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Rechroming a chrome fork

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Rechroming a chrome fork

Old 01-21-12, 11:09 AM
  #26  
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BTW, the plater that did my forks said he will do complete bikes for around $200.00

Very tempting!
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Old 01-21-12, 04:37 PM
  #27  
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Originally Posted by Captain Blight View Post
Well, Mercian is said to know a thing or two about framebuilding as well, Olly. I suppose it depends on where one puts one's priorities. I can very much see where an aggressive polisher could take too much metal off and significantly weaken a bike. On the other hand, the chromed forks lowers just look *so* pretty....
It's truly a matter of getting a plater that will listen to your request(s). There are certain things they love to do - like grind, fill and polish. But if they know they can't go crazy, because beyond-repair is devastating rather than what they're used to, they can pull off a lot. My guy has to be reminded that these 50-130 year old pieces can't be replaced, and special care has to be taken; tubes can't be ground, filling has to be done carefully and with attention. Everyone has a claim to this or that, and while some sense can be made, I would argue about tubes being too thin to plate, especially these days.

I guarantee there are high number ( > 531), thin walled Reynolds frames and forks out there with chrome, just as there are plenty of Italian thin-walled frames with it.
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Old 01-22-12, 01:17 AM
  #28  
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I just purchased a 1980 (?) Raleigh Sport with a lot of rust on the chromed (I think?) rims and used aluminum foil with a bit of Windex to wet the aluminum foil. I was floored by how easy it was to remove the rust...way better and faster than fine steel wool.

Sorry, off topic...
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Old 12-19-14, 08:13 AM
  #29  
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I know this is a old thread, but anyone can find it doing a Google search for "chromium bicycle fork". Just wanted to pass a great experience I had with a plater here in Connecticut, Meriden to be exact. This name was given to me by a Mercedes buff that had work done. I can't say enough for the work they did. This fork was well masked to protect the crown race and given a triple plate job. That is a buffing of the steel, a coat of copper and buffed, a coat of nickel and then the chrome. You end up with a smooth mirror finish. I did all my business through the mail due to time restraints. For the job they did for $15 for stripping and $50 for the triple plate job is a great value in my eyes. Give them a shot.
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Old 12-19-14, 08:31 AM
  #30  
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Great job on that fork, and the price is wow.

I wonder how many fewer chrome shops are still open since the earlier posts in 2012. Regulations are taking their toll...

We hate rust around here don't we? But rust is all around us, it is a natural thing, and rust has to eat...
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Old 12-19-14, 08:51 AM
  #31  
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An amazing price!
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Old 12-19-14, 09:43 AM
  #32  
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dead rust has no appetite.
So...kill that rust.

I personally have NEVER gotten anything out of rubbing bad chrome with aluminum foil (with anything be it water, oil lemon juice, etc.) and wonder what people see who think this is an effective technique...I don't see any effect, not even placebo.

Last edited by unworthy1; 12-19-14 at 09:48 AM.
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Old 12-19-14, 09:50 AM
  #33  
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Very nice. I was fortunate enough to find a chrome plater here in Tampa. I'm going to have him do my Corvette bumpers.
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Old 12-19-14, 09:55 AM
  #34  
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Old 12-19-14, 10:08 AM
  #35  
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Just be careful on whom you choose. I found this company on a good word. I was going to use another place that I found near by googling but on the advice of my boss was told to stay away because of their thin chrome.
Originally Posted by miamijim View Post
Very nice. I was fortunate enough to find a chrome plater here in Tampa. I'm going to have him do my Corvette bumpers.
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Old 12-19-14, 10:10 AM
  #36  
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Paul's Chrome Plating in Pennsylvania does excellent work. I've only ever used them for automotive parts but some of the stuff I sent was in pretty rough shape and it all came back looking like new. Prices seemed quite reasonable for the job as well.
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Old 12-19-14, 11:10 AM
  #37  
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What's missing in the conversation is that some platers who don't normally plate thin walled tubing like that found in bicycle frames don't bother to bake the frame/fork immediately after plating in order to mitigate the risk of hydrogen embrittlement.

Electroplating is a major cause of hydrogen embrittlement. Some hydrogen is generated during the cleaning and pickling cycles, but by far the most significant source is cathodic inefficiency, which is followed by sealing the hydrogen in the parts. Baking is often performed on high strength parts to reduce this risk, and the ASTM, in 1994, issued a specification for baking cycles.
Anyone considering having bicycle frames and forks chrome plated should ensure the plater really understands the necessity of baking to minimize hydrogen embrittlement risk when plating thin walled tubing.
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Old 12-19-14, 01:32 PM
  #38  
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Originally Posted by lml999 View Post
I get one shot at this. If a plater screws up because I don't provide proper instructions, I have a beautiful, useless fork. Colnago pista forks aren't particularly easy to find!

So I'm thinking of working through a painter...

Best,

Lee
Why do you get one shot at this? If it goes bad, just blast/strip and try again?
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Old 12-19-14, 01:46 PM
  #39  
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FWIW electro plating can be removed with a current reversal , that which was deposited will be the source .. anode/cathode polarity Flip.
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Old 12-19-14, 01:54 PM
  #40  
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Originally Posted by ppg677 View Post
Why do you get one shot at this? If it goes bad, just blast/strip and try again?
Sure, you can start all over from scratch but proper chroming is labor intensive thus expensive. If too much chrome is applied to the fork race area the race itself will not seat. And you can't just recut the seat because chrome will easily damage the cutter.
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Old 12-19-14, 02:00 PM
  #41  
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I guess I don't have to worry��
Originally Posted by miamijim View Post
Sure, you can start all over from scratch but proper chroming is labor intensive thus expensive. If too much chrome is applied to the fork race area the race itself will not seat. And you can't just recut the seat because chrome will easily damage the cutter.
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Old 12-19-14, 02:14 PM
  #42  
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They did the racks for my bike.
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Old 12-19-14, 02:25 PM
  #43  
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That fork looks fantastic. I will certainly give them a try in the future if the opportunity arises.

