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Old 01-15-2009, 11:23 PM
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Tony T. Tony T. is offline
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Default Removing Chrome Plating

I'm currently working on a top toolbox/bottom tool cabinet removing the old paint finish. The handles are chrome plated and have rusted, some of the handles are in worse shape than others as far as rusting goes.

Some the chrome was just flaking off and it was easy to remove down to bare metal but not all the plating came off them, while others the plating is still stuck pretty good no flaking there. Any ideas on a cheap easy way to remove this chrome plating without harming the metal handle.

I'm wanting to just paint them when I have them all cleaned up.

Tony
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Old 01-15-2009, 11:40 PM
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wire wheel on an angel grinder. as for chemicals this may sound weird, try brake fluid plane old brake fluid. it will strib the paint and crome off most things.

I know from experance.
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Old 01-15-2009, 11:41 PM
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Tony, I'd try a 4 1/2" grinder with a twisted wire brush. I use one a lot but haven't tried it on chrome. I think that it will work though.
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Old 01-15-2009, 11:53 PM
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Tony at the hard chrome shop I worked in many years we had a tank with a mix of 1/3 hydrochloric acid and the rest water we used to strip the chrome off of pieces so we could polish the bare steel for re chroming. Such as hydraulic shafts. Also used the same tank for removing mill scale off new plow disc so they could be ground and polished. And to remove rust off pieces. Most decorative chrome has a very thin coat of copper plating under it that the hydrochloric mix may not remove but is easily removed with light polishing. Usually overnight soaking would do. If there is a chrome shop in your area the might give you some. A gallon of it would be plenty for your purpose or they might soak them for you.
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Old 01-16-2009, 12:13 AM
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I'd be tempted to just spray several light coats of automotive primer on them and not worry about the chrome.
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Old 01-16-2009, 12:48 AM
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Try the Hydrochloric on some thing small 1st .There is a lot of cast that does not do well with it.Lightly blasting to burr then paint may work no garreenttee on the base metal .Mostly I would just burr bumpers to hold paint rather than blast it off. I give 2 prices on all bumpers removed and to hold paint. Most settle for the burr. This came about after hitting a couple with 5 chrome layers on 2 of them on a 65 ford.Burn it off and what should appear but another layer.
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Old 01-16-2009, 10:06 AM
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Try the hydrochloric for an hour then check part and so on. Factory chrome was gone overnight on a hydraulic shaft.
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Old 01-16-2009, 10:15 AM
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If you don't want to buy a whole gallon of muriatic acid, some brands of toilet cleaner have a rather high percentage of HCL, though you'd have to see the MSDS. This database might help:

http://householdproducts.nlm.nih.gov/

Specifically:

http://householdproducts.nlm.nih.gov...s=TblChemicals

(Keep in mind that product formulas do change from time to time. Find a product, then look up the current MSDS.)
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Old 01-16-2009, 10:48 AM
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I'll ask my buddy for his ex-girlfriends phone number for you.

He said she could suck the chrome off a bumper.
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Old 01-16-2009, 06:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fatfrank View Post
I'll ask my buddy for his ex-girlfriends phone number for you.

He said she could suck the chrome off a bumper.
As quoted from Forest Gump I'll be sure and stay away from her.

Thanks guys for all the replies, I should of mentioned in original post I used a wire wheel on the handles and it did help alot but some of the chrome plating is pretty stubborn and didn't want to bulge.

I figured there was some chemical I could use but really didn't know what to use.I didn't want to use a acid without knowing which acid to use, didn't want to soak it and come back in a little while and say where did the handle go.

Seems like I remember Mikey stating in another thread about removing a galvanized coating from metal using swimming pool acid in which I would think to be Muric acid.

To soak it around 20 minutes in order to remove the galvanized coating. I thought maybe the Muric acid could maybe have the same affect with the chrome plating. I don't know there.

I'll give the suggestions above a try.

Tony
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Last edited by Tony T.; 01-16-2009 at 06:50 PM.
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