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Author Topic: First attempt at Zinc Plating  (Read 5704 times)
cook_dw
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« on: October 03, 2013, 07:12:28 PM »

Well I finally got around to try out my zinc plating process.  Everything seems to have gone ok for the first prelim run.  I believe once I get more parts and the process down I think these parts will come out great.  Figured I would try it out on a broken clamp.  I only worked on the outer ring portion of the clamp and nothing else.  I also think once I blast these parts they will take better.

Before



After first dip.


After third dip and scrubbing.


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Darrell Cook

1967 LeMans Blue SS/RS L35 clone
1968 Rallye Green SS L78 - unrestored original
1968 Matador Red Z28
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« Reply #1 on: October 03, 2013, 08:40:18 PM »

Changed around my settings & I like this one even better..  Much cleaner & uniform.  






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Darrell Cook

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« Reply #2 on: October 03, 2013, 08:59:28 PM »

that's not bad Darrel..     How much is your $$ and time investment so far?  Smiley
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« Reply #3 on: October 04, 2013, 07:01:12 AM »

Its not too bad.  Once I get this process down if anyone wants me to do some parts for them just pm me and we can go from there.   Grin
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Darrell Cook

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« Reply #4 on: October 04, 2013, 06:37:32 PM »

Darrel your work looks good. I have found a real fine SS brush works well to even out the finish on some parts great for screws. 0000 steel wool works also. It is nice to plate at home so you can clean & plate as needed. George
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cook_dw
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« Reply #5 on: October 05, 2013, 12:27:57 PM »

And the chromate conversion.




George, thanks for the tips.  I'm really starting to enjoy this.
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Darrell Cook

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« Reply #6 on: October 07, 2013, 09:33:39 PM »

Not bad - in fact, not bad at all. Did you bead the chromate version ? I bet if you top coated with clear it would be dynamite. Probably last forever, too. Great job -

Regards,
Steve
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« Reply #7 on: October 08, 2013, 07:17:43 AM »

Not bad - in fact, not bad at all. Did you bead the chromate version ? I bet if you top coated with clear it would be dynamite. Probably last forever, too. Great job -

Regards,
Steve

Thanks!!  I guess it is sorta a bead process.  I havent tried it with these parts yet but in the past when I have cleared chromate parts it tends to wash out the rainbow coloring.  It may have been my process.  Ill try to clear this clamp and see what it looks like after.
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Darrell Cook

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« Reply #8 on: October 08, 2013, 09:21:48 AM »

Darrel, I would think the clear would really change the finish. I try to polish the Zinc plating as much as possible before the chromate or Yellow cad dip. That should give you a brighter finish.Try to dip it for a shorter time blow dry and check the results. Ten seconds plus or minus really changes the color. Here are a couple pictures of some AC fittings I restored in this link.  http://www.camaros.org/forum/index.php?topic=9859.msg77826#msg77826  George.
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cook_dw
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« Reply #9 on: October 08, 2013, 11:25:00 AM »

Like I said my past experiences turned the chromate finish to just a gold finish after clearing.  That was my first attempt with the conversion process.  I hope to get a few other pieces finished before this weekend.  Ill post them up once I am finished.  Since that piece I showed of the clamp I do not allow the part to soak any longer than 15 secs..  Those AC fittings look great btw.  How many times do you strike your parts in the zinc bath?
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Darrell Cook

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« Reply #10 on: October 08, 2013, 08:12:53 PM »

This looks really good.  Did you use some kind of kit?  Thanks, Scoop
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cook_dw
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« Reply #11 on: October 08, 2013, 09:07:49 PM »

Thanks!!  Nope just made up the process after reading several websites & how-to's.. 
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Darrell Cook

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« Reply #12 on: October 08, 2013, 09:24:07 PM »

Nice job...that looks great!
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NoYenko
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« Reply #13 on: October 09, 2013, 06:21:01 AM »

How many times do you strike your parts in the zinc bath?
Just once, but sometimes I have to plate for a longer time frame to get good coverage. George
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« Reply #14 on: October 09, 2013, 10:44:19 PM »

That looks like a CASWELL plating job to me.
http://www.caswellplating.com/kits/index.html
I purchased a kit in 2000 and built a variable power supply. I found the finish difficult to obtain (I lacked the necessary brighteners) and got a  dull gray finish. A Lot of the problem can be in your prep. AVOID sandblasting of any kind. You need to clean and polish the surface to obtain a smooth fresh plated part.
Your progress looks good.

I gave up and found a Local Plater who plates the equivalent of a 4 x 8 sheet of plywood part's for 130$ per lot near a local airplane manufacture in North Seattle.

Jim
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Jim
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« Reply #15 on: October 10, 2013, 06:52:56 AM »

Caswell plating kit is what I use also. Jim is correct if you sandblast the part it will rough up the surface too much. I glass bead all my parts with fine grade grit.
Having the ability to be able to plate just a portion of a part I find very helpful like the horn relay base and contacts. I really enjoy all the different plating process's.
The finish I would say looks comparable to the NOS relay. George
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cook_dw
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« Reply #16 on: October 10, 2013, 07:02:29 AM »

My process is not a Caswell kit.  Wink

Im too cheap to buy a kit and I enjoy trying to figure out my own way of doing things.  With the help of the internet of course.   Grin
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Darrell Cook

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« Reply #17 on: October 12, 2013, 12:15:07 AM »

This guy has lots of good info:
http://home.comcast.net/~rt66tbird/website/zincplating.html
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« Reply #18 on: October 12, 2013, 07:30:11 AM »

Kurt, I actually posted that link a month or so back in another thread.  That is the same style setup as I am using.  Great info there.  I pretty much copied his setup  with very minor changes.
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Darrell Cook

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« Reply #19 on: October 27, 2013, 01:03:53 PM »

After a week off for home improvements   Roll Eyes   and cleaning up the garage due to the improvements I got back to doing a little plating..  I also polished the parts like Jim suggested.

Heres before



After cleaning



Then plating finished





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Darrell Cook

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« Reply #20 on: October 27, 2013, 02:16:11 PM »

WOW ,looks like you might have a little business going ! When I get to the sub frame I'll give you a holler !   caliper brackets ,dust shields ,horn relay
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cook_dw
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« Reply #21 on: October 27, 2013, 03:15:37 PM »

Ok sounds good just let me know !!  :-)
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Darrell Cook

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« Reply #22 on: October 27, 2013, 08:20:42 PM »

Those look great Darrell.  Are you interested in doing my seat parts?  Thanks, Scoop
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cook_dw
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« Reply #23 on: October 30, 2013, 08:20:18 PM »

This piece was rough..  It took a lot of wet sanding to get the metal smooth..

Before:



After & still drying:


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Darrell Cook

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« Reply #24 on: November 02, 2013, 05:23:52 PM »

After making my last post I was just not happy with the results of the master cylinder cap...  I guess you can chaulk it up to the OCD in me..  So over the past couple of days off and on I redone the piece to the point when I was satisfied.. 

After doing a little metal work on the cap..



Compared to the one I have one the 67 now..



Installed on the spare master cylinder..





Next will be the booster once I order more chemicals and setup a new larger container..
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Darrell Cook

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« Reply #25 on: November 02, 2013, 09:31:32 PM »

Looks great ,good for you ,will be sending my brackets out this week---steve.  Than post the finished product ,prior already online.
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cook_dw
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« Reply #26 on: November 04, 2013, 08:06:45 AM »

Ok sounds good..
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Darrell Cook

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« Reply #27 on: November 04, 2013, 08:30:07 AM »

Shipping out tomorrow--FedEx , I'll email you the prior pics so you can do before/after. I'm going to start playing with phosphate next weekend---my fasteners. Palmetto appears to be the way to go.
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« Reply #28 on: November 05, 2013, 11:17:59 PM »

Great work, this makes me want to activate my tanks again.
THis is a wonderful example of DIY, step AWAY from the Eastwood plating in a spray can guys.

Your OCD is a good thing when you produce results like that.

