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  • Marine project

    I'm about to undertake my first plating effort. Will be refinishing a number of different pieces on an old yawl [sailboat]. It is going to be a fairly sizable effort.

    Most of the metals are chrome plated bronze, but I have no idea of the consistency and quality of the underlying metals as the boat was built in Taiwan 40 years ago. The reputation is that all kinds of metals were mixed into the castings.

    About 20 years ago most of the metals were re-chromed professionally by a previous owner. I can see the copper undercoat showing through in some areas. The chrome is now worn and pitted, and new chroming is required. You can see pictures of the existing state of the metals at:

    http://www.shutterfly.com/osi.jsp?i=...21b3082beb6586

    Several questions I'd like to ask. 1) most of these metals are exterior and I want to insure that the new coating will hold up as best as possible. Assume severe conditions, wet, hot/cold, salt water. Would you recommend triple chrome or copy chrome? Copy chrome seems a lot easer.
    2) Several of the pieces can be removed from the boat and immersed in a tank, many others simply can not be removed. I was hoping to be able to use the brush systems to re-plate in place. Does this make sense? Would this limit me to copy chrome? Would it hold up?
    3) The interior opening ports are currently chrome plated bronze. I'd like to explore removing the chrome and gold plating. My understanding is this will hold up longer and won't tarnish as much - plus I think they would look better. Does it make sense to go with a gold finish in terms of durability?
    4) The opening ports are also fairly pitted and can not be immersed for a copper plate build up ~ any other suggestions on how to smooth the surfaces? Would a gold finish look bad if the pits are not 100% removed ~ I don't mind a dull gold finish?
    5) There are quite a few pieces that have internal screw threads, for example the turnbuckles. I assume if I plate them they will no longer work screwing together as they will no longer fit. Is there a way to cover the threads so no metal will adhere to those threads, while immersion plating the remainder of the piece?

    Very much appreciate any thoughts and advice! Looking forward to the project although concerned I may be getting in over my head!

    Best regards,

    MT

  • #2
    Would you recommend triple chrome or copy chrome? Copy chrome seems a lot easer.
    Triple chrome will always been more durable as it's 3 plated layers vs 1. That said, Copy Chrome is based on a nickel plate which is a very durable system. Copy Chrome should be fine.

    Several of the pieces can be removed from the boat and immersed in a tank, many others simply can not be removed.
    You can't brush plate Triple Chrome, so your only option is Copy Chrome.

    My understanding is this will hold up longer and won't tarnish as much - plus I think they would look better. Does it make sense to go with a gold finish in terms of durability?
    No - gold is VERY SOFT, will wear away easily, will tarnish quickly and should be used for a decorative finish only.

    The opening ports are also fairly pitted and can not be immersed for a copper plate build up ~ any other suggestions on how to smooth the surfaces? Would a gold finish look bad if the pits are not 100% removed ~ I don't mind a dull gold finish?
    Why can't they be removed? You need to get these looking good before plating in order to have a good end product. Can you polish/grind the pits out?

    Is there a way to cover the threads so no metal will adhere to those threads, while immersion plating.
    Use a Masking Liquid (http://www.caswellplating.com/maskit.htm) or only hang the screw heads in the solution, not the threads.
    --
    Mike Caswell
    Caswell Inc
    http://www.caswellplating.com
    Need Support? Visit our online support section at http://support.caswellplating.com

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