Engraving motorcycle parts

J

JSaville

Guest
Does anyone have any experience in engraving motorcycle parts that have been chromed ?Can it be done without having the chrome peel or chip? I had a request and didn't know how to answer the client.
 

dms

Member
Joined
Mar 21, 2017
Messages
24
Most will say don't do it. The real answer is depends on the chrome. I have done horn covers, coil covers, swing arm inserts, and also aluminum parts. I have bought a set of expensive axle nut covers the chrome peeled in a large piece as soon as the graver went in. Chrome is pretty hard and slippery. You will get mostly line cut, and not the flair of canting the graver. People I have done thing for I have said buy a replacement part and I would give it my best shot. Another reason for replacement part is i0f you sell the bike not everyone will like the idea you wanted so you can put it back to stock. As for aluminum, it usually cut ok, and polishes out shinny like chrome, but is usually cast. I have done a derby cover that when over halfway done hit an air pocket that left a hole of close to 1/4 inch. Hope this helps good luck. Almost forgot you can test cut on inconspicuous spot. beware chrome slivers are very sharp......
 
J

JSaville

Guest
Thanks for the advice. It's kind of what I was thinking. I'll have to see how much he wants it done.

Thanks again.
 

monk

Moderator
Staff member
::::Pledge Member::::
Joined
Feb 11, 2007
Messages
10,394
Location
washington, pa
i've done harley fenders and other parts. the parts were sent to paducah, kentucky for deplating. i've learned the worst way about plating. if it chips along the cutline, you got an unhappy client. a real mess to try and remediate. for a time, i'd warn the cust and proceed with their blind trust. i no longer accept plated items for hand work. aint worth the risk. jmho
 

dms

Member
Joined
Mar 21, 2017
Messages
24
Monk is right, that is why I say replacement part and warn cust it might not cut well. As for deplate I have talked to Tira Mitchell by phone, she says deplate replate but you have to find a plater that won't fill the cuts to wash it out. That is when I decided to try replacement parts my wifes bike my kids bike and a couple cust. To practice try a swap meet for a cheap horn cover ect. But remember all chrome is not created equal...
 

Keith

Elite Cafe Member
Joined
Jan 17, 2007
Messages
481
Location
Lincroft, NJ
Its great until the chrome that you engrave off stays on your bench and forms the perfect microscopic razor blades to cut you. You see blood and wonder where you are cut
 

J Saville

Elite Cafe Member
Joined
Mar 28, 2007
Messages
107
Location
Browns Mills, NJ
My Thanks to everyone. Your responses confirm what I told my customer at the start of our conversation, but I offered to get some feed back from all of you.
 

quickcut07

Elite Cafe Member
Joined
Jan 13, 2007
Messages
312
Location
Ontario Canada
If it is aluminum as a lot of MC parts it will probably go bad. If not right away it will in time. On brass some success Steel as well, but it is a crap shoot. It is a nerve wrenching thing if it starts to peel near the end of the job or shortly there after.
Remove all possible problems and then proceed
Eric
 

monk

Moderator
Staff member
::::Pledge Member::::
Joined
Feb 11, 2007
Messages
10,394
Location
washington, pa
Monk is right, that is why I say replacement part and warn cust it might not cut well. As for deplate I have talked to Tira Mitchell by phone, she says deplate replate but you have to find a plater that won't fill the cuts to wash it out. That is when I decided to try replacement parts my wifes bike my kids bike and a couple cust. To practice try a swap meet for a cheap horn cover ect. But remember all chrome is not created equal...
the people i worked for had the paducah facility deplate/replate. the engraving was deep enough to start with. the people were all from the south dakota area, and were totally satisfied with the engraving after having been replated. sorry i have no fotos of that work to show.
 

Paulie

Elite Cafe Member
Joined
Jul 2, 2009
Messages
306
Location
Belgium
Does anyone have any experience in engraving motorcycle parts that have been chromed ?Can it be done without having the chrome peel or chip? I had a request and didn't know how to answer the client.
Hi JSaville, I've done a few chrome plated items, it's not impossible but rather 'tricky' to engrave. The aluminium below the chrome layer is softer than chrome, that makes it difficult to cut clean lines. It depends on the quality of the chrome too! Once I've engraved a H-D derby cover with a copper layer under the chrome. First I dechromed the part, engraved through the copper, strange feeling when reaching the aluminium. Mostly, the Harley-Davidson chrome is quality chrome. Won't bladder off as easy than aftermarket chromed stuff. Here's a pic from an aftermarket chromed derby cover which started chipping near the lines: 'Elvira' on chromed H-D derby cover 1.jpg 'Elvira' on chromed derby cover 2.jpg
 

Paulie

Elite Cafe Member
Joined
Jul 2, 2009
Messages
306
Location
Belgium
Here's a black-chromed stainless steel (French Douk-Douk) knife handle:
Gypy's Douk-Douk knife engraving 'Keep On Smiling' skulls 2.JPG
 

Attachments

  • Gypy's Douk-Douk knife engraving 'Keep On Smiling' skulls 1.JPG
    Gypy's Douk-Douk knife engraving 'Keep On Smiling' skulls 1.JPG
    123.1 KB · Views: 77

Sponsors

Top