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  1. #1
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    Default Back In The Day - Damn

    I've been going through a lot of old documents, photos, etc. I found one of my daily notebooks that I carried in a pocket - long before cell phones or computers to organize info.

    This notebook has all my notes and details for a build I did of my 50 Panhead chopper. The year was 1974.

    This page shows a batch of parts I had chromed. This was at San Diego Plating on India street..

    Check the cost.. As I recall turn around time was about 2 weeks and the chrome was triple plate and very nice..

    Things have really changed..

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    Last edited by 69Glide; 01-07-2021 at 3:01 PM. Reason: Realized this was for my Panhead build - D-rings.

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    $139.00 in 1974 = $731.39 in 2020. (calculator is waiting update, I guess)

    Problem nowadays is finding someone to chrome plate at all, let alone to the quality from 1974.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rockman96 View Post
    $139.00 in 1974 = $731.39 in 2020. (calculator is waiting update, I guess)

    Problem nowadays is finding someone to chrome plate at all, let alone to the quality from 1974.
    I've got a place that will match what you used to get, but you best have deep pockets. The Finishing Touch in Chicago does very high end automotive work, think everything from classic hot rods to Duesenbergs.

    He did the sissybar on the panhead, strip, polish and triple chrome plate - ~$300.00. BUt it was flawless when done.

    Some years back I needed to match the finish on the electric window control insert for a '67 Pontiac I was restoring. He took a nasty, pitted piece of pot metal and made it look like new. Cost a few pesos, but worth it in the end.

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    Ha ha, we hear that all the time at our chrome shop, older guys coming in and being shocked that a 60's muscle car rear bumper done to show quality is $1000 CAD repairs extra, when 20 years ago they were $300, in Canada we are still able to have chrome shops without to much regulations, they are still closing up though, one of the reasons we are still busy is because we can do concours quality work and the rich folk and resto shops that want that level will pay for it. The biggest problem is finding new employees with experince or at least willing to learn, all the old guys with the knowledge are dying off or getting maimed, 5 weeks later and I'm back to work after the copper buff wheel and a Jag 1/4 window trim got into a fight and I got in the middle of it. Here's a primary I did up awhile back. Click image for larger version. 

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    Last edited by klondikekid64; 01-07-2021 at 5:14 PM.

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    Outstanding work, I am in awe of that talent set.

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    My bro and I were both building choppers at the time. Plus I used to build custom sissy bars - 5/8" cold rolled any design for rigid frame. And I helped some other folks with their builds so over a period of about 2 years I brought a lot of parts in. The panhead list was likely one of 3 or 4 batches for that bike.

    Anyway I was on first name basis with the owner and I was getting a pretty good price as time went on.

    I'm sure that most of his buffers, polishers, and prep guys were off the books paid cash weekly kind of guys - his labor was relatively cheap. Was a common practice in labor intensive businesses then especially that close to the border and likely still is now.

    I have had parts plated here in Sin City - was several years back. The quality was great but the cost was a whole lot higher than San Diego in the early 70's. But then again what isn't..

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    Quote Originally Posted by DoomBuggy View Post
    Outstanding work, I am in awe of that talent set.
    Thanks Doom, I got 20 years on and off in chrome shops, I was lucky enough to have had a couple old timers take the time to show me the ins and outs of polishing and repairs, now I do all the repairs that come thru the shop and still have time to polish, it's nice to have a job that I look forward to going to everyday. Don't get me wrong I still dream of retirement though.

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    That primary is pure sex. Feel free to post more plating porn!

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    Quote Originally Posted by farmall View Post
    That primary is pure sex. Feel free to post more plating porn!
    Funny you say that, i was thinking of starting a thread "chrome shop diaries" and setting up a video camera on a tripod at work and anyone with some time to kill can watch how how to polish a outer primary or siilar part with road rash and all the uglieness that they come with a hour or two, of course I would edit out changing wheels and interuptions, lots of other stuff too, brass car parts, potmetal etc. don't worry I won't yack thru it, just watching the steps and the machines I use would make a person want to do their own stuff, especially aluminum bike parts, no fancy machines needed, I built my own smaller machine for at home. I would make them as youtube videos. Interest? if so I'll get a tripod.Click image for larger version. 

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  10. #10
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    They'd likely get many views, and maybe enough to monetize.

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    Hell even at my age I like to learn. I say go for it.

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    OK... polishing porn producer has a nice ring to it, I thought a Go pro camera would be better than a tripod now , that way viewers can see exactly what I see while I'm polishing, watching from the side or any other angle, a lot of technique would be missed, stay tuned I'll get a go pro and put a aluminum bike part video together, I have a buddy's Shovel head rocker boxes that I need to polish, that should be a good start.

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    Quote Originally Posted by klondikekid64 View Post
    OK... polishing porn producer has a nice ring to it, I thought a Go pro camera would be better than a tripod now , that way viewers can see exactly what I see while I'm polishing, watching from the side or any other angle, a lot of technique would be missed, stay tuned I'll get a go pro and put a aluminum bike part video together, I have a buddy's Shovel head rocker boxes that I need to polish, that should be a good start.
    Perfect!!

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