Updated 4/13/20: Bales is fully operational and will expedite (at no additional cost) any projects related to pandemic response efforts. Read more about our response to COVID-19.


Q: How can I cut any costs with this project?

A: The easiest way to cut costs is by planning. When you plan in advance, you can avoid paying the high cost associated with expediting and faster shipping. When building a mold, allow tolerance for plating so that no masking is needed when it’s time to apply a coating. If your mold is already built and there’s no tolerance, consider having us plate the whole part, then use your in-house grinder to grind the sides back to fit. That method can be more economical and have a faster turn around.

Q: How can I get my job done faster?

A: The more paperwork and back-and-forth, the more time your job will take. The process is more efficient if we get the following upfront from you: purchase order, shipping info (including address, method and any account number) as well as detailed prints or instructions. If anything is unclear or incomplete, we will need to call you to verify, which slows the process.

Q: Why do I have to disassemble my mold before giving it to you?

A: There are two reasons. First, dissimilar metals have different pretreatments for plating. The treatment for one base material might harm the other, so they have to be run separately. Second, the plating process involves liquids that will get trapped in seams and leak out later, causing staining, peeling and other problems.

Q: Will you disassemble for me?

A: Our expertise is plating, not mold building. Our technicians and equipment will never be as expert as yours are. Therefore, we do ask that your molds arrive here disassembled by you, the professionals.

Q: How much plating do I need?

A: It’s recommended that you have .0002 to .0003 per side to get the best benefit from a coating. That should give you enough material to protect and achieve release properties for a typical amount of time. The main thing is communication. Let us know if you have a finish size you need to hit. Is there a range? Are you looking to fix a specific problem? The more we know, the better we can help you.

Q: How close can you hold tolerance?

A: Our electroless nickel products can all be held to within millionths, and we can certify the thickness by analyzing under our X-ray, if you require that. Our chrome plating is done with conforming anodes to minimize dog bone buildup on corners and can be held in tolerance to +/-.00005 when applying a flash.

Q: Are you capable of masking off areas to avoid plating?

A: Yes, our masking department is very skilled at utilizing various masking materials to control the plating. You can get plating only where you need it for form or fit purposes. We do ask for clear prints that show exactly where you want the metal plating to go. Precise communication is critical to meeting your needs.

Q: What do you recommend when running material with a high glass percent?

A: A material with more than 30 percent glass is a prime candidate for Diamond Chrome. With an 87 RC, Diamond Chrome can handle a lot of wear.