Wednesday, November 7, 2007

How to remove chrome parts from model car

In previous post I wrote How to remove chrome from plated parts and How to remove paint from your models.
Today we will talk about another method of removing chrome parts from car model!
Ever wonder why kit makers seem to chrome some of the strangest parts? Everything from distributors to oil pans make it into the plating bath. If you are building a trailer queen show car, great, but if you prefer to detail your kits with a more practical look, here's how to remove that pesky chrome in no time.

You should do some steps:

  1. Know that not all plating is created equally. Depending on the manufacturer, the stripping process can take a few minutes or a few hours, which is generally no sweat since you will be building that 426 Hemi while waiting for the valve covers to de-chrome
  2. Get an airtight container, such as a prescription bottle.
  3. Get the chemical for stripping the chrome. Easy-Off oven cleaner can work, but it does have a weird smell, so many prefer chlorine bleach, found in the laundry aisle of your local retailer. Get the cheap stuff, it has no added fragrances and seems to work better for this purpose.
  4. Pour enough bleach into the container to cover the parts. Usually about an inch or so will do the trick.
  5. Drop the parts into the bleach and place the lid on securely. Here's where the airtight part comes in. Since most plastic parts float in bleach, shake the container a little to insure tha parts are covered.
  6. Take a look after about an hour. If the chrome is hanging tough, replace the lid and wait another hour. If the parts are still shiny after that, leave them in the bleach overnight.
  7. Once the parts are dechromed, recover them using tweasers. Place them in a container of fresh water to soak. After 30 min. replace the water and allow them to soak another 30 min.
  8. Be sure and dump your container.
Helpful advices:
  • If you can get your hands on a small strainer or wire basket, it will help in the rinsing process. Just be careful when rinsing under the tap. Plugging the sink is a good idea, unless you really want to test your plumbing skills by trying to fish out a 1:25 scale carb from the J trap.
  • Use lukewarm water to rinse. It takes the bleach off faster than cold.
Warning! Be attentive:
  • Bleach is dangerous if handled improperly. Protect your eyes and skin.
  • Rinse all tools and containers after use with bleach and do not use soap of any kind when rinsing. This will cause the bleach to gas off and the results can be harmful.
  • Clearly label your stripping container and never leave it in the reach of children. Using a child resistant container (pill bottle) will help but "child resistant" isn't child proof, so be safe and put the container out of reach of children.
  • Again, protect your eyes, skin and clothing. Work around the sink to help contain possible spills.