Lately I've been making a lot of little accessories(keychains, dogtags, beltbuckles, ect.) out of stainless steel. I'd like to be shine up the surface "post weld" without pitting the welds or the surface. Is there a certain type of "soft" wire wheel that you've had good luck with? I'm also looking into getting some nitric acid, but I'd rather find it locally as opposed to ordering it online and dealing with the hazmat shipping, ect. What kind of places would I find this at?
Thanks in advance for any help, advice!
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Thread: Cleaning stainless after weld
03-30-2008, 10:34 AM #1
Cleaning stainless after weld
03-30-2008, 11:28 AM #2Senior Member
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about fifteen years ago when I worked for a medical goods manufacturer We would polish out the welds on the stainless steel I.V. stands with green knife makers rouge and a wire wheel with .004 wires on it. It worked fine but you had to load the wire wheel with rouge or it would just frost the stainless.
This technique work great at removing the discoloration on stainless welds
Should be able to get the rouge from any good polishing supply house Brownells.com would be a good source for wheels too. Oh and if at all possible be sure the wheel is stainless also this will keep carbon steel from being embedded in the stainless and causing rust later on.
My advice on Nitric acid is to avoid at all cost. or use it on as a very last resort. That is very nasty stuffMiller Syncrowave 200 W/Radiator 1A & water cooled torch
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03-30-2008, 12:40 PM #3
03-30-2008, 12:53 PM #4
If you want to polish it, just go to a local hardware store, buy a buffing wheel for your grinder, and a couple of tubes of jeweler's rouge in different grits.
That'll do it.
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03-30-2008, 02:22 PM #5
03-30-2008, 03:20 PM #6Senior Member
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- Nov 2006
KB fabrications made his own electrolytic weld cleaning machine- uses phosphoric acid and electricity to 'passivate stainless'
Citric acid can also be used to passivate stainless. I've had a quick play with lemon juice and a 12V halogen downlighter. It worked but was too slow- transformer was only 60W output, more power and/or a commercial acid (citric or phosphoric) should correct that.
Maybe Kevin will chime in.
A good low tech method is a SOFT bristle stainless toothbrush. The trick is to brush the weld while it's still hot- discolouration comes right off
As the parts you're working with are small another method would be to avoid any weld colour. Argon is heavier than air- fab up a shallow tray out of stainless, fill with argon (add a fitting at the base to pipe in argon) and weld the parts in it. Probably only worth doing if you're making several pieces at a time
03-30-2008, 06:43 PM #7
I have a lot of pics of stuff here:
Hey Peter, I'll have to check that electrolysis out. I'd like to use a soft stainless wire wheel, I'm just have trouble finding one!
03-30-2008, 10:53 PM #8Senior Member
- Join Date
- Feb 2008
- North of Phila. PA
How about a small tumbler? You can pick up one of the drum styles used to polish brass cartridge cases. Toss in your stuff and let it run. I built a much larger one to clean the inside of tanks. Motor, rollers and a sealable drum are about it. If you are interested I'll pass on some more info.
03-31-2008, 01:57 AM #9
I'm sure the rouge will work fine, but for fun, if you want to try acids, how about your local pool supply place? I'm not sure about nitric acid, but I was wondering how muratic acid would do...anybody?I'm not late...
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03-31-2008, 04:04 PM #10