Results 1 to 6 of 6
Like Tree1Likes
  • 1 Post By Rasper

Thread: Polishing Stainless Steel in Tumbler.

  1. #1
    cadmus's Avatar
    cadmus is offline New User
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Colorado USA
    Posts
    4

    Default Polishing Stainless Steel in Tumbler.

    I have lots of hardware and small machined pieces made of stainless steel (304 maybe 316). Big stuff i can polish with a wheel but lots of it is too small (with hard to reach spots) even for a dremel. Since so many people use stainless steel shot as the medium for polishing other things it is very difficult to search for products and advice. I read a lot of threads here but found little on stainless in a tumbler.

    I am seeing so many ceramic stars, ceramic triangles, powdered silica, aluminum oxide grit, corn cob meal, plastic balls.... what should i use? What should i read as a guide or training text? what are good products? what are overly expensive products?

    I assume that in a tumbler i will never get the mirror finish that one gets on a wheel. Is that true? I am ok with that I am just polishing hardware and parts. But ideally i would like to learn the steps and products used to get as close as I can. The hardware and parts starts fairly deburred/sanded but learning the process from burred to mirrored would be great. If anyone can suggest some reading material or explain the process and products that would be great.

    If I have small stainless pieces with tapped (very finely threaded) holes (3/32") in it and i want to polish the outside of the pieces but not damage the threads do i just use a media larger than 3/32"? OR does it not matter because polishing grit in the holes will never see any forces or friction as it is protected in a hole? or do i plug the hole with wax? (I can always blow material out with compressed air)

    I am in not hurry (polishing can take all week for all i care) with the polishing just want it to look (kinda) good without dulling my treads and going crazy from tedious dremel polishing. Right now I am talking about hobby tumbler sizes. If i like the finish i will invest in or build a bigger tumbler. I am not making show quality parts nor am i making parts for the space shuttle. Just cleaning up recently machined or restored hardware.

    Thanks in advance for your help and advice.
    Last edited by cadmus; 10-15-2012 at 10:42 AM. Reason: bab speeling

  2. #2
    cadmus's Avatar
    cadmus is offline New User
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Colorado USA
    Posts
    4

    Default Re: Polishing Stainless Steel in Tumbler.

    This was the response from a Caswell rep:
    "If you're not removing burr marks etc, then I'd start with a walnut shell media. See http://www.caswellplating.com/buffin...shell-5lb.html

    You should be able to get a mirror finish using this (may take several days). As with any polishing, metal is being removed, so if thread tolerance is critical, they must be protected."

    This was the response from a Kramer rep:
    "...Here are two options for polishing the stainless parts:

    Option 1 (wet process)
    Stainless Steel Jewelry Mix and Kramco 910 Burnishing compoundicon. This media should provide a very high polish on the parts but may also get into the holes and possibly get stuck. Cycle times are likely to be in the 2-4 hour range.

    Option 2 (dry process)
    Fine Walnut Shell Grit and Metaglos Polishing compoundicon. This will be a longer cycle time (24+ hours) but may come close to the near-mirror finish you noted. The parts will need to be cleaned after tumbling as some of the compoundicon will probably get stuck in the holes, etc.

    Of course, it is difficult to understand exactly what the part looks like or what surface is prior to tumbling just from a description. In addition, it would not be unreasonable to use the two options above as a two-step process. "
    these are the links to those products:
    KramerDepot Walnut Shell
    Metal and Plastic Polishing Creams for Dry Tumbling
    KramerDepot Finishing Creams



    Does anyone know of a cheaper alternative to the Metaglos Polishing cream/compoundicon/stuff linked above?
    Last edited by cadmus; 10-18-2012 at 10:26 AM.

  3. #3
    Rasper is offline Metal Finishing Guru
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Huatulco, Mexico
    Posts
    522

    Default Re: Polishing Stainless Steel in Tumbler.

    Thank you for posting your findings. It is great to have that for future reference. There are not many, if any, tumbler polishers active on this forum right now. Not many active polishers period. The economic collapse seemed to put a stop to a lot of the polishing activity. Metal polishers tend to be blue collar guys and blue collar guys took it on the chin. The Wall Street guys don't get their hands dirty, at least not with honest dirt.

    Richard
    Jycorro likes this.

  4. #4
    cadmus's Avatar
    cadmus is offline New User
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Colorado USA
    Posts
    4

    Default Re: Polishing Stainless Steel in Tumbler.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rasper View Post
    .....The Wall Street guys don't get their hands dirty, at least not with honest dirt....
    Hands dirty? They were not hurt at all. Banks made a killing every year since the bailout? (Same with BigOil)
    Last edited by cadmus; 11-10-2012 at 10:41 PM.

  5. #5
    cadmus's Avatar
    cadmus is offline New User
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Colorado USA
    Posts
    4

    Default Re: Polishing Stainless Steel in Tumbler.

    After several attempts I gave up on Raytech. They first responded with an email telling me to read somethign that i had read several times before and my original questions cited it:
    http://www.raytechmetalfinishing.com...-finishing.php
    Then when i asked that they respond to my original questions about polishing media and c0mpounds in MY BARREL TUMBLER they tried to sell me a different systemicon that was way smaller than what i have but is worth more than my car. Go figure. I guess they lost a sale.


    Also, I would like to point out that in the above post i use the word "C0mpound" and link is automatically inserted. I did not insert this link. I am not sure where it came from.
    Last edited by cadmus; 11-10-2012 at 10:45 PM.

  6. #6
    BAMCNC is offline New User
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Posts
    30

    Default Re: Polishing Stainless Steel in Tumbler.

    I use a vibratory tumbler using Walnut with Jewelers rouge and Flitz additive. Mirror in 24-48 hours (Depends on how many parts in there).

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Similar Threads

  1. Stainless steel polishing needed
    By squeakylizard in forum Services Offered/Wanted
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 05-03-2010, 03:52 PM
  2. Polishing Stainless Steel to a 2B Finish
    By jtgilber in forum Metal Polishing Questions
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 04-29-2010, 05:07 PM
  3. Stainless Steel gun slide polishing?
    By mountainbikernc in forum Other Metal Finishing Questions
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 05-13-2007, 09:56 AM
  4. Polishing Stainless Steel
    By mboyd3 in forum Metal Polishing Questions
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 07-15-2005, 02:39 PM
  5. Polishing Stainless Steel
    By RiverBoy in forum Metal Polishing Questions
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 07-03-2004, 10:44 AM

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •