Wouldn't it be just basic painting and prep work. Seems to me it could be done like any other piece of metal for the base color. For the numbers you would just have to get a brush and a smooth hand. I could be totally mistaken. For smoothin it out you could use a dremel and tiny amounts of bondo I suppose. Would be a real neat project if you could do it. I don't know if I could. I could be totally off base, but the above is how I would try to restore a plate.
Hi Wmarden, yeah I've thought about doing it myself, (I found an article online about a doityourself job) but then the fears creap in. What if I mess the plate up? I don't want to have to find another set and there is a really cool history with theses plates and truck. Plus my other plate is really bad. I don't even know if that one can be fixed. Two of the number are rusted out. I don't need it to be perfect, especially since the truck is 41 years old.
Just focus on really small areas and be extra careful with your hand movements. Get a throw away one to practice with to get it right and then once you get the technique down, focus on the one you really want to restore.
You know I didn't even think about practicing on another plate first. Good idea. I don't have the tools to sandblast it, like the article suggests, but I could sand it very well. Head on over to Home Depot and buy the proper paint. Cool project.
I did a practice set and they turned out better than the ones I used. Go figure. Unless they are really rotted away, you can do this. Time and patience is the key. And as always, bondo can be made to hide many sins!
Yeah Madd, when I head out to Pomona Swap meet next month, I'm going to try to find a cheap plate to practice on. One is pretty bad though. I need to find someone who can make a "copy" of my plate. I guess if I can't find anyone online, I could call the local prison. Just kidding.
Never ever have the slightest incling to restore a licence place...but that is no matter here. Depending on the age of the plate is what paint or stickers you must use, some of the newer plates are stamped steel and have vinyl stickers not paint. Depending on the design of the plate it shouldn't be to hard to get a sheet of steel or aluminum and a selection of hammers and punches and making one. I put flames into a custom stretched MC sporty tank made from aluminum. Just takes patience and a good layout. restoring an old plate should be pretty easy, take it to a local shop and have it bead or sand blasted, spray the base color with either a rattle can or a airbrush and for the letters and numbers use a sword brush and the desired paint color, or the airbrush and some fineline tape and masking paper. If it has lots of pits and age nasties, just get some metal 2 metal or plastic filler and go at it and follow the steps above.
Well that kept me occupied for 3 minutes...whats next.
All jokes aside, I worked at a NC prison and if you know someone there and it is a prison that is making state signs and plates, this is possible!
Payment can be a real pain in the butt though.
Yes Madd, we can hear you now. You know if I wasn't living in LA, I probably wouldn't need two plates. But those ticket guys in their little white Neon will nab you for not having a front plate here. Damn the man!
Hey HK, This metal to metal or plastic filler you mentioned, does it bond to the plate? I mean, if part of the plate is missing (about the size of a silver dollar) will this stuff add on to the plate to make it whole again?
You might have to use a little piece of(oh, name escapes me right now) that stuff that looks like window screen. In fact you might be able to use that as your backing. Or maybe a small piece of metal cut to fit and then the layers of bondo holding it on. I am not sure.
Chevyluv, I appologize for tha later reply but I'm having technical dificulties. Annnnyway, yes you can relace a half doller peice of plate with metal to metal, its an aluminized/plastic filler. It difficult to sand, but it works. Just put a peice of duct tape behind the plate and put a layer over the tape to fill the spot. Make sure the plate area around the missing area is heavily scored and well sanded to add grip for the filler. Or you couls get another scrap plate and cut and butt weld the missing peice in. I'm sure thats a bit more than your willing to do, but I had to throw it out there, I'm a shtickler for good sheetmetal work
Thanks for the info HK. I would love to do do the whole welding thang, you know, just to play with fire, but unfortunately, no place to do this. And I think some arguments might surface if I did it in the middle of the living room floor. I'm going to give this metal to metal stuff a shot though. I think it could be fun.
Always willing to help. Welding in the middle of the livingroom floor...hmm...I've done stranger. What am I saying I am stranger. Fiberglass would work great too, but in doing that you would have a noticable repair on the back of the plate, unless you coverd the whole rear of the plate with a peice of 'glass cloth. That might be easier and would probably last longer, or mix the two
I don't know about the legality of it, but maybe use the good (better?) plate as a cast to make a pair of 'glass or resin plates? Is there a law that the plates HAVE to be metal? if so, maybe do the above and place the one good one in the rear window or some other visable, protected place so they can see that you really DO have the real thing.. As long as they are decent copies I don't think anyone would bother trying to feel them to see if they are metal....
what I am htinking is just lay some 'glass sheet/mat over the good/better plate and resin them to basically make a female (inverse, or negative?) mould, then coat it with something the resin can't stick to and pour resin (or a lot of 2-part epoxy? ) into the new mould? or maybe use that mould to shape some styrofoam (making a male mould, which would look just like the original), then lay more 'glass on the 'foam. that should end up with a copy.
you may lose some definition, but you can work that out with a little sanding and filing I would think.
am i completely off base here or would that be possible? (though a ton of work...)
Wow, Mist, it looks like you put a lot of thought into this. Yeah, in Cali we are supposed to have to have a metal plate. You're right though, people don't usually get to close to the plate, especially the front. I think it might be more work than I'm willing to put into it. It is just a plate after all. But a "fake plate" just might work for me. If you won't tell, I won't either. Shh.
Mist, your right, that would work too. Just get some releasing agent slather it over the plate and do it your way. Or if you were really lazy like me I use a mold material for small things that pours on an already has a releasing agent built in for hundreds of stick free goodies. Like the lady says, metal plates are mandatory, and you can't remake licence plates because its highly illegal on NO-ONE would EEEEVER do it