Philco Chrome

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letters_before.jpgWhen I tore down the Philco my intention was to paint it black. The chrome was in pretty bad shape so I decided to get the handle and letters replated. The problem was that like most things of this era, from refrigerators to automobiles, the letters and handle were made of pot metal. The goal was to make fast cheap castings with an amalgamation of lead, aluminum, and zinc or whatever was available. Over time it gets pits, and the chrome looks horrible. Most shops will strip it, plate it with lots of copper to fill the pits, then do the nickel and chrome plating. The problem with this approach is that the emblems loose their definition and don't fit right. The only shop I could find in West Michigan that did plating was Proctor's Metal Finishing. Fortunately they have a new website; their old one was straight out of 1994 with animated gifs and clipart overdose. They still have an 'under construction' page; I guess they're still struggling with letting go. Ultimately I was most concerned about their metal finishing, not their website. Bryan seemed like a good guy, but said that there was a small possibility that they might loose my parts in their tank. He stated that "only thing that is 100% is taxes and death" not really the assurance I needed. Before.JPGBut hey, at least they are honest. After much searching I found Iverson Automotive, George is the pot metal trim restoration expert. He drills out the pits, fills them, then once the work is perfect, plates it with the copper. This gives you a much finer finished product. I would recommend him to anyone wanting trim restoration. If you want cheap and fast he might not be the guy for you. If you want your work to look like a million dollars for a decent price and with a reasonable turnaround time, then he is your man. I sent my trim to George and got it back a couple months later in perfect condition. Here are some before and after shots. You can see the pitting in the letters and the handle in the photos with the black background. The bottom photo is the finished product before I assembeled and waxed it.


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This page contains a single entry by Brewmaster published on June 18, 2010 8:44 PM.

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