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Old 08-15-2019, 12:01 PM   #1
Big Shark
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Default Hubcap restoration

Has anyone restored 37 hubcaps? Does the stainless cap come off. Thanks Bruce
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Old 08-15-2019, 12:22 PM   #2
nelsb01
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Default Re: Hubcap restoration

Hey--the best way is to drill a 3/16 inch hole in the back center--stop of course before you get to the stainless.
Then find a large cardboard box, fill with a blanket, and get the air hose with blow tip and fit it over the drilled hole, and point top of cap toward blankets in box.
Stainless cover should pop right off.
Send the stainless to a stainless restorer (JR Custom PLating - North Branch MN) and then sandblast the cap. When ready for paint, only one coat the top and then multi-coat the rest. The secret is to keep the paint thin where the stainless goes.
I used 3 inch pink foam insulation and cut a concave area in the center to fit the stainless cap. I then built a 2 by 4 frame for the foam andwith a plywood cover. You can set the finished metal cap on cardboard on the floor. Use a little vaseline on the bottom inside edge of the stainless and then place the stainless on the cap (matching the V-8 impression), then place a piece of wax paper over the stainless. Place the foam frame over the stainless, make sure it is level - and then with one foot, stomp on the top of the plywood. I did 6 hupcaps this way and had no damage to the cap or stainless. I then sealed the drilled hole with some good chauk.

Last edited by nelsb01; 08-15-2019 at 12:24 PM. Reason: forgot a step
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Old 08-15-2019, 05:17 PM   #3
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Default Re: Hubcap restoration

Restoring the stainless is not that hard. When the stainless cap is off clean the inside of the cap. Take a sharpie and draw a line over the peak of every dent. If it is a small ding just make a dot with the sharpie on the peak. Take your body hammers tap the dings out. Make sure you are placing the stainless cap against a clean hard metal surface. You want to take the outer surface of the dent a little further than the undented surface. Not very much. The reason for this is there will be a scratch in the stainless that will need to be filed and blocked. Block it till the scratch is out. Hope this makes sense. The pictures will help. I was going to paint the round inset, but changed my mind. The caps are in the final stage before buffing.
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Old 08-16-2019, 04:46 AM   #4
Mart
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Default Re: Hubcap restoration

Thanks for the in depth how to replies, guys.

Mart.
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Old 08-16-2019, 07:42 AM   #5
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Default Re: Hubcap restoration

Use a lot of care when drilling the hole. The first one i did the when the drill bit popped through made an ugly tiny dent in the stainless. I would probably set up the drill press next time and have better control of the pressure applied to the bit.
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Old 08-16-2019, 08:06 AM   #6
Gary in La.
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Default Re: Hubcap restoration

Wrap the drill bit with a number of rounds of masking tape which then becomes a depth stop. Place about I/8" from the tip.
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Old 08-16-2019, 08:53 AM   #7
Mart
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Default Re: Hubcap restoration

Quote:
Originally Posted by 36coupe View Post
Use a lot of care when drilling the hole. The first one i did the when the drill bit popped through made an ugly tiny dent in the stainless. I would probably set up the drill press next time and have better control of the pressure applied to the bit.
If the drill press has a depth stop that could be set to avoid marring the stainless.
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Old 08-16-2019, 10:07 AM   #8
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Default Re: Hubcap restoration

I feel a Mart Youtube video coming on...I have an original '32 cap from a genuine cutaway chassis that I need to find someone trustworthy to help restore!!!!
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Old 08-16-2019, 09:42 PM   #9
nelsb01
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Default Re: Hubcap restoration

These procedures will work best for 1936, 1937, 1938, 1939 hubcaps.
The rest ------ those are different stories onto themselves.
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Old 08-17-2019, 06:24 AM   #10
Big Shark
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Default Re: Hubcap restoration

Thanks Guys, I will try this procedure. And Mart, if you do a u-tube. Let me know. Bruce
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Old 08-17-2019, 10:01 AM   #11
philipswanson
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Default Re: Hubcap restoration

What is the best way to paint the indented lettering on my 40 caps? I always have a hard time doing this.
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Old 08-18-2019, 12:23 AM   #12
nelsb01
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Default Re: Hubcap restoration

On my 1936 caps, once I 'stomped' them back on, I took them to a sign/pin stripper. That's what he does for a living, and does a good job.
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