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How to polish 3/4" plates economically

March 31, 2008

I want to polish about 80 steel plates a month. The plates dimensions are:

Thickness: 3/4"
Length: 24", 36" 48" 60" and 72" (60" and 72" not very common)
Width: 24" and 30"
Material: A36 steel
Flatness: They arrive at my shop 1/16" from corner to corner.

Right now I polish them by hand with a hand tool using a grain 36 flap wheel. The roughness that I want is not that critical. Its about 60Ra to 120 Ra. As you can see it does not matter.

The problem that I have is that doing it by hand is a very hard and dirty job. On the other hand the machines that I know of (Blanchard, Mattison, Time Savers, etc.) are very expensive. remember I only make about 80 a month.

I would really appreciate if someone has an idea on how to make a economic machine that can do the work.

Best Regards,

Jaime Obregon
manufacturing manager - Mexico

Maybe an industrial type manual belt sander could do the job faster than your actual flap wheels. They normally have a vacuum extraction device and a bag to collect dust. The solution for your problem is mostly a matter of applied power. More HP or watts mean more metal removed per unit of time. If you need more power perhaps you may build a fixture with a traveling rotary shaft equipped with pulleys, abrasive belts and a table. No big deal for someone with basic knowledge of mechanics. G. Marrufo-Monterey, Mexico

Guillermo Marrufo
Monterrey, NL, Mexico
April 4, 2008

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