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How to Make Custom Chrome Parts

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These techniques will work for any custom trim that you want to build. All you need is the right amount and correct size of brass.
Installing carpet in an antique, vintage, old, used or classic car or truck - step 1 1. Our goal is to make some new trim pieces for the front of the Truck. We shaved the hood down a few inches so now we want to reduce the size of the nostrils, making the original one on the right the size of the new one on the left.
Installing carpet in an antique, vintage, old, used or classic car or truck - step 2 2. We started by making two templates to find the best size.
Installing carpet in an antique, vintage, old, used or classic car or truck - step 3 3. Then we went to work with half-inch thick brass plate the overall width of our new pieces. We use brass because it is easy to work with and works will with the chrome platting process.
Installing carpet in an antique, vintage, old, used or classic car or truck - step 4 4. After tracing the shape from the template we used a jug saw with a metal blade to make the first outside cut.
Installing carpet in an antique, vintage, old, used or classic car or truck - step 5 5. Then we cut out the center with a carbide bit in a router.
Installing carpet in an antique, vintage, old, used or classic car or truck - step 6 6. Here you can see the results of our first cuts. We gave the outside cut a margin so we could do a more accurate job on a band saw.
Installing carpet in an antique, vintage, old, used or classic car or truck - step 7 7. Now the two pieces are clamped together. This will eliminate to do the finish sanding twice and make both pieces identical.
Installing carpet in an antique, vintage, old, used or classic car or truck - step 8 8. We used a grinding cone in a die grinder for the second cut but there is still more work to be done.
Installing carpet in an antique, vintage, old, used or classic car or truck - step 9 9. This small belt sander helped to smooth out the round grinding grooves.
Installing carpet in an antique, vintage, old, used or classic car or truck - step 10 10. We used a flat file for better control on the sides.
Installing carpet in an antique, vintage, old, used or classic car or truck - step 11 11. And a round file to clean up the corners.
Installing carpet in an antique, vintage, old, used or classic car or truck - step 12 12. Here we are admiring our work.
Installing carpet in an antique, vintage, old, used or classic car or truck - step 13 13. As you can see here the flat trim needs to be shaped to the contour of the hood.
Installing carpet in an antique, vintage, old, used or classic car or truck - step 14 14. And here we have taped the pieces onto the hood so we could step back and assure we were happy with the look.
Installing carpet in an antique, vintage, old, used or classic car or truck - step 15 15. We also use this opportunity to mark the location for the attachment screw holes, and then drilled the holes in preparation for threads.
Installing carpet in an antique, vintage, old, used or classic car or truck - step 16 16. Here we are using the router mounted in a table to put a round edge on the inside and outside edges of the front side.
Installing carpet in an antique, vintage, old, used or classic car or truck - step 17 17. Frequent checks are done to assure the desired results.
Installing carpet in an antique, vintage, old, used or classic car or truck - step 18 18. In this picture you can see the difference between the one that has been rounded (on the left) and the one that has not.
Installing carpet in an antique, vintage, old, used or classic car or truck - step 19 19. And this picture shows that we wrapped the pieces in a soft rag for protection before hammering them into shap with a plastic dead-blow hammer.
Installing carpet in an antique, vintage, old, used or classic car or truck - step 20 20. After frequent comparisons to the hood we are finally ready to tape our work on for one last inspection.
Installing carpet in an antique, vintage, old, used or classic car or truck - step 21 21. The final step for us was to hand sand the pieces with 80 grit, followed by 400 grit and polishing until we had a mirror finish. Then off to the chrome shop for a coat of copper nickel and chrome.
Installing carpet in an antique, vintage, old, used or classic car or truck - step 23 23. The job is finished and everyone is happy with the look!

Jeff Lilly Restorations
11125 F.M.1560 N
San Antonio, Texas
210-695-5151 - www.jefflilly.com