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Rim Restoration

Old 10-31-10, 08:13 AM
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Rim Restoration

A couple of months ago I received my '54 Humber "kit" from Roll-Monroe-Co. When I unpacked the contents of the box, I noticed that the the front wheel would need a bit of work. Upon closer examination, I saw that the chrome on the sides of the rim was actually gone in quite a few areas. I did some thinking on how I could restore the rim,and after seeing a photo of a Pashley GUV'NOR with black rims, I thought that would be a good way to go.

The question is, how do I go about doing this? What is the best way to strip off the chrome? Do I need to totally strip the rim or just where the chrome is flacking off? Do I then take an abrasive to the chrome so the paint can grip properly or use a self etching primer? What type of paint would be the best for this application to with stand the friction caused by the brake pads?

Ok, looking for opinions, suggestions, personal experiences. I'm not interested in going with alloy rims at this time.

Gary
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Old 10-31-10, 12:45 PM
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I'm trying POR-15 on a pair of my rims. It doesn't stick at all to chrome but once it's on it's VERY hard stuff. So far it looks good but I've ridden the bike less than a mile.
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Old 10-31-10, 02:21 PM
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Originally Posted by sailorbenjamin
I'm trying POR-15 on a pair of my rims. It doesn't stick at all to chrome but once it's on it's VERY hard stuff. So far it looks good but I've ridden the bike less than a mile.
From what I understand about POR-15, it's not meant to be a finish coat that would be exposed to the elements, but should be top coated with a suitable paint. That point aside, if it doesn't stick to chrome, what did you do to prep your rims?
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Old 10-31-10, 02:37 PM
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There is a "reverse plating" operation, using battery charger and chemical bath, that strips the chrome, but I don't know what it is.
I don't suppose you've investigated the different Caswell home plating systems. Sounds like a lot of trouble.
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Old 10-31-10, 04:44 PM
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Originally Posted by gbalke
From what I understand about POR-15, it's not meant to be a finish coat that would be exposed to the elements, but should be top coated with a suitable paint. That point aside, if it doesn't stick to chrome, what did you do to prep your rims?
I sanded it a lot with really gritty stuff and painted really thick. After the first coat it would flake off i lots of little places and I'd sand it again and put another thick coat on. By the 3rd or 4th coat is was covering pretty good. I thought it would just peel off in one big sheet when I put the tire on but it's holding up to that and the braking so far. Not really professional sounding of me. Sorry bout that.
I once primed a bunch of spots on a car that I never got around to painting. The UV will take the shine out of it after a year or two. This bike I did will be mostly indoors. I'm curious to see how it does then.
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Old 10-31-10, 05:04 PM
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I worked in a plating shop for a few months the last couple of years I was in high school. I remember the only way we stripped chrome off any metal was to acid dip the part. We would set a timer and sumbmerge the part. Let me tell you it some of the most caustic stuff I've ever seen. If you were to fall in the tub they would never find you, that's how strong the acid is. Other than acid dipping I do not know of any way of stipping chrome off of steel. You could use a sander to get rid of a lot of it, but never all of it.

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Old 10-31-10, 11:14 PM
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What size rim?

I have a front,32 hole,26x1 3/8 (590) crome with dull center from my '52 Sports thats in decent shape.

The rear was pitted so I had the hubs mated up to a pair of SunCR18's.

You can top coat Por15 with Krylon by doing 'Fog' coats when the por15 sets up tacky.
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Old 11-01-10, 01:19 AM
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Michel Angelo, I am being a picky bastard, but acid is acid and caustic is basic/alkaline. But I know what you are getting at.

As to preparation, a year ago I had a NOS Japanese 28" Westwood with good chrome sandblasted and painted. Great black finish. But no brakes on the rims - it is a Sachs 1938 Dreigang (3 speed) hub-brake. However the finish is tough, done by a spray-painter - sorry, can't recall what kind of paint - I think an enamel.
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Old 11-01-10, 06:21 AM
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Originally Posted by michael k
What size rim?

I have a front,32 hole,26x1 3/8 (590) crome with dull center from my '52 Sports thats in decent shape.

The rear was pitted so I had the hubs mated up to a pair of SunCR18's.

You can top coat Por15 with Krylon by doing 'Fog' coats when the por15 sets up tacky.
Kevin,

My front rim is the same as yours, 32 holes, 26 x 1-3/8. I appreciate the offer, if I read this right, but the reason behind my post is to find out how I can prep the chrome and paint my rim black.

While POR 15 might be one way to approach this, at just under $30 a pint, I could most likely by a black alloy rim in the proper size for the same cost and avoid all of the hassle.

Say, does Sun make a CR-18 590 rim in black?

Oh, nice looking Mixte in your avatar, even though it's French!

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Old 11-01-10, 06:30 AM
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Your description matches the front rim on my orange Norman. I painted the rim, nipples and chrome and all, with rattlecan chrome. It doesn't look like chrome, but it looks much better than it did. And I believe it protects the rim from further rust, at least to some degree. In fact, it looks a lot like aluminum now; that's not my first choice, but it'll do.
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Old 11-01-10, 10:47 AM
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[I appreciate the offer, if I read this right, but the reason behind my post is to find out how I can prep the chrome and paint my rim black.
Ah, Gotcha.

I have a habit of getting carried away and spare no expense.

Oh, nice looking Mixte in your avatar, even though it's French!
Thanks!

Did I mention it has (had) Swiss influences? Now its English.(Bottom bracket threading)
Did you ever find a stradle brake cable for your Mixte? Found one off of a damaged Concorso yesterday at a bike salvage sale.
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Old 11-01-10, 11:20 AM
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Originally Posted by michael k
Ah, Gotcha.
I have a habit of getting carried away and spare no expense.
Did you ever find a stradle brake cable for your Mixte? Found one off of a damaged Concorso yesterday at a bike salvage sale.
Yes I did. Justin, AKA ColonelJLloyd, sent me an extra one he had laying around and if worked perfectly.
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