Friday, August 31, 2012

Brush and Satin Finish on Stainless Steel or Aluminum


While at first glance deburring and finishing stainless steel and aluminum may seem somewhat a niche market it should be noted that with the correct Dynabrade tools and Abrasives, grinding wheels, sanding discs, sanding belts, surface conditioning discs, buffing wheels and compounds almost any weld shop can take on this type of work. It is hard to put a number on how many steel fabricators, welding shops, artists, garages, etc. I have been called into because a nervous owner, foreman or project manager took on railing jobs that were above their expertise. Most thought they were going to lose their shirt once they got to the metal finishing stages on somewhat temperamental stainless metals or aluminum.
The best advice I can give anyone who wants to Brush Finish Stainless Steel or Satin Finish Aluminum in a professional manner is set up your shop and your polisher with the necessary Dynabrade tools and Abrasives. If you are willing to allocate some of your time and hard earned money as an investment in yourself and your company the quality stainless or aluminum projects you fabricate will come back to you financially many times over. The most common abrasives questions I get asked for these metal finishes are some of the easiest to answer. That's not to say I haven't seen some interesting challenges over the years. I have visited many metal fabricators and woodshops that work on all types of metals and woods.
A consistent finish on stainless or aluminum steel fabricators most commonly want to achieve is a brush finish, satin finish or #3 finish or #4 finish. Most steel fabricators order the stainless steel or aluminum pre-finished to this specification and only need to bring the areas they have welded back to a nice clean satin finish to match.

Dynabrade 14000
Dynabrade 14000
I like to see anyone who is serious about working with or polishing metals such as stainless or aluminum own at least two Dynabrade tools for their shop. The first is a Dynabrade 14000 Dynafile, which is also available in a dynafile kit version, Dynabrade 14010,  which includes the many Dynabrade contact arms and sanding belts.  There are many variations of the Dynafile manufactured by Dynabrade. They are as follows: The Original Dynafile, the Dynabrade 40320 Dynafile II which also comes in a kit Dynabrade 40321, and the Dynabrade 40610 Electric Dynafile II or the kit version Dynabrade 40611. Either one of these Dynafiles will do the job. I prefer the Dynafile II series air or electric. They seem to be the most versatile. You can position the rotating sanding belt head in many different positions depending on the angle of your work piece. The Dynabrade 40610 Electric Dynafile II and the Air Dynafile II 40320 accepts over 20 interchangeable contact arms which will hold sanding belts and surface conditioning belts ⅛" to ¾" in width. Dynabrade 14000 Dynafile standard contact arm 11218 takes a ½”x24” sanding belt and or surface conditioning belt. The Dynabrade 14000 Dynafile accepts over 20 interchangeable contact arms for sanding belts and or surface conditioning belts ranging in from ⅛” to ¾” in width. Dynabrade’s Dynafile's primary function is to grind and polish hard to reach areas on a metal work piece. Some examples of this are the corners or where the welds join together two or more parts. 

The second tool I find to be a necessity from Dynabrade is from the Dynastraight Family. These tools include: The Dynastraight Dynabrade 13204-.7 hp 3,400 RPM or the kit version Dynabrade 13220-.7 hp 3,400 RPM or the Dynastraight Dynabrade 13505 1 hp or the kit version Dynabrade 13525-1 hp 3,400 RPM.

I like these models because they are rated at the proper RPM and have male 5/8-11 threaded wheel arbors which are standard and allow for many different abrasives to be mounted on them.  There still will be a bit of hand sanding or blending that will need to be done but the Dynabrade tools will greatly reduce this amount.


Jon Silberg has been in abrasives products industry for many years. For more information on how to obtain a brush or satin finish on Stainless Steel or Aluminum, please visit the website: http://www.aaabrasives.com



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