360 Tuna Fishers Forum banner
1 - 20 of 23 Posts

·
Randy Bassinga
Joined
·
1,407 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Has anyone had an aluminum reel body custom chromed? I have got a little project reel that I want to get done

I really wish there was a DIY and projects type board here
 

·
Randy Bassinga
Joined
·
1,407 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 ·
the silver tiagras on reelcolors looks awesome but I am looking for mirror finish :D on this thing

Mate have a go taking it apart yourself, I took apart a couple of spin reels for the first time and it wasnt difficult at all.
 

·
Randy Bassinga
Joined
·
1,407 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
the stella insides are along the same line as their more value models. If you have got an old stradic or something then practice on that first. I took apart a stradic fg and it was too easy. Do it on a cloth mat or towel so parts wont roll or bounce around. Get a stack of assorted size zip lock plastic bags and pack em and part number them away as you disassemble

Worst case, well just have to help you put it back together online somehow!
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
6,217 Posts
Saqa- have you thought of having the aluminum polished to the finish you desire?
I don't beleive any kind of electrolytic plating will hold up well in a salt environment. But a mirror polish and a little oil would prob be pretty cool
just an idea from an old hot-rodder
 

·
Senior Member
Joined
·
2,622 Posts
Two weeks with a tube of Semi-chrome and you'll be done. I polished many Webers and SU's that way.
 

·
Randy Bassinga
Joined
·
1,407 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I am going to polish it first to see what it will look like. This is gonna be fun
 

·
Senior Member
Joined
·
5,700 Posts
If you decide to go with chrome plating, contact John Ashley , he has a background in the electro-plating industry & advised on a company out Blacktown way that could do some lures for me some time ago.
BTW my chrome plated ABU 7000s resist corrosion a lot longer than std anodised endplates.

if chrome plating aluminium, don't let the plater flash coat with copper prior to chrome ( a common chroming practice & a no - no with aluminium as the copper sets up an electrolytic reaction eating the aluminium).
 

·
Senior Member
Joined
·
349 Posts
That would be the nickel base wouldnt it?

I have seen a lot of aircraft aluminum spinners ruined by chrome plating. I have never seen it work well with aluminum.
 

·
Senior Member
Joined
·
5,700 Posts
I have seen a lot of aircraft aluminum spinners ruined by chrome plating. I have never seen it work well with aluminum.

There are a number of chroming techniques available these days .
only one of them is compatible with aluminium and it creates a passivation layer on top of the aluminium as the first plating step.
The most common is a copper flash coat, nickle base & blue chrome top layer, but its entirely unsuitable for Aluminium.
Depends whether the plater has his head screwed on about the electrolytic considerations of the base metal he is plating or whether he is too focussed on the technique he is familiar with that gives max shine on everyday items.

Platers that do not have hands on experience with aluminium are a risk.
 

·
Junior member
Joined
·
9 Posts
DenisB is on the right track.

I've been into this before, several times, the last maybe eight years ago. Every time, the plating industry guys give me one carefully worded piece of advice:

Do not do this.

In fact, they say they won't do it either because they know that a few years down the road I will be disappointed.

(What I can't quite figure out is, that fi that is the case then how do for example motorcycles get away with all the chromed aluminum engine parts?)

.
 

·
Randy Bassinga
Joined
·
1,407 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
(What I can't quite figure out is, that fi that is the case then how do for example motorcycles get away with all the chromed aluminum engine parts?)

.

Or boat fittings for that matter?
 

·
Senior Member
Joined
·
5,700 Posts
Part of the issue with electoplated chrome is that whilst the chrome itself does not oxidise & dull very fast, it does not provide any galvanic protection to whats underneath it, and its slightly porous from the plating process.( doesn't look it , but at microscopic level it is ) so galvanic protection or passivation is required in the layer(s) under the chrome to prevent corrosive/ chemical reaction under the chrome eventually flaking the chrome off.

only those platers with enough volume of business with Aluminium have developed the multi-layering technique required for successful chrome plating of highly reactive materials like aluminium.

The main areas of corrosion on aluminium endplates & frames is around endplate screws ( & freespool levers on reels like the ABU7000 ).............from dissimilar metals and wearing/scratching of the anodising layer exposing the base aluminium.
most of the issue with screws can be mitigated by using a product like "DuraLac" ( out of the aircraft industry & now used in marine industries ) on the screws, but moving parts like freespool buttons is another matter.

The chromed endplates available on one of the ABU 7000 series is much harder than an anodising layer & the edge of the endplate does not wear against the freespool button. This is the area where endplates on the ABU reels starts to corrode first ( when you use them a fair bit ).

My favorite narrow spool 7000 for casting from the rocks was not available with the chrome endplates, so I swapped them out from parts for the wide spool version that was chromed. Still going strong, with no sign of corrosion against the freespool button.

No idea of how technically correct the plating of those endplates was undertaken by ABU ( or their supplier ) , but they are not showing any signs of problem so far, & its been a few years now.

Dr Rob is right about the motorcycle industry chroming of aluminium . The custom bike guys did have problems with longevity initially, when standard chroming techniques were used, and its in large part due to their volume of business in lightweight 'shiny bits' that a sector of the plating industry persevered to develop a successful reliable technique.
 

·
Randy Bassinga
Joined
·
1,407 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I am getting a spin reel done so the only part where a dissimilar metal is located are the stainless steel body screws and stainless bail spring cover. A number of local websites state that they wont do raw aluminum and yet some do list list marine grade chroming of aluminum. I still cant see what the drama is when such work is obviously being done and done well

Denis
Are you saying no one can chrome aluminum without a base coat of copper?
 

·
Senior Member
Joined
·
5,700 Posts
No, not at all.
what I'm saying is that its the most common plating technique , but one to be absolutely avoided with aluminium.

