Facilities Tour of Chrome Craft


Chrome Craft helps industrial and heavy equipment repair facilities with their parts repair needs by having versatile repair capabilities.  Tour the machine shop,  hard chrome shop, weld shop, along with all the departments that come together to serve the needs of your industrial or heavy equipment repair operation.


Machine Shop:

In 1963,  Chrome Craft's machine shop consisted of one precision crankshaft grinder and one engine lathe.  Over the years Chrome Craft has developed a complete machine shop.  Machines include precision CNC Lathes, O.D. grinding machines up to 33" diameter and 156" between centers,  precision I.D. grinders from 2" diameter up to 12" diameter, 4" stroke.  Dependent on O.D. size and shape of the part,  I.D. grinding in lathe up to 24", centerless grinding machines up to 3" diameter and 18" length,   lathes up to 42" diameter and 120" length between centers,  oil-tool lathe with 20" hole through headstock,  vertical mills up to 96" table,   vertical drilling up to 68" in length,  4" horizontal boring mill with 48" x 60" table, hydraulic cylinder honing up to 20" diameter and 222" long,  spline recutting service for splines up to rc35,  machine polishing up to 144" length,  bench polishing,  and 80 ton press. 

The major activity of the machine shop is machining reprocessed parts back to original specifications.  Parts are pre-machined and built up with hard chrome,  a welding process,  or are partially refabricated.  Our skilled machinists also manufacture parts from scratch,  to blueprint.




Large Electric Motor Rotor in Grinder for Bearing Area Hard Chrome and Grind to Standard Dimension






 Bryant Internal Diameter Grinder can finish grind to 16 1/4" internal diameter, on a 13" stroke. The maximum outside diameter swing is 31". The machine also has a 10" through-hole.


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Hard Chrome Shop:

No,  we don't do bumpers,  manifold covers,  barbecue grills,  or boat rails.  With a name like Chrome Craft,  it is easy to understand that some would assume we are the perfect place to get their bicycle handle bars replated.  But for those who know us,  Chrome Craft is the name to trust for quality hard chrome plating and precision grinding.  Yes,  we do recondition can seaming machine parts,  turbine shafts,  bed plates,  hydraulic cylinder rods, rolls,  guides,  extrusion dies, transmission shafts,  and much more,  all with the application of hard chrome. 

Hard chrome is applied by an electroplating process.  Chromic acid in solution is electroplated to the desired area of build-up as a current travels between an anode and the part,  which acts as the cathode.  The chrome atoms are drawn to the part where they are converted from their soluble ionic state to solid chrome metal.  The chrome surface is extremely hard (up to 70rc) and corrosion resistant.  These properties make hard chrome an excellent coating for many industrial metal surfaces subject to wear or corrosion. 

Chrome Craft's plating tanks can handle parts with lengths up to 288" and widths up to 72".  Parts requiring chrome stripping can be accommodated up to 180" in length and 72" in diameter.  A staff of engineering hard chrome platers keep the machinists supplied with precision grinding,  honing,  and polishing work. 






Engineering Hard Chrome vs. Decorative Chrome - What's the Difference?

Hard chromium plating is often confused with decorative chromium plating.  We receive calls frequently from people who don't realize that there are two distinct industries serving these needs.  Hard chrome is used primarily for functionality,   whereas decorative chrome is used primarily for cosmetic purposes.  There are some functional aspects to decorative plating,  such as smoothness and corrosion resistance,  but the process involved is different.

Decorative chrome requires that several other metals,  such as nickel and copper,   be plated onto the part before chromium is deposited.  These other layers of electroplated metal are necessary to develop the high luster that is desired in ornamental applications.  In decorative applications the thickness of the chrome plate does not often surpass 0.000050".  Hard chrome applications sometimes only need 0.0005" of chrome, often require 0.005" to 0.020" for reworking worn areas, and can call for deposits up to 0.030" to 0.040".  

Hard chrome is used in industrial applications because of one or more of the following qualities:

  1. wear resistance
  2. low coefficient of friction
  3. chemical inertness
  4. hardness
  5. corrosion resistance
  6. abrasion resistance
  7. ability to take high polish
  8. resistance to galling

Hard chrome plating is not restricted to ferrous metals.  Here are some of the substrates that may be deposited with hard chrome:

  1. carbon steels
  2. hardened carbon steels
  3. stainless steels
  4. tool steels
  5. cast irons (porosity must be considered -- pit formation)
  6. non-ferrous metals including copper and brass

With the name "Chrome Craft" it is understandable that we get calls from those looking for ornamental chrome services,  but it is something we are willing to live with because our customers have grown used to our name and associate it with quality, integrity and service at a fair price.



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Weld Shop:

Not all parts lend themselves to hard chrome as a repair option.  In fact,  a significant portion of Chrome Craft's business does not involve chrome at all.  Where chrome won't work,  welding often offers a good alternative.

With automatic O.D. and I.D. welding machines,  Chrome Craft is able to restore excessively worn bearing and seal areas as well as reconstruct areas for threading,   cutting splines,  keyways,  snap ring grooves,  etc.   Hardnesses up to 55rc make welding a great option for wear resistance as well.   Often,  combining welding and hard chrome can give us the best both methods have to offer. 





Chrome Craft has automatic O.D. welding machines with capacities up to 33" in diameter and 144" long.  Automatic I.D. welding machines accommodate holes from 1" diameter up to 24" diameter.  In addition,  Chrome Craft has mig, tig,  and heliarc welding equipment.  


