'll let you know how it turns out .

Thanks for all the good info as it was nice to actually have a clue .
Unlike the first shop I called .

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Jon Wright Custom Chrome Plating can do it in Grafton Ohio. 440 926 3116
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Old 02-06-2020, 07:55 AM   #27
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Default Re: Chrome shop using dull nickel .

I was always led to believe that Butler finish was due to the nickel being buffed with an abrasive compound before chroming. That is what I have read in Model A books. Stuff may have changed for V8s. Also chrome is more like a protective clear for nickel. Triple plating consists of copper, nickel and chrome. It keeps the nickel from tarnishing.
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Old 02-06-2020, 09:48 PM   #28
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Default Re: Chrome shop using dull nickel .

I have been told(dont remember who) when ford chrome plated parts (grills- bumpers- gear shift-bottom of hand brake. ) the part HAD to be polished to get the mirror like effect of chrome. If you did not polish -the part was dull . If you, look at the hand brake on my original 33 2 door. you see shine like chrome on the top and dull below (because that section was NOT polished.) as to dull nickle
(OLD) bright nickle ( now ) If you look at interior handles. nickle finish ( I am not sure if maybe the nickle had to be polished. I know that even the bright nickle we have to day gets dull with time but can be polished ( like silver )I have many original interior handles and all can be polished --- but the end result is not as bright as the nickle you get today.
One other point: look at the engine turned panel on a 32 & 33 ford. It is what I call

dull swirled spots (engine turned) in a certain pattern. I have in the past tried to duplicate. The end result was way too shiny . I think if I had that original dull crome I would get results more like original .
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Old 08-02-2020, 06:00 PM   #29
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Talking Re: Chrome shop using dull nickel .

This is who did it and I also sent some of the roadster stuff . Excellent results and it is NOT the blue hue of modern chrome . Jon did say I started with probably the nicest windshield frame he's done . Those that had been to Mikes house saw it hanging on the living room wall with it's part number tag on it . Painted black as it was a standard .
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Jon Wright Custom Chrome Plating can do it in Grafton Ohio. 440 926 3116
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