Originally Posted by Highgear View Post
I know this is a old thread, but anyone can find it doing a Google search for "chromium bicycle fork". Just wanted to pass a great experience I had with a plater here in Connecticut, Meriden to be exact. This name was given to me by a Mercedes buff that had work done. I can't say enough for the work they did. This fork was well masked to protect the crown race and given a triple plate job. That is a buffing of the steel, a coat of copper and buffed, a coat of nickel and then the chrome. You end up with a smooth mirror finish. I did all my business through the mail due to time restraints. For the job they did for $15 for stripping and $50 for the triple plate job is a great value in my eyes. Give them a shot.
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Old 12-19-14, 02:34 PM
  #44  
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Just trying to spread the word. I talked to the owner over the phone and he sounds pretty proud of their work. Also, the word on how inexpensive it is.

Originally Posted by greg3rd48 View Post
That fork looks fantastic. I will certainly give them a try in the future if the opportunity arises.
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Old 12-19-14, 03:31 PM
  #45  
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Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
FWIW electro plating can be removed with a current reversal , that which was deposited will be the source .. anode/cathode polarity Flip.
Yes, it can and often should… BUT. In the case of a fork made of Columbus tubing (or other similar alloys, 4130 etc.) there is chromium added to the steel. Leave it in the tank too long and it eats into the chrome in the alloy… not a good thing.

There are other problems too. Consider that many forks have vent holes near one end, usually the lower end… the concern(s) are:

How well were the chemicals flushed out from the original chrome effort? (assuming a replate task)
A plater does not want to cross contaminate his tanks, to flush the fluid out between steps, added work is needed to drain each side.
One way that I have seen is for an additional vent to be drilled up in the internal reinforcement region (on forks that have them) this helps get 75-80% of the internal fluid to drain, it still requires hand manipulation to get one vent holes to the low points.
Working with the plater to mask off the crown race region… (I have asked that the region gets masked after the copper) That way I know it went on and the copper is soft enough to not mess up my Campagnolo tool.
Insuring and paying for the proper polishing of the part after plating removal.
(I have done my own, then return it to the shop)
Less buffing is required if the part to be plated is already of a smooth finish.
If the part is pitted, sometimes multiple coats of copper are required and buffed between them, the copper is softer and can fill the marks.
As mentioned earlier, baking to arrest or prevent hydrogen embrittlement is good practice.

The problem I think is that while the above may be well communicated to the rep writing up the job… did it get communicated to the staff actually doing the work?
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Old 12-19-14, 06:23 PM
  #46  
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I should have included before photos.
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Old 12-19-14, 06:54 PM
  #47  
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Originally Posted by Scooper View Post
What's missing in the conversation is that some platers who don't normally plate thin walled tubing like that found in bicycle frames don't bother to bake the frame/fork immediately after plating in order to mitigate the risk of hydrogen embrittlement.



Anyone considering having bicycle frames and forks chrome plated should ensure the plater really understands the necessity of baking to minimize hydrogen embrittlement risk when plating thin walled tubing.
This is very true, and a great concern. Thanks for pointing it out. I would never have a plater that didn't understand this work on a bicycle. A Chevy bumper, no problem. The fork my life depends on? Not so much. Auto/motorcycle steel is not the same as bicycle steel, at least high end bicycle steel.
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Old 12-20-14, 03:21 AM
  #48  
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I am rather reluctant to chime-in here, but here goes anyway:

There is chrome, Chrome, CHROME, and REAL CHROME. Actually, the chrome plate that we most all love and cherish is The Icing on The Cake, as

The Job itself is a multi-step process, anyone of which could screw-up the entire shebang.

First things first: Can an item be chrome plated? Most likely.

Can this Bicycle Part be Properly chrome plated? Depends.
If the part is of structural significance and the plating company cannot/will-not bake-out the plating caused hydrogen embrittlement the Answer is NO.
When failure occurs due to HE, it causes the parent metal to fracture; it may be a growing crack or it may be a snap with no before the fact warning.
Happy Birthday! End of Story.

If there is minor rust damage, this may be buffed-out and supplanted by a number of layers of copper plate, buffed between tank-time(s).
If there is major rust damage, the plater has no other options than to blast-out or grind it, both of which reduces not only the thickness
of the parent metal, but must be replaced for ethstetic (sp) reasons, this usually being done by the application of brazing filler then buffed.
When the latter is true, is the plater familiar with bicycles and/or frame building and if not -
End of Story.

It's late; I am tired, and there are a number of OPs above who know of what they write. The main thing to remember is that
as being a consumer, not a professional, asking the right questions and receiving the correct response can be daunting.


Regards,
J T
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Old 12-20-14, 04:54 AM
  #49  
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I use a really good chrome shop here in town. They have Chromed a few forks for me and other small parts, triple plating for all my parts. The CIOCC is mine the other were restorations I did for others.




CIOCC








After a few miles





Pinarello Treviso











Peugeot









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Old 12-20-14, 10:58 AM
  #50  
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For anyone in Toronto, Mayfair Plating did a Colnago fork for me and they did a great job. I paid $65.
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