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Feasibility of bridge chrome-plating

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by LA, Aug 4, 2002.


  1. LA

    LA

    Oct 17, 2001
    Michigan
    This is my second thread about the mods I'd like to do on my MTD Kingston and I guess now I'm considering taking the stock black bridge and sending it off somewhere to have it chrome-plated and polished. The Hipshot™ "bent-tin" won't work on the Kingston because it's not long enough to cover the screwholes on the pickup end of the bridge (would that I have discovered that sooner). There's a place in Chicago that does chrome-plating for a Harley-Davidson parts store that I am going to call, but before I do, I would like to know if such an endeavor is feasible, or if I'm wasting my time. Thanks.
     
  2. Yes it is with some caveats. First, the black will have to be removed. These things aren't painted, usually they are powdercoated so it will have to be removed either with a chemical bath or bead blasting. I recommend the latter. Of course that will entail finding someone to bead blast but the Harley shop should be able to help out on that. If the bridge is in good shape - the surfaces I mean - it goes straight into the plating process. If it isn't perfectly smooth, no plating process will come out smooth. Fortunately the bead blasting should fix most surface imperfections like oxidation. The bridge then gets copper plated after an acid wash because the chromium won't stick to anything else. Then the parts are put in an electrolysis bath where the chrome is affixed. Pretty straight forward. The shop will likely charge you a little extra because of the small pieces and their quantity. Each piece has to be suspended individually in the solution to get good 100% coverage. The extra handliing is what will cost. I would recommend replacing springs at this point because it is an unnecessary added expense for plating. Just get the hardened black springs and they will look great with the chrome. Reassemble and off you go

    Hope this helps.
     
  3. LA

    LA

    Oct 17, 2001
    Michigan
    I could just take the springs off before I ship it out, I suppose. Another alt. is to find a Bada** Bass V (w/3" spacing), but I don't know the bridge measurements offhand.
     
  4. Chasarms

    Chasarms Casual Observer

    May 24, 2001
    Bettendorf, IA USA
    The only other thing I can think of is the threading in the saddles.

    You are going to have to have a correct tap to re-cut the threads in all the saddle pieces once they are chromed, as the chrome will also stick inside the threaded areas.

    Chas
     
  5. LA

    LA

    Oct 17, 2001
    Michigan
    .
    Do you know of any places that sell bridge parts? I think I might have to go that route.
     
  6. I'd call MTD and ask em if they know where to get a chrome bridge. I bet they buy em from a vendor, or get them made somewhere. See if you can buy one before the powdercoating process.
     
  7. LA

    LA

    Oct 17, 2001
    Michigan

    I e-mailed Mike a week ago and he said a chrome bridge is not in the works. The Kingston bridge is a Korean Hipshot copy; the Hipshot bent-tin doesn't cover the front screw-holes. If the Leo Quan Bada** Bass V fits, I might go with that instead.
     
  8. Hey Artisan - you might try the Schaller 5 roller. If the string spacing is the issue, this is the easiest to setup and it also has a fairly "long" chassis to help cover the front screw holes you've described. Another suggestion is to take a look here:

    www.customshopparts.com

    The selection here is pretty good and not much money at all. The ABM knock-off is most intriguing. They also post diagrams of their hole spacing so you can get a good fit.
     
  9. I just recently had the same thing done to my black hardware..except I had mine done in 24k gold..the guy who did mine has a completely portable plating system(it will fit into the trunk of his car)the biggest challenge was stripping the "black chrome"off.he had to approach it as a chrome plated piece which was stripped off with acid.some of the pieces did'nt come out so well(like the screws that hold the gears on the tuners looked more like brass than gold)but all the large smooth areas came out great..keep in mind that the guy who does plating can't shine ****..you will end up with shiny **** ...so give him\her good hardware to begin with and the end result will be good..I would just try to find hardware that is already chrome and compare the cost of having yours plated..it might be cheaper to get new hardware..good luck,hpoe it works out for ya