Cheers,

Jim
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Jim
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« Reply #29 on: November 06, 2013, 09:41:00 AM »

 The Eastwood spray finishes make a car restoration look cheap, IMO.
Aside from chrome, home plating for zinc and phosphates (Parkerize) is very easy and affordable for DIY.

Mike
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« Reply #30 on: November 06, 2013, 10:36:04 AM »

Do the colors remain uniform during phosphate coating ? When my hood hinges came out of the blast cabinet, noticed OE color varied. Never any rust on them , just paint and undercoat overspray. Varies from dark to light gray. Springs light gray throughout. If  that's the way they are suppose to look, I'm leaving alone--but I don't know. Also is it a one time use with chemicals, once heated ? 
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Mike S
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« Reply #31 on: November 06, 2013, 07:30:17 PM »

  Hi Janobyte,

  Surface prep is THE most important factor in the outcome of the final finish with phosphate. Just like when painting a car.
I will wash a part in a degreaser first, sand or glass bead it, another round of degreaser, then I will put the parts in a semi-boiling water pre bath to float off any remaining oils (rarely none at this stage) then directly to the phosphate solution that has been preheated to 180-190 degrees. After the fizzle slows or stops or if I feel there is enough deposited then I remove the parts and run them through another clean water rinse. Quickly dry and then right to the Dri-Touch oil treatment.
  If you have any oil on the parts then it will show as blotches.
Yes, you can reuse the solution over many times until it is exhausted. I store it in a plastic container when not in use. Use a stainless steel container to heat the phosphate solution. I recommend either a copper bottom or a metal diffuser under the pot to avoid any hot spots that can lead to scale buildup at the bottom.
  The nice thing about a DIY is you save money and there is always that part you missed and now you can treat it at home. I use a Coleman camper burner in the shed so as not to bring the fumes in the house. I got the SS pots at a dollar store and also use stainless steel baskets to hold the small parts for the bath.
Try it. I think you will be pleasantly surprised how easy it is.

Mike
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« Reply #32 on: November 06, 2013, 08:39:27 PM »

  Hi Janobyte,

  Surface prep is THE most important factor in the outcome of the final finish with phosphate. Just like when painting a car.
I will wash a part in a degreaser first, sand or glass bead it, another round of degreaser, then I will put the parts in a semi-boiling water pre bath to float off any remaining oils (rarely none at this stage) then directly to the phosphate solution that has been preheated to 180-190 degrees. After the fizzle slows or stops or if I feel there is enough deposited then I remove the parts and run them through another clean water rinse. Quickly dry and then right to the Dri-Touch oil treatment.
  If you have any oil on the parts then it will show as blotches.
Yes, you can reuse the solution over many times until it is exhausted. I store it in a plastic container when not in use. Use a stainless steel container to heat the phosphate solution. I recommend either a copper bottom or a metal diffuser under the pot to avoid any hot spots that can lead to scale buildup at the bottom.
  The nice thing about a DIY is you save money and there is always that part you missed and now you can treat it at home. I use a Coleman camper burner in the shed so as not to bring the fumes in the house. I got the SS pots at a dollar store and also use stainless steel baskets to hold the small parts for the bath.
Try it. I think you will be pleasantly surprised how easy it is.

Mike
Thanks, I'm going to start this weekend following above-verbatim.
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« Reply #33 on: November 07, 2013, 09:01:06 PM »

I just completed my lower hood latch assembly using the Palmetto phosphate. I'm very pleased with the results.
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Bob
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« Reply #34 on: November 07, 2013, 09:47:59 PM »

 That looks great, Bob. After a few years it will start to turn to a nice greenish/gray hue.
What did you use for a container?
How did you finish the latch return spring?

