Thursday, July 22, 2010

Reconditioned Spring-A-Grab Handle...

It's all about little victories with "Louise".  I like to tackle the little stuff while doing the big things. One reason is to to take my mind off of being bogged down on a big project. The other reason is to have stuff like this done when it comes time to button everything back up. 

As you can see our Bargman Spring-A-Grab handle shown below is in real rough shape. The crappy pot metal these things are made of don't hold up real well. The thin chrome job they were given chips and flakes off exposing the metal below that quickly starts to oxidize and begins to pit badly. This isn't something that can be buffed out of the chrome. The chrome is basically gone. I would love to get these original pieces re-chromed but that may be a huge waste of money. Besides a few pieces sent to the chrome shop would be out of our budget. I thought I would paint instead. 

The picture of the handle prior to hitting it with a wire wheel to remove the flaking chrome and scuff the surface...
After wire wheeling the hell out of it and hitting a few spots with some heavy sand paper I cleaned and sprayed the first coat of primer. You can see that I am using Duplicolor Self Etching Primer. I thought I would give Duplicolor a shot even though it is a little bit pricey Vs something like Krylon. I would think of using Rustoleum if I hadn't used Duplicolor. I have had good luck in the past with some of Rustoleum  products but went with a the Duplicolor because they spray well and seem to look real good. I'm not sure about durability but we will get into that more later...
You can see here that it the pitting looks like the surface of the moon...
The pitting is so bad that a filler is needed. I thought for a bit that I could use a Filler Primer but it was really just that bad so I used Bondo's Glazing & Spot Putty. The stuff works real well. Just spread it on and sand it down. Once you sand smooth just go ahead and prime with a regular primer. I went back and forth sanding and priming until I figured it would be fine to spray the top coat...
I used Duplicolor's Chrome paint. It laid down real nice. I can't rally complain. It looks pretty good for a rattle can paint. I could have done better with the filling and sanding the primer to give me a smoother overall finish. One reason is I didn't because it started out as a test to see if the process would work. Second is that it is just a stupid grab handle...



Here is my big reservation... I hope it holds up for a few years. No chrome paint is ever real tough. I'm just hoping that it isn't a chipped and cracked mess in a couple seasons. Time will only tell. At this point I'm pretty happy with the outcome. The Bargman licence plate light will soon get the similar treatment. I believe that the interior lights will also. Stay tuned for those.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

I saw your April 1 blog regarding the broken tail lite len. I have the entire tail lite with both red and clear lens in tact. If you still need this item please reply.

Tool Chic said...

My name is Jeanne and I want to thank you for your great blog. We just purchased a 58 Westerner and have begun the restoration. Love all your detailed posts on how you did things. Do you have any suggestions on how to fill holes in the aluminum. The door skin on the inside is very unique but has many extra holes drilled in it. Any suggestions? Thank you. Jeanne

Darcy and Paul said...

Where you be Brian?? Hope all is well and you are able to work on Louise. Haven't heard from you in a while and wanted to check in to see how you're Shasta is progressing... Take Care

Paul