If you run a company that wants to start specializing in the finishing of metal in large quantities, you’ll likely want to know how to go about it. That’s why we’ve put together a guide detailing the best process for you to follow. Without further ado, here’s our simple six-step guide to mass finishing.
Choosing a Mass Finisher Machine
You might already have a few of these machines on hand, but rotary, magnetic pin, centrifugal, and vibratory finishers are the main ones you can use for this process. Rotary takes the longest, by far, but it can run stainless steel shot without a problem. Magnetic pin finishers are a bit faster and great at burnishing hard-to-reach places and achieving a shiny finish.
Centrifugal finishers are the fastest in the group. Their speed allows them to be the most effective in the cut-down process. Finally, we have the vibratory finishers. They are almost as fast as the centrifugal ones, but they specialize in performing wet finishes. If that’s what you prefer and you don’t have one yet, be sure to check out our selection of vibratory finishing machines.
Preparing the Surfaces
Before using one of these machines for a new set of metals, you must check the surfaces for any left-over oil, dirt, or debris. These materials can negatively affect your next batch, so taking the time to thoroughly clean the machine with proper cleaning agents is a must.
Doing Some Oxidation
This step isn’t as vital as the previous one, but it’s not a bad idea to oxidize your machine before its subsequent use. It will help highlight the design details of the whole thing, which will lead to a better first round of the cut-down cycle.
Starting the Cut-Down Process
Now, it’s time to start the actual finishing process. You need to begin with the cut-down procedure, which is done to smooth out the rough edges of the metal in question. First, you must pick out a media to use in the machine. Plastic and ceramic are the go-to choices here. Plastic media is smoother and works best on metal with little to no detail, whereas ceramic media is more rigid and is best for flattening out rougher pieces of metal. After two to three cut-down rounds in the machine, it’s time to move on to the next step.
Follow Up With Burnishing
The process of burnishing is mainly a continuation of the cut-down one. It focuses on smoothing out the metal even more. However, this time it uses non-abrasive media to do so, which will leave fewer marks and scratches.
Finish It Out With Polishing
For the final part of our six-step guide to mass finishing, it’s time to polish the metal to utter perfection. The two leading picks for polishing media are red or green and buff or shell shines. The only difference between the two is that buff is a bit softer than shell. If your metal is made out of silver, nickel, or white metals, you’ll want the green versions. If the pieces are made out of brass, copper, bronze, or gold, then red will be the type you want.
If that all sounds a bit complicated, you can actually use walnut for polishing. It’s universal, which means you can use it on all types of metal.
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