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exeric
02-26-2008, 10:36 AM
I chose this catagory because removing chrome must involve tools. I have been trying to strip the chrome off a pair of fork rockers and I'm getting poor results. I found a forum on the internet that discussed using chemical stripping with muratic acid to get the chrome off and sulfuric acid to get the nickel off. You set up a bath and use a power source, just like plating. The bath should be 2 parts water to 1 part acid. They suggested using lead as the annode. This worked great for the chrome which came right off. The nickel is another story. I have had the part in the sulfuric bath for hours using a trickle charger for the power source. I have seen virtually no removal of the nickel. My second assault on the nickel has been with a sandblaster but I just don't have enough compressor for the job. My final method has been to use die grinders, belt sanders, files, and sandpaper and that has worked but it's miserable and gets into the rocker itself. I'd love to hear about a better way.

hogluvr
02-26-2008, 12:19 PM
eric,

Do you have a link to that forum, I've got a bunch of stuff on my Pan that has been chromed over the years, and I've heard it is probably easier & less expensive to just replace the parts rather than take them somewhere to get de-chromed. I'd like to try your method first though, and would love to hear other input as far as removing chrome. I would also like to hear ways to prep a chromed part for paint, I've heard it's possible to do that also...

Mike

exeric
02-26-2008, 12:58 PM
Mike, I just typed "Chrome stripping" in the MSN search engine. I got hits from a Caswell forum and a few other places. I printed it out but don't have the information with me. I know what you're talking about with the pile of old chrome plated parts. If it's stuff you want to Parkerize then you have the problems I have. If it's something you want to paint, just give it a light glass beading or wet sanding with wet/dry sandpaper. I've been using an epoxy primer on bare metal and chrome and that has been working well for me. Let us know if you find some good information on de-chroming.

sonnys dad
03-02-2008, 06:10 PM
we send plated parts to browns plating if we need the plating stripped, they will come back as bare metal ready for paint or cad plating. we are a dealer for them and have done this time and time again.

portagepan
03-03-2008, 05:24 PM
Could you give me an example of how much they charge for this? Does Brown's in Kentucky
do this too?
Mike

exeric
03-04-2008, 07:31 AM
I'd like to know too. The platers in my area flat refuse to do chrome removal and I'm fed up with trying to get it off with the methods I've been using.

D.Mac
03-04-2008, 11:20 AM
While were on this topic, how about chrome removal on aluminum? I've got a pair of 'Glide sliders and front backing plate I'd like to rescue.
Doug.

hogluvr
03-04-2008, 08:41 PM
I'm also facing the same thing, chrome over aluminum, chrome over parts that were orginally parkerized, chrome over parts that were painted... Oh well, we all know some people had a lot of fun with these bikes in the 70's, now we're paying the price when it comes time to restore them. Any additional info would be appreciated.

Mike

mmoore
03-28-2008, 02:17 PM
The nickel is another story. I have had the part in the sulfuric bath for hours using a trickle charger for the power source. the last time I had nickel removed the guy said he needed more amps than he had so I gave him a old 200 amp battery charger/starter. he cranked it up to about 50 amps then it came off. wish he was still around

D.Mac
04-25-2008, 03:12 PM
This thread just kind of petered out..... I was hoping someone might have some good ideas for removing chrome from aluminum parts, such as 'Glide lower legs etc. Any comments?Doug.

exeric
04-28-2008, 07:17 AM
I agree Doug, we need more imput on this thread because this has to be a factor for many of us. Mmoore's post got me thinking, and believe me this might be dangerous. If it's a matter of more amps what about using a buzz box welder as the power source ?

indianut
04-28-2008, 11:41 AM
Classic Chrome on 49th St. in Clearwater has never had a problem removing chrome for us.

