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Old 03-24-2019, 12:57 PM   #1
Ed in Maine
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Default Preparing a 1931 Instrument panel for plating

I have a good instrument panel that has just fine, little defects in the chrome plate. Is it possible to do some preliminary work that is time consuming prior to taking the panel to the plater? I don't want to lose much detail. I would like to know what procedures and grade of paper should be used to smooth out the surface. Thanks for your help, Ed
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Old 03-24-2019, 03:17 PM   #2
BRENT in 10-uh-C
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Default Re: Preparing a 1931 Instrument panel for plating

The first order is to 'de-chrome' it which is typically done by the plater in a reverse method of plating. Once the panel is stripped to bare metal (-or brass), you can begin the repairs and sanding. Typically I use 400 and then 600 on headlight shells, but I need to caution you that a small buffer with a narrow buff will make the panel wavy. You need a strong enough motor to spin a 2" wide buff. My buffer is 7 1/2 horsepower with a 1" arbor.
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Old 03-24-2019, 03:18 PM   #3
Truckerjim
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Default Re: Preparing a 1931 Instrument panel for plating

You need to strip off all plating to repair underlying metal . Use very fine sand paper to make a mirror finish. What you see in metal before plating is what comes thru as your finish. Truckerjim
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Old 03-24-2019, 03:28 PM   #4
1crosscut
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Default Re: Preparing a 1931 Instrument panel for plating

I use a 50/50 mix of muratic acid and water to take the plating off of nuts and bolts.
Have not tried it on something like a dash panel but it makes quick work of the nuts and bolts.
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Old 03-24-2019, 04:10 PM   #5
midgetracer
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Default Re: Preparing a 1931 Instrument panel for plating

Muratic acid will dissolve the rust and may make the plating over the rusted area easy to brush off, but it probably will not remove all the plating unless left long enough where it will also dissolve the underlying steel. If it is a brass panel, the acid will strip the zinc out of the brass faster than the Copper and leave a copper colored panel. The fumes from Muratic acid are toxic and real care must be used working around it.
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Old 03-24-2019, 04:25 PM   #6
Alaska Mike
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Default Re: Preparing a 1931 Instrument panel for plating

I would send it to the plater as is. He will know what he wants to do. Anything you might do, could end up costing you more money. As Brent said, the correct way is to de-plate. That way you don't lose any of the metal that might be removed with an acid bath, sanding, or other methods. Chrome plating with old metals can be tricky, as you don't know what things have happened in the last 80 some years.
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