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Virbratory finishing of 6061 aluminum. Need advice.

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  • Virbratory finishing of 6061 aluminum. Need advice.

    Hi all. I'm looking for some expert advice and recommendations on finishing some small parts. I make 6061 aluminum wheelie bars for RC trucks and my most tedious process is deburring and removing surface imperfections from my plate aluminum. I use 6061 2" wide x 1/8" thick flats in 6" lengths. Usually, the stock has lots of scratches and marks on it from where the supplier slides it across their saw. Some of the scratches are deep enough to catch with a finger nail. These are hard to remove sometimes. I ship my product with a brushed finish and am looking to decrease my labor to get this finish. Right now, I start sanding the worst imperfections with dry 180 and finish up with a 220 coated foam block wet for my final finish. Sometimes the sanding process can take 15 minutes or more to complete for one part depending on how bad it is scratched up. My question it this - can I replace most of my laborous sanding with a vibratory system? What size system would I need for 10 at a time? What media would you recommend just to get the surface cut down smooth? I don't want polished, just smooth without deep scratches. I would like to be able to just give the parts a quick directional lapping with my 220 coated foam block by hand to finish them off. Thanks.
    Last edited by tndiverdown; 02-27-2006, 11:55 AM.

  • #2
    Re: Virbratory finishing of 6061 aluminum. Need advice.

    tndiverdown,

    Have you tried using a belt sander then your 220 coated foam block?

    John

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    • #3
      Re: Virbratory finishing of 6061 aluminum. Need advice.

      Yeah, with pretty negative results. The main problem is that the aluminum just a little concave lengthwise at times and the belt doesn't contact evenly. I usually end up with more hand sanding to clean up the mess I make if I try the belt.

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      • #4
        Re: Virbratory finishing of 6061 aluminum. Need advice.

        No advice? Anyone? Surely someone has has experience with this.

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        • #5
          Re: Virbratory finishing of 6061 aluminum. Need advice.

          if you have a bench grinder i would maybe look at a spiral wheel and the 220 grit greaseless. this will cut the part down fast then if you need the grained finish hit it with paper. sorry i have no experience with a vibratory polisher.
          when in doubt polish it out/ why replace it when you can refinish it
          G2 Polishing and Powdercoating

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