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Thread: Stainless surface finish, what to do?

  1. #1
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    Stainless surface finish, what to do?

    My first stainless weldment. Not my first time welding stainless, but first one to this extent. I've already learned a few lessons on this one. Its some kind cart/table. Way more than it needs to be for whatever it does, i'm sure. I've gotten this far with just a 4" flap wheel and a "grind N polish" flap disk. How do i leave a good finish on the large "flat" areas? I don't need a mirror or scratch free finish but the better it looks, the happier I will be. P.s I know the doors are crooked lol.
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  2. #2
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    Re: Stainless surface finish, what to do?

    Maroon scotch bright pads, you can wet them and it will leave a very nice machined finish. Depending on if you do a circular or straight pattern will give you a differnt look. Wipe it down with acetone and then shoot a very light first coat, let flash and a second medium coat of Matrix MS-52 clear coat over the entire thing.
    ESAB Rebels 215 and 235, ESAB HELIARC 281i, ESAB ET 301i, Hypertherm 85 and 45XP, Thermal Arc 185, TD 60i, HTP PRO PULSE 300

  3. #3
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    Re: Stainless surface finish, what to do?

    Do I scotch brite by hand or on a wheel? Do I do on side then clear it asap, and so on or do I polish everything and then shoot it? I can't really ensure a dust free environment for much more than a couple hours a day.

  4. #4
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    Re: Stainless surface finish, what to do?

    Start by hand, see how you like the pattern, try it on a test piece if needed. You can use various scotchbrite discs also, all depends on what finish you are looking for? I generally get the entire project complete then wipe it down and clear coat.
    ESAB Rebels 215 and 235, ESAB HELIARC 281i, ESAB ET 301i, Hypertherm 85 and 45XP, Thermal Arc 185, TD 60i, HTP PRO PULSE 300

  5. #5
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    Re: Stainless surface finish, what to do?

    I like to use the maroon scotchbrite 2" drums on a 1/4" mandrel rather than the circular pads of the frames because it blends in one direction . I usually use a right a 3/8" right angle drill motor(battery) because its slower. The pads on a grinder make more of a swirl texture. They make a Grey that is finer, if you need a smoother finish. Just remember to make these stainless only items. Don't want any rusty patches to appear. Sometimes in my shop people borrow them and bring them back coated in oil or grease or use on mild steel. Nice work, hope to see the finished pic's.
    Good luck.
    Last edited by albrightree; 05-29-2019 at 05:11 PM.
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    Re: Stainless surface finish, what to do?

    I have a different approach, doing this by hand would labor intensive and take more time, use a random orbital sander.
    If there are scratches this will hide them fairly weld as it creates a random pattern, that, when you finish creates a consistent look.

    I use a 80 or 120 grit to start and finish with the maroon scotch brite. You can start with a finer grit if all you want is
    a light finish, try on a test piece first to see what you like.
    Richard
    West coast of Florida

  7. #7
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    Re: Stainless surface finish, what to do?

    Quote Originally Posted by LtBadd View Post
    use a random orbital sander.
    Just the ingenuity i'm looking for, you sir get a gold star
    Everything else id still like to consider so keep it coming.

    @albrightree I'm aware of carbon pick-up but good to mention

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    Re: Stainless surface finish, what to do?

    Orbital or a pneumatic body file with 80 grit for a brushed finish. I wouldnt clear it though.

  9. #9
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    Re: Stainless surface finish, what to do?

    Straightened up the doors today.
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  10. #10
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    Re: Stainless surface finish, what to do?

    Always try to avoid polishing large surfaces like those panels. Your tube is a number 4 finished (brushed).
    You really should of got the same finish for your sheet if u wanted it to match the tube.
    However it looks like the sheets finish is 2B which is used mostly in industrial applications
    No matter what polishing method u use u will never be able to polish it to No4 perfectly.
    I wouldn't use an orbital sander on stainless. If I were u I would simply wipe it down so to remove all the finger marks.
    The 2B sheet doesn't look bad in the No4 tube

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