Frequently Asked Questions

1.) What type of repair work do you do?

We do the following:

  • Straightening
  • Tig Welding & Brass Welding
  • Acid Cleaning
  • Sand Blasting
  • Grinding – Metal Finishing
  • Polishing – Buffing
  • Acid Copper
  • Bright Nickel and Decorative Chrome Plating on Steel, Brass, or Copper Parts
  • Stainless Steel, Straightening or Polishing

We cannot do the following:

  • No Pot Metal/Die Cast (non-metallic) Plating
  • No Aluminum Plating or Anodizing
  • No Wheel Plating or Polishing
  • No plating other than Acid Copper, Bright Nickel and Decorative Chrome

2) Why should I get my bumper (part) repaired when I can buy an aftermarket part cheaper?
We do restoration work which is performed by long time craftsmen and our fit and finish is of a much higher standard than aftermarket parts which are done by mass production methods and are mainly coming from Taiwan. If you are spending good money to restore your car, why would you want the chrome work to be inferior?

3) Why should I let you repair my bumpers and other steel parts and not send all my parts to one plater?
We are experts at repairing bumpers and related pieces. Many platers do not have the capability to do this type of repair work. This is why they need bumpers that are not damaged in any way. Most platers do one type of work well but extremely few do multiple types of plating/repairing well.

4) What is your guarantee? Are we perfect? –no. Are we good?—yes.
If any thing goes wrong with your part, we will take care of it at no charge—provided there has been no damage to the part. We have found it is better to correct any problem a customer might have than to have customers saying, “I had a problem and they would not take care of it”.

5) What is your lead time?
We attempt to finish jobs in the order in which they arrive. Our lead time on bumpers is usually 6-8 weeks and our lead time on all other parts is 4-6 weeks. March thru October tends to be our busiest time. Our lead time generally decreases from November thru February.  As of January 1st, 2017, our lead time is at least 6 weeks on bumpers and 8-10 weeks on all other parts.

6) Why does it take so long?
A finished part requires good preparation before plating. We are a small facility that takes pride in its work. There are only a handful of old bumper platers left and we want you to be happy with the finished product. Most auto restorations take from 6-24 months and to expect a high quality part in a short amount of time is unreasonable.

7a) My bumper (part) is bent, broken, or damaged, can you fix it?
Unlike some platers, a bent or broken part is generally no problem for our craftsmen to repair. We are more concerned with the amount of corrosion (rust) that has occurred over time on the backside of the bumper. Extensive corrosion is by far more likely to cause a part to be unrepairable than any pings or dings.

7b) My bumper has a small rust hole in it, can it be fixed?
Rust is similar to cancer—it all needs to be removed or it will return. Sometimes we can “cut out” a rust area and replace it with new steel. Sometimes we can reinforce areas with brass welding. Both of these are time consuming and add to the cost. Sometimes we suggest that you look for another bumper.

8) Why is repairing and replating a part so expensive?
Currently the price per pound of nickel is over $12 compared to around $8 less than 24
months ago. Other factors that contribute are experienced labor, high utility costs, rent, health
insurance as well as the continued rise in most materials related to our process.

9) What is triple chrome and do you do it?
There is no such thing as “triple chrome”. The term generally refers to the process of plating copper, nickel, and chrome onto a part—hence 3 layers. We are using acid copper on all small parts, then a layer of nickel topped with a layer of chrome. We put 2 layers of nickel on every bumper and then a top layer of decorative chrome. All our parts are triple plated. Some platers use a “ heavy copper “ as a base plate which often distorts the size and weight of a part and is generally unnecessary on steel parts.

10) Do you stock any bumpers?
NO – we have found that the vast majority of restorers want “their” own bumper fixed.

11) Why do you not fix later model chrome bumpers?
Those parts can be purchased from aftermarket suppliers who have both USA and Taiwanese plated bumpers available in stock at a price cheaper than we could repair them.

12) Why can’t I get a price for parts other than bumpers over the phone?
We generally know how much time and effort that bumpers will require but most other parts (grills, trim pieces, motorcycle pieces, etc.) come to us in such a wide variety of conditions that we need to see the part to determine the amount of time and expense to fix it.

13) Do you fix old grilles?
Yes, provided they are steel, brass or copper.

14) Do you “dip” wheels?
NO!! Wheel plating–both steel and alloy—requires special polishing or plating equipment and is generally done through production methods. Wheel platers generally only plate wheels.

15) Can you straighten and polish stainless steel?
Yes, stainless steel trim can be polished to an extremely high luster. The basic price for stainless steel polishing is $20.00 per foot for .25″ to .75″ wide.  For trim pieces that are 1″ or wider, please see our pricing sheet.

16) Can you polish aluminum parts?
We prefer to avoid aluminum polishing since there needs to be some type of finish on aluminum, either anodizing or chrome, in order to ensure a long life to the part. We can polish only single, small aluminum parts. Absolutely no grills or wheels!! Having noted this, we can polish small aluminum parts to a high aluminum luster but they then need to be clear coated to remain that way.

17) Why do you not offer Pot Metal plating?
Most platers tend to plate a specific type of part—wheel platers, brass platers, aluminum platers and pot metal platers. Each requires its own unique polishing and plating operation. We just never got into plating pot metal (die-cast/non metallic) parts. OE parts were not plated by one supplier for the same reason – no one could do it all.

18) Can you make a “smoothie”?
Yes, but we have to do all the welding on the part. Please do not attempt to weld or grind any bolts in yourself. Most people have a mig welder which creates a lot of pits. We use a tig welder that leaves little or no pitting. We spend an extra 2-5 hours preparing these parts and this will add to the cost of the part. We will NOT make a smoothie out of an aftermarket bumper; no exceptions.

19) What is your freight policy?
The customer is responsible for freight to and from our shop. If you are shipping an extra large bumper, please make sure that you have an extremely good box that will withstand shipping both ways.  Remove all brackets and hardware and include your contact information.  We take many precautions in order for a safe arrival of your bumper(s) and/or parts; however, our responsibility ends when we hand the package over to the shipping company.  If the package appears damaged upon delivery, contact the carrier immediately and document by photographing any damages to the packaging and product (FedEx 1.800.463.3339). Again, we are NOT responsible for any damages that occurred during the shipping process.

20) What is your payment policy?
Beginning June 1, 2016, we will require a 50% down payment or deposit upfront once we have your bumper and/or parts on our schedule.  We accept MasterCard, Visa, Discover & American Express. We will no longer accept out of state checks.  All sales are subject to appropriate local and state sales tax laws.  We do expect the customer to pickup their bumper or parts in a timely manner.  Please include the customer contact sheet located on our pricing page or contact page with your bumper or parts.


Knox Custom Chrome

2216 Mohawk Ave
Knoxville, Tennessee 37915

Toll Free: (888) 588-4552

Phone: (865) 546-3144

Fax: (865) 546-5322


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