Our expert team here at Rustybug are trained in almost everything that your classic car will need when it is to be restored, repaired or maintained, including blast cleaning, body work, painting, and mechanical services. However, there is one thing that we don’t do here – and that is chroming.
And the reason why is simple – it is complicated and requires special machinery which we don’t have. We send our special projects that require chroming away to some local chroming specialists who we trust to do a perfect job, meeting our own high standards of workmanship.
What is Chroming?
Chroming or chrome plating is when a thin layer of chromium is electroplated onto a metal object. In our case, it is used mainly on the bumpers, grill and wheels of the car and some parts of the interior. As well as looking stunning, the chrome can help to protect the metal from corrosion, makes it easy to clean, and can make the surface harder.
The chroming process involves firstly degreasing and cleaning thoroughly the area which is to be chromed . A number of pre-treatments are then applied to prepare the metal for chroming, The area is then warmed to the right temperature in the chrome plating vat, and the plating current introduced for a certain amount of time until the plating thickness is acquired.
Caring for your Chrome
The secret to keeping your chrome looking sparkling and in tip top form is a regular cleaning and maintenance schedule. By making this a regular occurrence you can help to reduce the risk of bigger problems down the line. Just regular cleaning and polishing with warm soapy water and cloth, followed by a rinse with cool water and dry, if you have no oxidation, or a specific chrome cleaner and polisher will not only keep your car looking great but also healthy.
The most important thing to try to avoid is oxidation as this can really ruin the look of your chrome and damage it forever. If the oxidation is bad, you will need to either re-chrome, or replace the part. If, however it is small, there is a chance of saving it. You can use a fine-grade steel wool to remove the oxidation, but it will still leave some minor scratches in the chrome. Follow this up with a good metal or chrome polish.
If the oxidation is in a crevice or area which is hard to reach, use a toothbrush and household cleanser to scrub the oxidation away.
When you are polishing it is vital that you ensure that the area is perfectly clean, otherwise the polishing process can cause scratches, both making it not look great, and opening the way for oxidation.
For most classic cars, chrome is an important feature.The process of chroming is not easy and not particularly cheap, so it is essential that it is looked after and properly maintained.
If you have a classic car and are looking for help with a full nuts and bolts restoration, or just certain aspects such as chroming, blast cleaning, body straightening or engine tinkering, get in touch with us here at the Rustybug Workshop to find out how we can help you.