Chrome plating is a time consuming process if chrome is already on the part and repair of pitted parts is required. That's why the chroming shops charge so much.

It is possible to de-chrome your pieces at home with either lye or muriatic acid baths rather than mechanical means. Then do any basic repairs and fills. The pieces then could be sent for rechroming. It would save on some cost, but whether it would be cheaper than buying repro parts I don't know.

Also, if the parts aren't available repro rechroming is the only way to go if you want a quality result.

I talked with one fellow who use to work out a trade of his time at a chrome shop for getting his parts done. These days that might be more difficult.

BTW, There are chroming kits you can buy...

And if you've got a lot of smalls that might be a way you could go if you're willing to strip you own parts anyway. Long pieces would require some ingenuity in designing a submersion system, but for anything that could fit inside a 5 gallon bucket I think these would work.

Collecting anything keeps you young at heart!