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The Finished Part Blog

The Finished Part Blog

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Polishing Stainless Steel

Stainless Steel Polishing
Machined stainless steel parts typically have sharp edges, burrs and a matte surface finish. Vibratory tumbling can be used to get a polished finish sometimes even down to just a few Ra surface profile. This is often a multi-step process.

The part on the left is the 'raw' part ready for deburring and polishing. The first step is to deburr and round the edges. This was accomplished using a KM general purpose Ceramic Media. This was a wet process using a solution of Kramco 1010 General Purpose Compound. The result at this point (not pictured) was a matte, tumbled finish with rounded edges.

The second step needed to get the pictured polish (on the right) involved tumbling with a Precision Ceramic Sphere and a solution of Kramco 2020 Burnishing Compound. Generally, a rounder media will produce a smoother finish than an angular media.

This part could be further polished with other tumbling media or hand buffed to a near-mirror finish.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Glass Bead vs Aluminum Oxide Grit

Aluminum Parts

Glass Bead (left) vs Aluminum Oxide Grit (right)
These pictures show the differences between blasting an aluminum part (middle of top picture) with either a Glass Bead - 100/170 Medium-Fine and Aluminum Oxide Grit - 220 Mesh.

The Glass Bead blasted part has much more a peened, smooth, uniform finish. The Aluminum Oxide Grit blasted part also has a uniform finish but is more etched and 'darker'.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Acrylic Duck Calls

Acrylic Duck Calls
Above is an other good example of the results that can be obtained with dry barrel tumbling using Hardwood Media and the Finishing Creams. The part directly out of the milling is on the left and the final result is on the right.

There are a number of other pictures with brief descriptions of the process used located at these links:

Polishing Molded Acrylic
Polishing Machined Acrylic
Polishing Colorless Acrylic
Acrylic Button Polishing
Acrylic Knife Handles

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Frosting Glass

Frosting clear glass to create a totally different look or put some type of design on the glass is a very simple process. This clear glass was abrasive blasted with a White Aluminum Oxide Grit - 240 Mesh to produce a translucent finish.

The use of a resist or pattern with exposed areas will allow for only select areas of the glass to be etched leaving the rest clear.

Different grit sizes will produce smoother or rougher finishes and cut to different depths into the glass.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Heavy Deburring - Small Parts

Deburring Small Parts
Often times, the machining of small parts can lead to very heavy burrs and difficult areas to finish. The steel gear pictured above has a diameter of about 1/4". The machining to make the gear teeth left very heavy burrs on the edges (see part on left). The burrs can be seen as the excess material that is hanging off the edges and rolled into curls. All this steel needs to be removed before the part is functional.

The two primary criteria for finding the proper media are (1) small enough to get into the area between the teeth and not get stuck and (2) aggressive enough to remove the extraneous steel and burrs without overly changing the dimensions and tolerances of the part.

This part was deburred (see part on right) using a general purpose, deburring Ceramic Cone in a vibratory tumbler. This shape was chosen since the tip of the media will get between the teeth to remove the burrs. The general purpose bond or formulation (KM in this case) provided the best balance of deburring without being overly aggressive.

While this process did remove nearly all of the burrs on the gear teeth in only 1 hour, looking closely at the finished part will reveal some material still left on the edges. In some cases this metal needs to be removed as well and would require longer cycle times, more aggressive media and/or additional grinding steps.
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