Current density on the surface to be plated is a major parameter of plating control.
Its just that copper is easy to plate onto most metals & gives the plater a known conductivity to work with in subsequent layers and acts like a primer from which a sequence of layers with known compatibility is built up.

Maybe there is someone on the Board that is in that trade & can explain better.
it goes sort of like this
- copper is a pretty universal "primer"
- lots of other metals are compatible on top
- nickle is compatible with both copper & chrome & nickle-chrome interface is better than blue chrome- copper direct.
- nickle is easier to plate than chrome & gives a good base for high silver shine from the blue chrome.
( despite being metals, its a bit like getting bright top wraps in light colours by wrapping over white in threadwork).
- so the best sequence for general chroming at lowest cost & fastest deposition time & bright shine is copper flash coat followed by nickle base & blue chrome top coat.

BUT
the copper flash coat is a No-No with aluminium.
so a different sequence has to be used with Aluminium, it takes more time, costs more and most platers simply don't have enough volume of business to set up the plating baths & chemical inventory for the technique.

A lot of platers only know that chroming aluminium is problematic so they steer away from it.
Others haven't done aluminium & don't realise its problems with copper & think they can use the general sequence of coats & it does plate nicely.........the problems arise in longevity of the chrome coat from the action of the copper on the aluminium...............the customer gets a nice shiney job from the plater & wears the consequences down the track.

Its a bit like painting lures or rods, the system has to be compatible between base material, primercoat, base colour & clears ontop to get good adhesion & longevity.
You can use almost anything at each step and get a nice finish when the clears harden, what happens down the track with use, abrasion & weathering is another matter & the wrong type of material at any step in the process results in flaking.

electroplating has the same sorts of issues.
You have to find a plater who specialises in chrome plating aluminium.

BTW , for the home hobbyist........... polishing aluminium & spraying with 2K 2-pack polyurethane clears is a viable alternative & later scratches are easily polished out followed by a recoat of the clears.
( just local polishing of the scratch )

2K & 4K polyurethanes are harder & more durable than epoxies & quite a few guys are happy with marbled epoxy reels.

Just a thought !!!!.

Do a websearch in Oz for chrome truck wheels, I seem to recollect a company doing chroming on alloy & steel rims for those big radial truck rims in Sydney somewhere.
He He .........truckies like their bling ..........like fishermen............ He He.

They might be a go-to point for your project.

Another thing with chroming is that it has a raft of serious OH&S issues for the people doing it & the regulations are so strict these days the number of platers is declining rapidly as the capital investment to meet the OH&S requirements is very substantial...............a bit like the reason nylon wrapping thread is dying .............big OH&S issues in the dying process in that game.

We used to have 4-5 chrome platers in Wollongong & getting lures chromed was easy, now we have only ONE plater & he will only work with steel & large volume work. so I polish & topcoat with clears these days, as the cost of transport to Sydney is simply not worth it.

More useless info:-
most of the plastic Halco lures that look chromed are actually vacuum metallised aluminium with a clearcoat over the top.
So that gives you an idea of the shine you can get with a technique of polishing & clearcoating.

Glass mirrors are vacuum metallised aluminium on the back too .

( I have a friend who manages the metallising of Halco's lures in SE QLD.........or at least was a couple of years ago).
 

·
Randy Bassinga
Joined
·
1,407 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Thats what I thought, go with folks experienced in chroming alloy for marine use. Why would anyone do a fishing reel elsewhere?
 

·
Senior Member
Joined
·
424 Posts
When i read this the first thing comes to mind is that the reel will be very hot to the touch if left in a rod holder in direct sunlight. It's probably not much hotter than a painted one but it's just what comes to mind.
 

·
Senior Member
Joined
·
5,700 Posts
When i read this the first thing comes to mind is that the reel will be very hot to the touch if left in a rod holder in direct sunlight. It's probably not much hotter than a painted one but it's just what comes to mind.

Actually with long exposure the temp will be exactly the same, the shiney ones will just take longer to reach that temp in the short term due to higher reflected sunlight compared to darker colours which will heat up quicker............... is all.

Part of the issue is also heat transfer from the reel to the hand. the first step in anodising is creation of a surface layer of aluminium oxide which is then coloured.
Aluminium oxide is a refractory , so heat buildup of anodised aluminium reels is slower & heat transfer to the hand is slower from a hot reel, in the end tho they all reach the same temp on a hot day with enough exposure.

A lot of this is a perception thing with what you think you feel at first touch of your hand.

2C
 

·
Randy Bassinga
Joined
·
1,407 Posts
Discussion Starter · #19 ·
BTW , for the home hobbyist........... polishing aluminium & spraying with 2K 2-pack polyurethane clears is a viable alternative & later scratches are easily polished out followed by a recoat of the clears.
( just local polishing of the scratch )

2K & 4K polyurethanes are harder & more durable than epoxies & quite a few guys are happy with marbled epoxy reels.



Denis
I just polished the stem and it looks unreal, do you reckon PG will do the trick?
 

·
Senior Member
Joined
·
5,700 Posts
yeah, I'd give it a go.
As stated in my earlier info I polish & clear coat a lot of my metal lures these days.
2-pack clear urethane is the hardest & most durable of the sprayable clears .
not as tough, obviously, as chrome but it will retain that shine & protect the polished aluminium from the elements in the absence of anodising protection.

I would polish a small piece of aluminium plate & coat it separately to satisfy yourself that the effect is what you want.

You can deliberately scratch that test piece & sand the scratch out & recoat with clears to satisfy yourself that any future maintenance of the finish on your creation is viable.

I take it you have had no luck in tracking down anyone with Al experience to electroplate the reel for you.
 
1 - 20 of 23 Posts
Top