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Old 11-20-21, 06:21 PM
  #11  
gugie 
Bike Butcher of Portland
 
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Location: Portland, OR
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Bikes: It's complicated.

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Originally Posted by repechage View Post
thanks. There will be a increasing visible difference at the junctions with time.

I really do not know which way to go if I was making the decisions. Tough call.
There's a reason why 95% of the racks I make are stainless steel and brazed with silver. Chrome is problematic. For one, I don't have a good chrome plater nearby, I'd have to ship it somewhere. Second, unless you've got an established relationship with a chromer, it may be months for turnaround. Third, it's not exactly environmentally friendly. I don't TIG, so brazing is how I join tubes.

Standard 4130 CrMo is stronger than the 304 and 316 stainless tubing I typically use, but it's "strong enough".

Silver based filler does oxidize, just like Grandma's silverwear. Since I pin most junctions, I don't need a fillet, and there's very little visible filler at the joints, maybe a mm or so visible. My oldest rack that I personally use is about 4 years old, you have to look closely to find the small tarnished joints.

The call's easy for me. Less costly, much more environmentally friendly, and I don't have to wait a long time for the chromer to finish the job. In this particular case, it also wouldn't look right - too bright for a 70 year old bike!

Someone wants a shiny rack from me, I'll go stainless. Someone wants a super strong rack for expedition touring, I'll use CrMo and have it powder coated. I've had a few old rando bikes with 40-50 year old chrome plated racks on them, and most had chrome pitting. Stainless won't ever do that.
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