Mike
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« Reply #35 on: November 07, 2013, 11:26:41 PM »

Thanks Mike. It took me a while to find a big enough container but believe it or not I finally found a 21 quart stock pot at Walmart for $22 that was just big enough to handle the whole latch assembly. It has a ceramic type finish which is important since you don't want to use a container that will wind up being coated with the phosphating solution (e.g. galvanized steel or aluminum). With a container this size just be prepared for a long heat up time (about 30 minutes) to bring it up to the proper phosphating temperature (approx. 200 degrees F).

http://www.walmart.com/ip/Granite-Ware-21-qt-Stock-Pot-with-Lid/17165786

I used the Palmetto zinc phosphate solution on the assembly which gives it the proper gray appearance. For the two springs located on each side of the assembly I used the Palmetto manganese phosphate solution which results in a more darker finish, almost black in appearance. I'll try to snap a few pictures tomorrow to show you the end result.

Now if I can only find a big enough container to phosphate the hood spring assembly I'll be a happy guy.  Grin
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« Reply #36 on: November 08, 2013, 10:02:06 PM »

Mike - Just a quick follow up from my previous post. Attached are a couple of pictures of the springs that I used the manganese phosphate on. As you can see, the manganese solution produces a slighter darker finish.
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« Reply #37 on: November 08, 2013, 10:08:38 PM »

 That looks very good, Bob. The springs are a nice touch to show the details.
Is that pot you use large enough to hold a Z-bar? I may go to the store and get the same one if it looks like it will work for that.

Thanks!
Mike
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« Reply #38 on: November 08, 2013, 10:27:05 PM »

Mike - I don't think it'll be big enough for the Z-Bar. The pot measures 9 inches deep by 13 inches wide. This is the problem I'm having with the hood spring assembly. I haven't found a pot large enough to handle them unless you pay an arm and a leg for a large stainless steel one. For the price you'd pay for a pot that size it would be cheaper to send the part out phosphating. I thought about getting an immersion heater and using a heavy plastic type container but the cost of an immersion heater that will go up to 200 degree F also gets very pricey.
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« Reply #39 on: November 09, 2013, 03:53:42 PM »

The Eastwood spray finishes make a car restoration look cheap, IMO.
Aside from chrome, home plating for zinc and phosphates (Parkerize) is very easy and affordable for DIY.

Mike

Also unacceptable with the Mustang crowd (points deducted )

Same issue with the Z bar ,I'm assuming you are talking about the RS hood release, also hinges are tall--may have figured it out. Looking around my shop today right in front of me is a SS large square pan ( 6-8 " deep ,didn't measure) I use under engines when they are on the stand. The base for a turkey fryer would work perfect underneath and kicks the BTU's to raise the temp. It can be turned down once 200 degrees achieved. Point being ,alternatives vs. tall round pans. Emailed the owner of Palmetto yesterday questioning if parts can be finished in 2 steps also.

May be a mute point because I'm still debating on refinishing them at all and just oiling . Mines not 100% uniform from the factory, but VGC. I'm really excited about doing the small parts--next week. Shooting the underneath of my F250 with POR 1st. Moving at a snails pace with the Z ,but progress none the less.
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« Reply #40 on: November 09, 2013, 04:29:06 PM »

 The Z-bar I meant was for the clutch.
My hood hinges and RS hood striker w/large handle were done in the 80's and still look great though they now have the olive green/gray appearance which the phosphate coating will change to after a few years. The Z-bar and clutch push rod didn't survive as well so I'm looking to redo that.

   Speaking to my friend, he said he knew someone who used an old rectangular stainless steel kitchen sink he found in someones trash and used that for larger parts. He must have made some sort of plug for the drain but the idea sure sounds good and not as costly.
Time to travel around the neighborhood on recycling day!  Grin

Mike
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« Reply #41 on: November 09, 2013, 04:49:55 PM »

Ahh , wasn't thinking in that area  Smiley Glad you mentioned it because while the kettles cooking..
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« Reply #42 on: November 09, 2013, 07:03:03 PM »

Mike - Just a quick follow up from my previous post. Attached are a couple of pictures of the springs that I used the manganese phosphate on. As you can see, the manganese solution produces a slighter darker finish.
That works well in giving the attaching screws/bolts a little different look as different suppliers had different shades of phosphate to a degree.  As you have found different materials react differently to outcome in color/shade but I try to work that in whenever possible so things do NOT look the same shade. Smiley Nice work Bob........
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« Reply #43 on: November 21, 2013, 10:36:59 AM »

Product came in yesterday from Palmetto , included was a page each of detailed instruction ,adding what has been tried and proven by you guys, I'm really looking forward to start this weekend with some bolts first.

