One of the reasons we decided to start on this refit way back in late 2007 was that the boat had remained largely unmolested in Purgatory Row of a southern Maryland boatyard since the 1980s. Way back when I still thought all the boat needed was engines and a paint job, I sent the first batch of parts off to the chrome shop. They came back looking really good, and the original Edison toaster, the mermaid towel rack, and other original chromed parts are still sitting at the house, waxed and wrapped in paper. I had another pile of parts that needed to be chromed, but there was no rush as reality sank in and it occurred to me how much more work the boat needed before it was time to start putting shiny bits back on. Well, we’re finally at the point where we need to reinstall chrome parts that are needed for the boat to safely be on the water.
So I sent a pile of parts off to Hanlon Plating in Richmond, VA. Hanlon is a grandfathered chrome shop, which means they can use the super nasty, old school chroming process that reportedly results in a far more durable and attractive finish than the newer “environmentally friendly” chrome process. The results look pretty good to me!
To avoid lasting eye damage, you might wanna put on sunglasses. 🙂
These mid- to late-60s Chris Craft cabinet handles are beautiful pieces of industrial art deco. They were in pretty good condition, but they’re pot metal and some of the plating had blistered. Some of the pot metal that had small pits plated over just fine, but on two of these the new plating ended up blistering.
The way Hanlon Plating explains it, impurities that remain in the pits in pot metal can cause problems with the new plating. The solvent bath they put the parts into normally washes off before the parts go into the plating tank. But when tiny amounts of solvent remain in the pits, it causes blisters in much the same way that paint can get thinner pop, where trapped thinner tries to escape past the solid outside film of paint but instead makes a bubble. To ensure that doesn’t happen, there’s a tedious process of drilling out every pit in the pot metal, then tinning the drilled hole and filling it with silver solder. Then you sand the repair perfectly and replate. But that’s a process I’m unwilling to go through. Hopefully, these two blistered handles will come back better the second time around. Time will tell.
It’s not a flat surface, and it’d be a shame to polish through an edge trying to get that area shiny. I figure I can live with it, all things considered. But I do wonder how shiny these things were when new.
That’s a wrap for this load o’ chrome. I’ve got a few more items on the way, including that very cool marine-themed ash tray that came with the boat. I wonder what this thing will look like all rechromed and polished?
Next up on our 1969 Chris Craft Roamer Refit: More Tinted Glass!