Paps
04-28-2008, 07:14 PM
My bobber project came a to screaching halt. The Ole Lady wanted chrome everywhere so I am doing just that. I shelled out close to 6 bills for a strip and chrome job on 2 16" rims for the bobber. I laced and trued the wheels to the rims, mounted them to the bike, and finally got to a rolling chassi statis. The bike has not seen any adverse temperatures, never been out of the house. It has collected some dust though. The other day, I decided to wipe that dust off of her. Using a sof cloth, I began with the rims. I started with the rear. Needless to say, My expensive strip and chrome job began peeling off like tape. I am really upset about this !! I have not notified the company who performed the work yet. I want to get another bid for the work first. As I said, the rims were to be stripped first. They were not. The evidence to prove this ??? The old chrome and rust is still there, underneath the overlay of new chrome ! Paps

bmh
04-28-2008, 07:27 PM
was wondering if anyone ever tried a DC welder as a power supply for this type of thing? Been thinkin about this for a while now, and it would seem perfect for the job. You could dial in the amps you need to do the job , and nothing more. Seems to me one would have great control over the process. So what am I missing? I can't be the first guy to think of this.
Brian

Kojack
04-28-2008, 11:04 PM
My local plater told me he uses a proprietary caustic solution that removes the nickle without electricity. It sure sounds like one of the MetalX products.
http://www.finishing.com/stripper/index.shtml
Also sold in small quantities by Caswell.

mmoore
05-17-2008, 07:46 AM
sorry I aint been around warming up outside and working too much. anyway I found a guy that powercoated a chrome wheel last year. It worked great nice and smooth. Im going to pick up my brand new chrome wheel I had him powercoated today. he has a process to get it to stick on the chrome without removing it. so im giving it a try. we will find out as i lace it up and put a tire on it. I wanted a black rim but never found one I liked or fit. I bought some stainless spokes but they looked bad as the die that stamped the head tried to put a B on them but the B was so worn it looked awful. I ground it off sanded it down to 600 grit paper and finished by polishing up. 2 hours a nite for the last 8 days but they finally look good

bmh
05-19-2008, 08:08 PM
The "B" on your nipples is ( or was , last I knew) the mark of Buchannons Frame Shop. Those were some of the very best stainless spokes around.
Brian

mmoore
08-09-2008, 02:21 PM
your right the spokes came from them but I think the b in thier die is worn out as it looks awful. since these went into a front drum the heads were not hid by a brake disk and were highly visible on a black drum. many hours of grinding and polishing gave me a nice clean head.

Steve Slocombe
08-14-2008, 02:16 PM
Dear All, my regular chrome plater also strips chrome by reversing the current. I wouldn't try this at home. If you strip the chrome down to the nickel then this surface will take paint. If there is no nickel under the chrome then you need to change plater.

By the way, I took some parts down to an old powder coater the other day, and he said they parkerize (manganese phosphate) the metal first to make a key for the powder coat. I suspect Harley did this on their frames/forks, as old original paint wears straight down to the metal with no primer visible.

Erdos
08-14-2008, 07:04 PM
Here is a link to a good method for stripping chrome down to the steel. Use the instructions link on the page to download a instructional pdf.

http://www.brownells.com/aspx/NS/Store/ProductDetail.aspx?p=20613

mmoore
08-20-2008, 09:16 AM
Here is a link to a good method for stripping chrome down to the steel. Use the instructions link on the page to download a instructional pdf.

http://www.brownells.com/aspx/NS/Store/ProductDetail.aspx?p=20613

this is a interesting link here as this place is only 4 blocks from my house. I never knew they had this stuff.

gmarakas
09-24-2008, 04:53 PM
I have acquired a great deal of products from Caswell plating because they are really great. I have been using their triple chrome kit for about six months now and I have saved a fortune by not going to my local chromer. In most cases, the in-house work in better because I can control the thickness of the plate to ensure manufacturer's marks come through clearly.

I also regularly use Caswell's chrome stripper with a reverse current rectifier. The 25 amp unit works really well for positive plating and negative stripping. The product make chrome stripping easy and the nickel remains intact.

I highly recommend their Copy Cad and cold parkerizing products as well.:)

Snakeoil
11-24-2008, 10:12 AM
I'm no chemist and no expert on this. But lately I've been looking at Electrolysis methods for removing rust. One of the warnings regarded using stainless steel as an electrode. The problem is stainless contains chromium and it will go into solution in the process. I would expect that if you remove chrome plating, especially old stuff, it too will go into solution and that old stuff is probably hexavalent chomium. If my suspicions are correct, it is nasty stuff and your solution his highly toxic. Not only that, but even at the hobby level it is controlled by the EPA and you are breaking Federal laws if you do not dispose of it properly. The legality part aside, the health risks associated with it are serious. It was this stuff that was in the Love Canal, if anyone remembers that issue.