What also arrived yesterday were my parts from "Red Gorilla Restorations" even mailed some change back ! They look great , better than the pics. Even more important to me is another guy out there who not only can be trusted with your irreplaceable parts ,but treats them with the same detail as his own---speaks volumes. I've followed this site many years( almost since it's inception" before becoming active . I've noticed a pattern of the same people--always positive and quick to offer help. Sending my parts out to Darrell was sort of like "paying it forward" good luck in your endeavors ,use me as a reference.
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« Reply #44 on: November 21, 2013, 07:00:16 PM »

Product came in yesterday from Palmetto , included was a page each of detailed instruction ,adding what has been tried and proven by you guys, I'm really looking forward to start this weekend with some bolts first.

What also arrived yesterday were my parts from "Red Gorilla Restorations" even mailed some change back ! They look great , better than the pics. Even more important to me is another guy out there who not only can be trusted with your irreplaceable parts ,but treats them with the same detail as his own---speaks volumes. I've followed this site many years( almost since it's inception" before becoming active . I've noticed a pattern of the same people--always positive and quick to offer help. Sending my parts out to Darrell was sort of like "paying it forward" good luck in your endeavors ,use me as a reference.

I truly enjoy helping others with their restorations.  It gives me pride to say that I was responsible for something on a beautiful car.  I guess it was something my father implanted in me.  Thank you for giving me the opportunity to do work on your Z. 
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Darrell Cook

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« Reply #45 on: November 21, 2013, 09:55:13 PM »

RED GORILLA Restorations eh?   There must be a story there..  Smiley
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Gary W.  /  69Z28-RS, 72 B 720 cowl console rosewood all tint
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60 Corvette white/red, 72 Corvette coupe (2), 
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« Reply #46 on: November 25, 2013, 08:14:40 AM »

Not really..  The fiancee and I were sitting here one night (long before any plating) and I told her I wanted to own a business one day but I didnt know what to call it..  She said; "Well you look like a big angry redhead gorilla...  You should call it red gorilla restorations.."  And there you have it..  Something we both thought was funny and it had a good ring to it..  RGR for short.   Grin

So when I made out a receipt for Steve I went ahead and put that on there and figured I would give it a try as something on the side and see where it goes.  If it fizzles out then no harm.
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Darrell Cook

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« Reply #47 on: November 25, 2013, 08:46:31 AM »

I just knew there had to be a story... Smiley   I like it.. and we found out what your wife thinks of you..   J/K... Smiley
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Gary W.  /  69Z28-RS, 72 B 720 cowl console rosewood all tint
69 Corvette convertible, silver/black 350 hp,
60 Corvette white/red, 72 Corvette coupe (2), 
90 ZR1 red/red #246, 90 ZR1 white/gray #2466
72 El Camino, '55 Nomad, '57 Nomad, '57 B/A Sedan
cook_dw
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« Reply #48 on: November 25, 2013, 10:47:59 AM »

I just knew there had to be a story... Smiley   I like it.. and we found out what your wife thinks of you..   J/K... Smiley

Yeah apparently she likes big ugly gorillas..  lol
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Darrell Cook

1967 LeMans Blue SS/RS L35 clone
1968 Rallye Green SS L78 - unrestored original
1968 Matador Red Z28
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« Reply #49 on: November 25, 2013, 10:50:49 AM »

Good response!   Grin  Roll Eyes
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Gary W.  /  69Z28-RS, 72 B 720 cowl console rosewood all tint
69 Corvette convertible, silver/black 350 hp,
60 Corvette white/red, 72 Corvette coupe (2), 
90 ZR1 red/red #246, 90 ZR1 white/gray #2466
72 El Camino, '55 Nomad, '57 Nomad, '57 B/A Sedan
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