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View Full Version : What finishing equipment should i be looking at?



Davek0974
10-07-2008, 05:16 AM
Hi all,

my home shop has the usual bits in it; bridgeport, big and small lathes, pillar drill and bench grinder.

I have nothing apart from emery cloth and elbow grease to aid in getting a good finish. I dont want to get loads of machinery so whats the number 1 tool for finish?

1-Linisher/belt sander,
2-Another grinder with de-burring wheel on one end and buffing mop on the other,
3-Something else.

Any suggestions?

Thanks in advance.
Dave

JCHannum
10-07-2008, 07:44 AM
The number one tool is a file.

madman
10-07-2008, 07:50 AM
Theres 2 types i use. One is brown and the other reddish. The browns for tougher material (Stainless Steel which i machine a lot of) and coarser but they both impart a great finish on machines faces of all types. Also i use the round scotch bright pads in my 90 degree air grinder also. Later Mike

Davek0974
10-07-2008, 07:58 AM
Ok, yes i do have files of course:)

The scotchbrite works great, i have red and green ones, i also use emery cloth with lots of oil on it, bit old-school but it works.

I was just wondering what others use, but it seems i'm there already.

Dave

Mcgyver
10-07-2008, 09:01 AM
depends what you mean by a good finish. Personally I like a 'bright finish', not polished shiny but what you'd get from grinding or using worn 220 grit emery or even some 600 - but don't go too far there or you might travel into shiny territory'. If shiny is your thing, you'll need polishing equipment, polishing wheels with the right compound (grit and it varies by material).

To get to a bright finish, like JC said, lots of good quality files - throw away the junk, buy good ones, put the lutz scrooozon (or whatever the heck they call them) handles of the right size on and you'll still be using them 10 years from now. With the right compliment of files, going to shorter smooth ones as the tooling marks disappear, you should be able to a great, almost ground like finish without emery....over the course of a job, filing would occupy most of the time with a bit of emery at the end if desired and you'd be done way faster than those you go straight to emery

JCHannum
10-07-2008, 09:34 AM
Don't forget the chalk and file card either. It takes a bit of practice to know just when the file is going to pin, and destroy the finish, but a very good finish can be attained with a file.

It is a matter of preference, but if a finer finish is desired, use of progressively finer abrasive cloth is next, but always back it with a file or shaped solid backup to prevent rounding corners.

daryl bane
10-07-2008, 10:36 AM
One of the best additions I've made lately is a vibratory polisher. Got one at HF,and retrofitted it for soap/fluid and a drain. You'll have to go p/u some decent media from a place that specializes in that sort of thing. Throw in some bits, (especially alum.) and a few hours later, wow! Also a good Baldor polisher, buffs, rouge, is good to have in a "dirty corner".

GadgetBuilder
10-07-2008, 11:48 AM
I guess it depends how fussy you are about the finish. I'm a bit of a slacker on finishing - I use a bench sander that takes 4x36 belts to finish most flat surfaces. An 80 grit belt leaves a coarse finish when its new but once it has some mileage on it the finish is OK for my level of work. I have finer belts but mostly I use 80.

The flat surfaces on this toolholder were done this way:
http://www.gadgetbuilder.com/Thomas1.jpg

The bench sander is useful for many other things too - removing rust from steel before machining, for example.

John

wierdscience
10-07-2008, 09:27 PM
A small abrasive blast cabinet is a good addition.It's great for things that you want a consistent matt finish or with the right media a low polish.

Mad Scientist
10-07-2008, 10:21 PM
For much of what I do I use a belt sander to remove sharp corners, then sandblast it to hide the tooling marks.
I find this to be quick and easy to do, plus it looks good and impresses the people who I make parts for.

bobw53
10-07-2008, 10:45 PM
I make chips for a living, and a 1" belt sander and a debur/metalfinishing wheel takes care of 95% of what I need. I don't do cosmetic parts, too much fluffy foo foo for me.

I think most of you homeshop guys would love the metalfinishing wheels.

http://metalworking.mscdirect.com/CGI/NNSRIT?PMPXNO=9215417

one of these guys or the 3m equivilant. They leave a beautiful, professional looking edge break, and one wheel will last for years in a home shop. Running 40-60 hours a week, I eat through about 3 a year, really fast deburring also. I like them on a 1700rpm buffer, up to about 3500rpm isn't bad, but you eat them up pretty quick and they get a bit jumpy on a 6000 rpm.

