Restoration Services

Kahlenberg often provides restoration services for Kahlenberg air horns and other marine equipment which have been in service for several years. In many cases our air horns will function for decades without overhaul of any kind, however, surface finishes do not last as long. In the case of chrome plated horns and chrome plated marine equipment in general, a high quality chrome plate finish that is cared for on a regular basis will typically show signs of age within 7 to 10 years time. At this point, if erosion of the chrome surface is significant, the only thing that will return the surface to “as new” condition is to have the old finish replaced with new plating.

Kahlenberg uses a special chrome plating process that is significantly better in terms of resistance to corrosion in a marine environment than typical chrome plating. In addition, it is often the surface preparation that is most critical in restoring chrome plated equipment to original condition. If you choose to have us restore your Kahlenberg Horn or other marine equipment to as new chrome condition, the work we do includes the following steps:

  1. Disassembly of the equipment.
  2. Old plating is chemically stripped from the plated parts.

  3. The parts are sanded/buffed as needed to return them to a mirror finish.
  4. The parts are copper plated and buffed again.

  5. The parts undergo duplex nickel plating and chrome plating processes.

  6. With Kahlenberg Horns, the interior surfaces of the horn sounding body are re-machined to original factory tolerances, and sounding diaphragms replaced with new.
  7. The parts are reassembled, inspected, and tested for proper function.

Besides the chrome plating process itself, there are critical differences between having a Kahlenberg Horn restored at the factory vs. at another plating company:

  1. We re-machine the horn bodies to original tolerances after plating. If this is not done, the horn may not sound properly after restoration.
  2. The projectors (trumpets) of the horns require special fixtures for plating properly on the inside. If these special plating fixtures are not used, the inside of the trumpets will be plated poorly and will very quickly discolor when back in service.

Please contact us with the model number and serial number of the Kahlenberg Air Horn you have. We can then reply with a cost estimate for the restoration work. On average it takes us approximately 4 to 6 weeks to complete the restoration work. Once completed, an air horn we have restored is virtually identical to a new one.

For chrome plated equipment other than Kahlenberg Air Horns, please contact us for a cost and lead time estimate.