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Hydraulic Cylinder Rebuild and Test Shop:

We have what it takes to rebuild your hydraulic cylinder group if it is 336" (28') or shorter, and nut torque on/off is 50,000 ft lbs or less. Chances are, most of you reading this are still in our ballpark- those of you who are not are dealing with some massive cylinders, and have probably been featured on a mega-machinery show- cool!

After disassembly and cleaning, the parts are inspected for damage including galling, cracks, bearing area wear, etc. Chrome Craft's complete machining, plating, and welding shops support the cylinder rebuild department with rod and tube section rechroming, rod resteming (with induction hardened, chrome plated rod), barrel honing or retubing, head machining, welding, boring, thread recutting, etc. Once all the metal components are reworked, then new seals and bearings are installed, and the cylinder unit is reassembled and tested to 3,500 psi.

Chrome Craft has some Caterpillar cylinder groups available on exchange. Call with your cylinder group part number and machine model to check on availability.






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Testing,  Inspection,  Quality Control:

To ensure the integrity of parts to be repaired,  Chrome Craft relies on magnaflux and dye penetrant checks for crack detection.  Sometimes the critical function of a part makes a simple magnaflux or dye check not good enough, however.  For internal flaw detection,  an ultrasound device is used. An example of this would be a haul truck wheel spindle which has been subjected to a life of heavy shock loads.  To be certain that there is no internal stress,  an ultrasound test is called for.   The ultrasound testing equipment can pick up variations in the metal which would indicate surface cracks, internal cracks, stress areas, variations in metal density, casting pockets, etc.  We use the ultrasound testing equipment on all such critical parts routinely as part of our normal remanufacturing procedure.  Other examples of parts normally ultrasounded include scraper axle housings, haul truck banjo housings, some suspension pistons, loader wheel spindles, etc.  Ultrasound works by sending sound waves through the part.  If the sound waves are interrupted by any irregularity the ultrasound testing unit registers the variation on a grid showing its depth.  The ultrasound unit is portable so it is sometimes possible to ultrasound parts still attached to the machine.  It should be noted, however, that not all parts are conducive to this type of inspection.  Parts with intricate machining or many curves,  such as crankshafts, do not lend themselves well to ultrasound inspection.




  Besides instruments for crack and flaw detection,  Chrome Craft has other testing equipment as well.  To test chrome thickness on ferrous materials,  a digital thickness gauge is used.  The outer hardness of parts is checked with a rockwell hardness tester.   Chrome Craft has a hydraulic cylinder testing bench that will allow us to test cylinder units up to 3,500 psi. 

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Metallurgical Stress Relieving Capacities

As a step in the repair process,  it is often necessary to remove stress from the part.  Parts may come to the facility with a stress in them,  or stress may develop during a repair process.  Chrome Craft removes stress with steel shot peening (which also adds strength by compacting the metal),  mechanical peening,  or by baking in an industrial oven.  Many hard chromed parts require pre- and post-baking.


If it will make the part feel better,  we'll do it,  because no one operates well when they are feeling stressed!


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It might be said that production is the heartbeat of Chrome Craft.  Production is responsible for the timely,  efficient flow of work through the plant. Coordination involves proper routing of parts through the different departments of the facility,  i.e. machine shop,  chrome shop,  weld shop,   quality control,  and  shipping.  The production department works jointly with the sales department to service the needs of the customer.  Consultation on repair methods and turn around time usually involves production personnel.  In addition to overseeing work in the shop and direct involvement with customers,  the production department is responsible for procuring many of the materials that are needed in the different shop areas. 







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Sales, Marketing, and Field Service:

At Chrome Craft, we take the view that every department within the organization is directly connected to the marketing of the company’s products and services. The phones are staffed in a cross-departmental method.  When a customer calls, the call is directed to either a primary contact person or to any one of a group of knowledgeable people from the sales and marketing department or the production department.   Our philosophy is to help the customer as needed, and not let titles or department headings slow us down.  Give us a try and tell us what you think of our service when you call.





Southern California, Southwest:

        For assistance in the Southern California and Southwest Regions call (714) 697-4655.






Internet, Shipping Sales:

Chrome Craft is a member of two nationwide parts locating services.  We utilize these services to reach customers looking for our exchange Caterpillar parts.  We also use them to locate other parts for our customers.  If you need assistance locating a part,  maybe we can find what you're looking for.


Call (916) 383-1660, fax (916) 383-3249, or email info@chromecraftreman.com with machine models, part numbers on CAT Equipment. Please have dimensions, (diameter, length, hollow, solid, etc.). along with part numbers if available on other equipment.


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Human Resources,  Health,  Safety,  and Environmental:


As mentioned in our statement of purpose, Chrome Craft is committed to being considerate of our neighbors and committed to environmental responsibility.

It is the responsibility of this department to recruit new members to the Chrome Craft team,  as well as to ensure that they receive proper safety training once hired. 

The diligent maintenance of proper environmental procedures and record keeping is a very high priority of this department.  It is Chrome Craft's goal,  as stated as one of its purposes,  to be an environmentally responsible corporate citizen. 

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You can do your part each time you have a part reworked instead of buying new,  because REMANUFACTURING RECYCLES OUR RESOURCES!




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Northern California/Northwest Region:  (916) 383-1660    Southern California/Southwest Region: (714) 697-4655

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