Every antique or classic part has unique restoration requirements. We provide complete restoration, including the removal of old paint coatings, metalwork, zinc plating, copper plating, grinding, nickel plating, and chrome plating. We specialize in refurbishing parts made of brass, steel, zinc, and aluminum components.
For parts with mechanical damage, it is necessary to carry out metalwork. We repair any cracks or dents, weld missing parts, and solder, bend, and cut to restore the integrity and original shape.
Proper surface preparation is crucial and takes the most time. The surface must be perfectly smooth, as any imperfections will be visible. The grinding process has multiple steps and can take several hours depending on the complexity of the component. Irregularities are removed using sandpaper with progressively finer grits, utilizing tools such as angle grinders, orbital sanders, or manual sanding.
Copper plating is a technique of electrochemically depositing a layer of copper onto metal parts. To achieve this they must be submerged in an electrolyte solution and connected to a direct current. As a result of the current flow through the electrolyte, copper on the anode dissolves and copper ions migrate toward the element being coated. The copper acts as an undercoat and ensures good adhesion for the nickel or chrome plating and protects against corrosion.
Nickel plating of automotive parts was popular primarily in the 1920s and 1930s. In later years, nickel-plated elements were additionally chrome-plated, which enhanced their appearance and provided a durable shine. The color of nickel differs from chrome as it has a slightly yellowish hue.
Decorative chrome plating is an electrochemical process that involves depositing a thin layer of chromium onto a nickel-plated object. Chrome plating enhances corrosion resistance and improves appearance. It is the thinnest but also the hardest layer in the entire electroplating process.
When there is a need to remove rust or old paint coatings, parts are subjected to sandblasting. Old paints can also be chemically stripped.
We specialize in comprehensive repair of vehicle components to restore them to their original condition. Often, heavily damaged elements are repaired by cutting out sections of the metal sheet and welding new pieces in place.
Soldering is a traditional process used to fill in imperfections. It came into use before the invention of putty. This process requires precision and involves the use of solder alloy. By soldering with tin, we fill in material gaps in steel, brass, and zinc alloys.
Polishing is a crucial step before nickel plating. In our service, we also provide polishing for aluminum parts.
Parts made of zinc alloys, such as door handles, grilles, or small dashboard elements, present a challenging task when it comes to renovation and require different processes compared to parts made of steel sheets. Due to the specific crystalline structure of these alloys, complete removal of corrosion is sometimes impossible as it is located beneath the visible surface of the material. This often leads to the formation of blisters (from a lack of adhesion between the applied coating and the substrate) even after a few months. To fill in the gaps in zinc parts, we use solder after it’s been copper plated. This procedure is labor-intensive and requires significant experience.
The individual stages of renovating a steel car bumper
1. REMOVAL OF OLD COATINGS
Preparation of photographic documentation and evaluation of its damages. Chemical or mechanical removal of previous paint coatings or electroplating layers and corrosion products.
2. METAL WORK
Preparing parts for copper plating, which includes repairing all damages. This includes eliminating bolt holes, adding studs, welding parts together, and adding patches depending on the specific requirements.
3. COPPER PLATING
Electrochemically depositing a layer of copper onto the surface as an undercoat. This layer ensures good adhesion to the surface and provides corrosion protection.
Repeating the grinding process to achieve a smooth and straight surface. If necessary, the copper plating and grinding process is repeated. If the surface is straight, it is polished and then nickel-plated.
5. NICKEL PLATING
Placing the object in a nickel plating bath and depositing a layer of nickel onto its surface.
6. CHROME PLATING
The final process involves applying chrome which gives the surface a distinctive, durable shine as well as enhances its corrosion and wear resistance.
RENOVATION PROCESS OF ZINC CASTINGS
The stages of renovating a broken zinc casting door handle
1. PREPARATORY WORK
First, we prepare photographic documentation and assess the corrosion condition. We develop a plan of action to best accomplish the chrome plating or restoration of each part. Then we remove previous paint coatings and electroplating layers.
2. MECHANICAL PROCESSING
Removal of corrosion products through grinding and sanding.
3. FURTHER PROCESSING
If necessary, prepare areas for soldering, drilling, milling, and grinding.
4. COPPER PLATING
Electrochemically deposit a layer of copper onto the surface as an undercoat. This layer ensures good adhesion to the surface and provides corrosion protection.
5. FILLING IN GAPS
Filling in gaps with solder.
6. SHAPE RESTORATION
Grinding to restore the original shape of the component.
7. COPPER PLATING
Applying another layer of copper over the tin coating to achieve a uniform and smooth surface.
8. NICKEL PLATING
The object is polished and then subjected to the nickel plating process, which provides corrosion resistance and a mirror-like shine.
9. CHROME PLATING
Chrome plating protects the nickel coating from losing its shine, imparts a silver-like color, and enhances the hardness and corrosion-resistant properties of the surface.