Welding Supplies For Stainless Steel Finish Work
Welding supplies for finishing stainless steel come in a wide range, from grinding to buffing, polishing to painting, and blackening to matching mill surfaces. For the purposes of this article, we’re going to stick to more basic finishing techniques, and the supplies needed for those. Choosing the correct supplies and selecting quality products makes your finish work easier and more consistent, giving you a better-finished product.
Basic Finishing On Stainless Steel Welds
- Wheel Grinding – Rough grinding is used to take excess metal from your weld beads. A series of increasingly fine-grit wheels are used to take out the lines from the coarser wheels, and perfect the surface. With each change of grit, the direction of passing the material across the wheel is changed by 90 degrees, to help with removing those lines.
- Angle Grinding – An angle grinder with a fiber disc or a flap disc can be used to remove material. Fiber discs are useful in removing material quickly on either flat or curved surfaces. Flap discs are effective at removing material from heavy welds. The roughest grind are made dry, and successive, finer grinds will use higher speed and water, oil, or a specialized compound to achieve the desired finish.
- Belt Grinding – Also called finishing, belt grinding is another common method for grinding and polishing stainless steel. Belts come in a full range of grits, and also in a variety of widths, which means belt grinding works well for extra wide or extra small parts.
- Polishing – There is a narrow distinction between fine grinding and polishing, but in general, if the process is intended to remove material, it is considered grinding, and if its primary goal is to smooth the material surface, it is considered polishing. Polishing is typically done on either a wheel or a belt, starting with abrasive about 20 numbers finer than the finest grind that was done on the piece.
- Buffing – Buffing refines the finish even further by using a belt or wheel, which does not carry any abrasive of its own. The abrasive used in buffing is a cutting compound, which comes in a solid form, and is rubbed on the wheel or belt as it moves. Cutting compound contains extremely fine abrasives, typically on the order of 300-grit, carried in a specially-formulated grease. This cutting buffing can be the final stage or the finish, or an additional buffing step can be applied.
- Colour Buffing – Colour buffing uses a similar process to cutting buffing, but uses a rouge or colour compound instead of cutting compound. Additional rouge is applied until the desired colour is achieved on the part.
- Cleaning – After the final polishing or buffing, the part is cleaned with soft, clean flannel and whiting or powdered chalk.
Welding Supplies And Expert Advice
Josef Gas is an independent supplier of industrial gases, welding equipment, and welding supplies. We’ve been serving the greater Toronto and Kitchener, Waterloo, Cambridge areas for more than 40 years, and we, ourselves, are welders. If you need expert advice on welding, finishing, or which supplies will work best for your project, give us a call. If you’d like a quote on your welding supplies and gases, please contact us online to let us know what you need.