Plating Service

Discussion in 'THE Gretsch Discussion Forum' started by ZackyDog, Feb 10, 2020.

  1. ZackyDog

    ZackyDog Friend of Fred

    Feb 6, 2015
    In the USA
    Good evening. I hope you are all well and have played your respective Gretsches for at least 5 hours today.

    Has anyone used a plating service (in the USA) to replate/plate their hardware (bridge, Bigsby, pickup covers, etc.)?

    Thanks for stopping by. And play on (I've been dying to say that). :)

    Jena and unknown fan like this.
  2. Bertotti

    Bertotti Friend of Fred

    Jul 20, 2017
    South Dakota
    I had a bugle mouth piece that apparently was all lead the finish having worn off that was sent in for plating. It took months and I will never ever use a music store for this service without getting more info about their plater first. When I finally got it back it was a good job but it should not have taken three month plus.
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2020
    unknown fan and ZackyDog like this.
  3. thunder58

    thunder58 Super Moderator Staff Member

    Dec 23, 2010
    tappan ny
    Admin Post
    Zacky , sounds crazy but maybe try some local body shop's / car clubs .... remember chrome bumpers ? Although chrome is a different animal I'm sure , maybe they could lead you in the right direction ... Just a thought
    ZackyDog likes this.
  4. s4wgb

    s4wgb Electromatic

    Jan 18, 2020
    I gave mine to a luther he had them for 1 year and sent them back to me said he couldn't find anyone to do them.
    Was a bit p****d
  5. Bertotti

    Bertotti Friend of Fred

    Jul 20, 2017
    South Dakota
    Maybe email one of the big suppliers like Stew Mac they may have some suggestions. Some bigger cities will have local plating services the car club or a bike shop might also be a good suggestion above.
    thunder58 and ZackyDog like this.
  6. Hammerhands

    Hammerhands Country Gent

    Aug 26, 2011
    I had some long Fender piggyback clip bars made and took them to a place that chromed auto parts, a business in the middle of the area where they still make things out of steel.

    I got them back in a week. I think they said they put them in with something else.

    Out of business and the guy died...hmm.

    There’s another place in town that does jewellery and such, but they have a poor reputation.
    ZackyDog likes this.
  7. afire

    afire Country Gent

    Not crazy at all for chrome. I've had small parts replated by an automotive specialty plating shop. For gold, maybe start with a local jeweler. They're not likely to have the capacity to handle anything as large as a Bigsby, but they are likely to know who in the area would.
    Jena and thunder58 like this.
  8. swivel

    swivel Country Gent

    May 13, 2018
    Yeah, I would look for advice at classic car clubs. But plating is expensive now days in the US. I had things chromed in Trinidad when I sailed there. Dirt cheap.
    Jena and ZackyDog like this.
  9. wabash slim

    wabash slim Gretschified

    Feb 10, 2010
    lafayette in
    Plating is a chemically nasty process involving hydrochloric acids. From bare metal, they brass plate, then, nickel, then chrome or gold or silver. It's also pricey. Don't try to do small one-off projects thru a luthier. Try a trophy shop if need be. Go to a larger city and have them add your project into a larger one on the side. It'll be faster and cheaper in the long run. Even the big car restorers as seen on TV have to spend big bucks on it. In my view, I'd not even bother with gold plating as it won't last long, and is very expensive.
  10. Parttime

    Parttime Gretschie

    Dec 6, 2018
    I have had a couple of things chromed in the past. Two different places each time. Both have long since gone but I learned something about it. Chroming is a big EPA issue. The rules are so strict on it that it eliminates the small guys trying to do it.
    You’ll find a little shop stuck back in a bad area of town doing chrome dipping and a month later their gone. Then they’ll pop up again down the road or in another town. In short good luck.
    Without sounding politically incorrect and please do not take this the wrong way, but if you have contacts with any Hispanics that may know a guy that knows a guy that does some low rider work or even chop shop type work, that’s gonna be the ticket. That’s how I got my stuff chromed.
    capnhiho and ZackyDog like this.
  11. ZackyDog

    ZackyDog Friend of Fred

    Feb 6, 2015
    In the USA
    I checked with two local platers:
    • One shop has a $250 minimum
    • Another only handles commercial accounts
    Waiting on a response from:

    Worse case scenario:

    upload_2020-2-12_19-21-15.jpeg + primer.
  12. drmilktruck

    drmilktruck I Bleed Orange

    May 17, 2009
    Plymouth, MN
    ZackyDog likes this.
  13. Stefan87

    Stefan87 Synchromatic

    May 20, 2019
    Brisbane, Australia
    Not sure how it would go on guitar components but I ceramic coated a few things like headlight/tail light surrounds/vin tags and other metal things silver, it doesn't give as bright a finish as chroming but looks just as good in my opinion, kind of like a matte chrome look if that makes sense, not sure if that may be an option for you.
    ZackyDog likes this.
  14. Roy Clark

    Roy Clark Gretschie

    Jun 16, 2017
    Bat cave.
    I would love to gold plate wrestling belts. Guitars? Now that is a thought
  15. ZackyDog

    ZackyDog Friend of Fred

    Feb 6, 2015
    In the USA

    I ordered:


    I was sold, per this very good demonstration video:

  16. Uh, well chrome is plating over stainless steel most always I think.
    Nickel finish is pretty much just nickel alloy in guitar hardware.
    Gold plating is over brass usually, both are lower melting temps than chrome/steel.

    I've bought some windows for the new storeroom/music practice room . . . the hardware,
    like casement window hand-crank, comes in many finishes, like way too many.
    Some are baked on enamels over aluminum - maybe some brass hardware is just polished.
    The finish we decided on is called something like "brushed brass" - it looks darker most like the window chestnut wood stain - and as a guitar hardware finish it would be interesting, eh ?
    (it blends right in, don't notice it much)

    Jewelers do gold-plating, right (?) and some universities/trade schools have
    large art / industrial arts departments (welding/sculpture/ceramics/electroplating)

    So, I'm gonna nudge the thread conversation more in that direction for now.
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2020
  17. ZackyDog

    ZackyDog Friend of Fred

    Feb 6, 2015
    In the USA
    Honest, I've tried but basically come up with something out of my price range. Geez---the TruArc bar bridge alone costed (yep, that's the past participle) $100+ (!)
    Jena likes this.
  18. Yeah, I get it. I am searching ebay for nitrocellulose guitar lacquer myself.
    . . . in a spray can ! (it is only for touch-up/under the bridge mod - barely noticeable)
    Good luck with the project, Zacky.
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2020
    ZackyDog likes this.
  19. ZackyDog

    ZackyDog Friend of Fred

    Feb 6, 2015
    In the USA

    I know it's a lot of $ for a small job, but did you check Guitar ReRanch and Stew Mac?
    Jena likes this.
  20. Thanks . . .
    play on . . . and "spray on !" (?)
    ZackyDog likes this.
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