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Bill's Chrome in Jeannette offers more variety than name suggests

| Wednesday, March 13, 2013, 9:01 p.m.

Most people may think about antique car bumpers when they think about chrome, but Bill Rosko — of Bill's Chrome — chromes a lot more than that.

Originally Rosko started out in the chroming business when he was young, working a summer job at a company in Larimer called Norwin Plating. At that job, he was taught how to do the stripping and plating and eventually landed a full-time job with a company in Mars.

He worked there for many years, but when the company sold, he opened his own chrome shop in Adamsburg around 1994. After three years in Adamsburg, Rosko moved to his current location at 819 Clay Ave.

Bill's Chrome is pretty much a one-man operation, although Rosko does have people that come in to help him clean up.

Chrome plating is also a process known as just “chrome.” Parts must be degreased to remove heavy soiling and then manually cleaned to remove any residual dirt and surface impurities. The part to be chromed is then placed into a vat where it is electrically plated.

The largest portion of Rosko's business is mainly classic and antique car parts. According to Rosko, cars from the “early 1900s to the 2000s with wheels, door handles, bumpers, hubcaps and doorposts, and anything else that can be chrome plated.”

Rosko had a customer who chrome-plated his battery cover and has a customer who chrome plated his entire car engine.

“Some people go crazy. They say they are addicted to chrome,” said Rosko.

In January, Rosko was mentioned in an article in the magazine Cruisin' Times for the chrome work he did on a 1932 three-window Ford coupe.

According to the magazine's website, Cruisin' Times is the largest car cruiser magazine in the Midwest. Rosko has customers from all over the United States and recently assisted in refurbishing a 1910 Rolls Royce.

Along with chrome-plating car parts, Bill's Chrome also specializes in slot machines, jukeboxes and old bicycles. Rosko has even chrome plated stacks on a $3 million helicopter. In recent years, Rosko has been chrome-plating ax heads and bells for various fire companies around the United States.

Rosko has two children, Bill and Chris, and four grandchildren, Aidan and Mia Rosko, and Timmy and Lauren Toth.

Rosko's wife Laurie is the postmaster in Claridge. The couple enjoy the outdoors and have hunted in both Alaska and Texas. Both have shot bear in Alaska and alligators in Texas. The Roskos have also hiked the Matanuska Glacier in Alaska and hunted in Banff National Park in Canada.

For further information, contact Bill's Chrome at 724-527-5119.

Margie Stanislaw is a freelance writer.

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