Saturday, February 21, 2009

50's Bumpers Get Prepped for Rechroming...

Well, thanks to President's Day, I had the day off. So....I took advantage of the time to take the bumpers of my 1950 Chevrolet over to my friends at Custom Metal Finishers in Hagerstown, Indiana. The place is a real family business. Jim and his three oldest sons, Jimmy, Josh, and Jordan are the backbone of the operation.
Well, the first bit of business was to grind the rivets holding the 50's three piece bumpers together. Josh is pictured above working on the rear bumper, Ol' Scruffy took care of the rear bumper.

Once the rivets were ground, it was a simple matter of punching out the back of the rivet to get the bumper pieces apart.

Once the bumpers were in pieces, it was time to work out some of the dents that had accumulated over the 50+ years the car has been on the road.

After a brief "training" session, Jim turned me loose on the belt sander. The purpose of this procedure is to remove any pitting in the metal and to smooth out any small dents that remained.

It took me most of the day to get the 6 bumper pieces ready for their acid bath. A wire was placed through each of the six bumper pieces as well as the front and back bumper guards. All the parts were placed in the acid bath and will remain there overnight.

The acid will remove any remaining plating, it will also remove the rust and overspray on the back of the bumper pieces.
Well, Jim and the boys will be removing the parts from the acid in the morning. Hopefully, I can get back over to Custom Metal Finishers this weekend to continue working on my bumpers. Thanks to Jim for giving me my "Chromeplating 101" training and allowing me to spend the day at their shop. I'm looking forward to returning and learning about the plating steps.

I have seen a lot of finished pieces that come out of the Custom Metal Finishers shop and I can say they do fantastic work. They are real perfectionists, and take great pride in what leaves their shop. Several members of the Righteous Rodders have had parts chromed for the rods and bikes at Custom Metal Finishers. If you would like to learn more about their operation, you can email them at: Or you can call them toll free at 1-866-489-4089.