Al’s Motorsickle Shop in Lennox has started experimenting with a new method to apply chrome.
Owner Al Osborn was solicited in August about offering the service, Hydrochrome. While leery at first with an unknown caller, Osborn started asking questions about the process.
“We get so many robo calls and that type of thing. I was very leery when they started talking to me about it,” he said. “They said they would guarantee nobody within a hundred mile radius would be able to do this.”
He thought that sounded fair. The company said the nearest Hydrochrome dealer is Chicago.
Hydrochrome is mostly water based and 98 percent chemical free.
“It’s a water-based and a spray on unlike the traditional chrome which is dipped in all kinds of chemicals to get it clean and then dipped in nickel several times and other chemicals to make that chrome happen,” Osborn said. “Another difference between regular chrome and the Hydrochrome is regular chrome can only typically be done on steel or metal because of the chemical process, where Hydrochrome can be sprayed on virtually anything.”
Osborn’s first Hydrochrome project was using it on glass Ball canning jars. They started practicing with it in September and will continue to practice the process before being ready to use on customer projects.
On the jars, Osborn said that was a nine-step process. In practicing, they have discovered that if the steps are not done properly, they will not get the desired look.
“The jars that we did didn’t always look quite perfect the way they should with the chroming process. The concepts with the nine steps is if you don’t do the steps appropriately then the end result doesn’t come out just right. We’re still experimenting and working on the finer details,” he said.
Osborn noted they had to purchase quite a bit of special equipment to make the whole process come together.
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