My understanding is the govt has banned all use of hexavalent chomium by 2009. If you are planning on stripping chrome in your garage, you should research it well before you proceed. Caswell is probably a good place to start. My guess is with the right electrolyte and the right amount of DC current, it is relatively easy to strip. The question is what do you do with the electrolyte when you are done?

mootch
02-16-2010, 11:24 PM
This thread just kind of petered out..... I was hoping someone might have some good ideas for removing chrome from aluminum parts, such as 'Glide lower legs etc. Any comments?Doug.


i believe it sthe same a metal but not sure.....my neighbour is a chrome plater in montreal,quebec,canada.....i always get my chrome off with him......i believe chrome can be removed from aluminum,but he has to keep a close eye on it so it doesn't disintergrate.....if it stays in too long,you will not have anything left !!!!!!!!

len dowe
08-15-2010, 09:02 AM
I'm no chemist and no expert on this. But lately I've been looking at Electrolysis methods for removing rust. One of the warnings regarded using stainless steel as an electrode. The problem is stainless contains chromium and it will go into solution in the process. I would expect that if you remove chrome plating, especially old stuff, it too will go into solution and that old stuff is probably hexavalent chomium. If my suspicions are correct, it is nasty stuff and your solution his highly toxic. Not only that, but even at the hobby level it is controlled by the EPA and you are breaking Federal laws if you do not dispose of it properly. The legality part aside, the health risks associated with it are serious. It was this stuff that was in the Love Canal, if anyone remembers that issue.

My understanding is the govt has banned all use of hexavalent chomium by 2009. If you are planning on stripping chrome in your garage, you should research it well before you proceed. Caswell is probably a good place to start. My guess is with the right electrolyte and the right amount of DC current, it is relatively easy to strip. The question is what do you do with the electrolyte when you are done?

i just take mine to the plater and get the chrome,nickle off. i don't feel qualified enough to handle highly toxic chemicals let alone the waste material. i let the professionals do it. some money spent at the plater more than justifies the health risks that could happen to me. it only takes on time to ruin the rest of your life. but parkerizing is another issue. i do it all the time in the shop and it turns out great. len 765

Chris Haynes
08-15-2010, 12:04 PM
Ya gotta remember one thing about the process of chroming a part. POLISHING. Once a part has been polished its original finish and texture are gone forever. On aluminum parts a lot of metal is removed during polishing. You will notice this when you put a set of chromed/polished slider legs on a bike. Suddenly there is a big gap between the slider and the cowbell. Nuts and bolts that get polished no longer are the original size and wrenches don't fit well anymore. In most cases, like with fork rockers, once a part has been chromed it is no longer suitable to be used on a restoration.

Neil74
08-16-2010, 02:39 PM
Good point Chris, just like paint chroming is only as good as the finish beneath it.I've seen a lot of old parts ruined by a heavy handed polisher. I stopped having chrome applied to aluminum 30 years ago, it never seems to last and polished aluminum has a much nicer appearance. If I build a bike with chrome on aluminum I always send it to the platers and polish it when it comes back. I usually send it to Browns but have used Classic Chrome in Clearwater, good work at both.

Neil74
08-16-2010, 02:44 PM
I have been known to trade a person who insists on chroming an old part, they get a part that's been plated I get the original unmolested part and pay half their plating. That way everybody wins an another part hasn't been ruined.

Robert Luland
08-18-2010, 02:03 PM
Screw the chrome, my plater charges me squat to take it off. It’s the damm copper plating that’s the problem. I have spent hours parkerizing and rebeading to get it all off. My platter says the EPA won’t let him use the cyanide mix anymore. I know we’ve gone on about this here a few times but no solutions. Bob L

harleytoprock
11-10-2011, 06:02 AM
I've removed chrome on aluminum parts by first soaking in muriatic acid. This removes the chrome layer in about 10 minutes but be careful that there is no exposed aluminum like in holes as the acid will violently eat the aluminum. Then to remove the nickle and copper, I soak in Nitric acid. The nitric acid does not harm the aluminum. Do not put steel parts in nitric acid, they will disappear on you. To remove copper on steel, I used ferric chloride solution used to etch circuit boards. I've purchased this stuff from Radio Shack in the past. It takes many hour for the copper to come off but it does. All of this stuff should be done out doors wearing rubber gloves and a face shield.

gotnoclass
02-24-2012, 01:25 PM
you guys should try Orange County Plating in California. These guys are the best, understand vintage restoration and can strip chrome from aluminum.
Ask for Chris or Matt 714-532-4610