Another plus, if you need to make a radius, the little belt sander to rough and the metal finishing wheel will give you a beautiful radius. Also if leaned into can blend steps and make some tool blemishes disappear. Best thing I've ever found for deburring.

dalesvp
10-08-2008, 05:39 AM
Three step finishing procedure for me 1) is by hand or palm sander from 220 to 1200 grit then 2) course then fine buffing on 1.5 hp buffing wheels*. The buffing wheel can 'polish' a 320 grit surface and above. The finer the sand grit the finer the end buffed finish. Once machine polished 3) hand polish with Mother's Mag and Chrome polish brings out the luster.

*If part is too small or delicate for 10" buffing wheels use a dremel or similar mini-buffing wheels.

What this procedure looks like:

http://www.svpvril.com/Altea/Altea.html

Davek0974
10-08-2008, 06:06 AM
WOW, nice finish.

(what is it?) :)

aboard_epsilon
10-08-2008, 07:03 AM
Three step finishing procedure for me 1) is by hand or palm sander from 220 to 1200 grit then 2) course then fine buffing on 1.5 hp buffing wheels*. The buffing wheel can 'polish' a 320 grit surface and above. The finer the sand grit the finer the end buffed finish. Once machine polished 3) hand polish with Mother's Mag and Chrome polish brings out the luster.

*If part is too small or delicate for 10" buffing wheels use a dremel or similar mini-buffing wheels.

What this procedure looks like:

http://www.svpvril.com/Altea/Altea.html

i dont know what it is either ..but you have a mucky puppy thats done its job under the table in the last pic

all thew best.markj

Your Old Dog
10-08-2008, 07:37 AM
If you want to go it by hand it isn't all that difficult if working smaller parts.

When I was engraving I used 8x10 wet/dry sandpaper from the auto supply store. I folded them so I had 6 equal sized pieces and then cut them out. then folded a sheet double and had a piece if 1/4" thick leather cut the same size as the folded sheet to use as a backer. Water was used to carry away worn grit.

The trick is to use every grade available in the sandpaper and not to cheat by skipping a grade. The second sheet you use is only obligated with removing the finish left by the first one you used and so on. You rub at 90 degrees to each prior sheet of paper until no sign of the prior sheet is seen. If you do this, by the time you get to 500 grit you are a minute away from a mirrior finish on the buffer.

Calling from a rusty memory my process was to drawfile (if over a sawn finish), 80, 120, 220, 320, 400 and 500 grits. While this may seem like a waste of money, the fact is your paper will last much longer with more steps involved. Asking 400 grit to eliminate bandsaw marks is asking a lot of one grade :D

dalesvp
10-09-2008, 09:33 AM
WOW, nice finish.

(what is it?) :)

These devices were made originally in the 1880s as a power source. Here is more information:

http://www.svpvril.com/svpvril.html#What

PS: Not a puppy mess but pebbles left there by the homeowner.

pcarpenter
10-09-2008, 09:59 AM
Dude...all you need are some sandals, love beads and a doobie while reading that.:D

That and maybe a tinfoil hat.:rolleyes:

Paul

motomoron
10-09-2008, 12:00 PM
Vargus or Shaviv deburring tools w/ range of brades.
Small knives and scrapers.
A range of files. Stored properly, maintained well.
Range of abrasive sheet and roll from 120 to 1500 grit.
Genuine 3M Scotchbrite in various grades.

Baldor 1/2 or 3/4 HP buffer on stand w/ a 3M involute blending wheel on one end and a range of spiral cloth, sisal and felt wheels and compounds.

10 or 12" disc/48" belt stationary sander w/ range of abrasives.

Bead blast cabinet with enough compressed air loaded with regular glass bead media. Extra walnut shell media in case you ever need to do engine or transmission internal parts and you're willing to surgically clean the inside of the cab when you switch over.

Small tumbler w/ range of media.

I have and use everything but the tumbler, and if I had to have only one powered finishing tool it's be a 3/4HP Baldor on a TP Tools cabinet base w/ a 3M wheel and buffing supplies.

I have a Dayton 12" disc/48" belt next to the vertical bandsaw which is used essentially immediately after every use of said bandsaw.

Can't have too much finishing stuff...