I have a 1951 Supro Comet Lap Steel that I am working on... and I need some advice... thoughts...

I have the metal control plate off - which is chromed steel.  In order to get some rust and gouges out, I sanded it down in some areas.  I had to go through quite a bit of the chrome, so now there are areas that are more of a "blueish" polished metal, that fades in to the polished chrome.  

My question is - is there anything I can do to make the surface look more uniform (ie. blueish part looking chrome again) without having to have it re-chromed?  Thank you in advance for any replies, thoughts, and guidance, Jason

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Hi Jason.

Whenever I used to abrade through a chrome or nickle plated part, I have successfully "blended" the two areas together with Simichrome polish. However, unless the piece is then protected with water clear lacquer, it'll tarnish back to it's original shade real soon. Even with a coating, it's a temporary fix....and not a very effective or good one at that.

I rarely, if ever get 'sand through' nowadays because now I use only naptha mixed w/machine oil applied with white 3M ScotchBright pads to tackle light to medium rust.  Another (even better) way to tackle all types of rust is with electrolysis. (look it up on Youtube).

As far as gouges and scratches in hardware, I discuss the desired final outcome with the customer.  I explain that removing gouges and restoring the part back to 'factory new' may involve some serious handwork and sending it off for replating, resulting in a greatly increased repair bill.  None of my customers have ever chosen this path.

I also explain to them (as do all of we forum members from time to time) that gouges, scratches and other such things that do not inhibit function (patinas, weather checks, small chips, dents, etc.) are simply part of the character of a vintage instrument. Personally, I don't mind them at all and on a vintage instrument, they look "right".

If the customer desires a museum quality piece, I encourage them to find one and buy it as refurbishing these items to factory fresh condition is rarely a cost effective venture. If they want it refurbished, I charge them for the time it takes me to search for and acquire all "like new" replacement parts, and the bill can get real big, real quick.  I've only fielded a couple of those requests over the last 15 years, as to me, it's just not worth the time & trouble.

Given the situation you're in, you could search the interweb for a replacement part. With luck, you may find a vintage original OR someone may be making detail correct reproductions.

Or....charge quadruple what it's worth and call it a "relic". (-:

Good luck with your project.  I hope some of this info is helpful.

I really appreciate your response and insights.  I think for now, that I'll try the Simichrome polish, as it is not worth the expense of acquiring a new piece.  You are right though, about the "vintage" look or character... it wasn't too bad, and I took the attempt at removing it too far, so that is on me.  I will do whatever I have to do to make the customer happy, and at this point it's not too bad, just needs "blended" a bit more.  Hopefully the Simichrome will help with that, like it has for you.  Thanks again!

You're very welcome, Jason.

I hope that procedure works for you too.

Best of luck :)


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