Brush and Satin Finish on Stainless Steel or Aluminum Railings

While at first glance deburring & finishing stainless steel and aluminum railings may seem somewhat a niche market it should be noted that with the correct Dynabrade tools, grinding, sanding and polishing products almost any weld shop can take on this type of work. It is hard to put a number on how many steel fabricators, welding shops, artists garages, etc. I have been called into because a nervous owner, foreman or project manager took on railing jobs that were above their expertise. Most thought they were going to lose their shirt once they got to the metal finishing stages on somewhat temperamental stainless or aluminum.

The best advice I can give anyone who wants to Brush Finish Stainless Steel or Aluminum Railings in a professional manner is set up your shop and your polisher with the necessary Dynabrade tools and Abrasives. If you are willing to allocate some of your time and hard earned money as an investment in yourself and your company the quality stainless or aluminum railings you produce will come back to you financially many times over. The most common abrasives questions I get asked for these metal finishes are some of the easiest to answer. That's not to say I have not seen some interesting challenges over the years. I have been in over 1,000 shops that work on all types of metals and woods.

A consistent finish on stainless or aluminum railings steel fabricators want to achieve is a brush, satin or # 3 finish or # 4 finish. Most steel fabricators order the stainless steel or aluminum pre-finished to this specification and only need to bring the areas they have welded back to a nice clean satin finish which will match the rest of the metal railings original finish.

I like to see anyone who is serious about working with metals such as stainless or aluminum own at least two Dynabrade tools for their shop. The first is a Dynabrade Dynafile. There are many variations of the Dynafile which Dynabrade Manufactures. They are as follows: The Original Dynafile model 14000, the dynafile II model 40320, and the Electric Dynafile model 40590. Either one of these Dynafiles will do the job. I prefer the Dynafile II series air or electric. They seem to be the most versatile. You can position the rotating sanding belt head in many different positions depending on the angle of your work piece. The Electric dynafile II and the Air Dynafile II also accept over 20 interchangeable contact arms which will hold sanding belts and surface conditioning belts 1/8 "to ¾" in width.

The Dynafile's primary function is to grind and polish hard to reach areas on a metal work piece. Some examples of this are the corners or where the welds join together two or more parts. The second Dynabrade Tool I find to be a necessity from Dynabrade is from the Dynastraight Family. These tools include: The Dynastraight model 13204 .7 hp 3,400 RPM or the Dynastraight model 13505 1 hp 3,400 RPM.

I like these models because they are rated at the proper RPM and have male 5 / 8-11 threaded wheel arbors which are standard and allow for many different abrasives to be mounted and used on them. If you want to use a dynabrade inflatable rubber drum with sanding belts or surface conditioning belts on it the Dynabrade Pneumatic Wheel part number is 94472. I also recommend a combination of unmounted 6x1x5 / 8 flap wheels in assorted grits for either Dynastraight to help bring the railings back up to the # 3 finish or # 4 finish.