Saturday, March 7, 2009

Back to the "Old Grind"....

Well, I FINALLY have had some time to get back over to see my friends at Custom Metal Finishers in Hagerstown, Indiana. A week and a 1/2 ago, I started prepping the front and rear bumpers of my 50 Chevrolet 2-door sedan to have them rechromed. Back on President's day, I spent the day straigthening and removing dents, then hitting them with 60 grit, then 100 grit sanding belts. When I left, my buddy Jim put them in an acid solution to work on any remaining rust and debris.

When I finally had the chance to make it back over last Saturday, the first bit of business was to clean up the back of the bumper pieces. Jim, the owner of CMF, took the parts to a special disc to quickly remove any remaining rust.
You can see from the picture above, the parts were now bare metal, and the acid bath had given them a dull gray finish. My job on Saturday was to get the parts ready for copper plating by hitting them with some finer grained passes on the belts.
First, with a 240 grit belt on the wheel, I worked on each piece. The front and rear bumpers of a 1950 Chevrolet are actually constructed of 3 pieces each. The only exception were those cars sold on the West Coast. They have a one piece bumper known as a "California" style. I would certainly be interested in learning the history of this fact. Why did the state of California regulate a 1 piece bumper?

At any rate, I worked through all six pieces with the 240 grit belt. You can see from the picture below, the pieces were now smoother, but still have some belt etchings that an even finer grained belt will be able to remove.

I will continue posting pictures of my day at Custom Metal Finishers tomorrow. Tomorrow's pictures will begin with me using a 400 grit belt, and will continue through the first couple steps of the plating process.