View Full Version : Aluminum finish issues.
05-18-2010, 06:19 PM
Can someone suggest an efficient way of putting a Matt finish on new aluminum pipe that are being used for handrails. If I'm right then a 4 1/2'' Scotchbright and backup disk should do it and leave a professional finish?
I have just spent a good part of my day doing this by hand with sandpaper at my new job and no matter how it is done no one seems to be able to have a professional look with the sandpaper and the foreman is telling me that this is the way it's done. Might as well take our grinders and give us files.
05-18-2010, 08:33 PM
Glass bead blast. I'd do it like my foreman told me to though. He makes decisions like that for a living. Let him earn his money.
05-18-2010, 10:11 PM
Flex pipe sander is made for the job but not cheap.
05-19-2010, 06:41 AM
Thanks for the info guys. It's in the past anyway. I have moved on to find a better working environment. I have been in the welding/fabrication/sheet metal working world since 1987 and there is no way in Hattie that some "foreman" knows it all, as none of us do, and if the owner brings me in to "help build his company" and I'm blown off by a man with management issues then I really don't need to be there.
I have my own management issues to deal with and that would be in the realm of anger management but I don't bring it to the work table. This really brings to mind of a thread I was reading that BC started on certs.
I'm not certified either and never have been but I get each and every job that I weld test for. So with that line of thinking, just because this man is the foreman and gets paid to do so doesn't mean he knows what he's doing. I had a long talk with the owner yesterday before I left and I bet things will change around there.
I know he is going over to another method of aluminum finishing other than sandpaper. When a shop is cranking out 100's of feet of rail a day how in the world does the "foreman" expect very experienced men to hand sand all that work? It's not profitable nor productive. And besides, I demand top pay for my aluminum Tig welding skills and I am very offended when anyone suggest that I hand finish anything with sandpaper.
I could understand if the company just started the particular job and was in the process of figuring it out but that's not the case here. This is a wealthy company and has the money to do it right and if they cut corners on this then what will they do for their employees? Cut corners there as well and piss off the entire local welding population. This shop has an very high employee turn over and I was told by several friends that I wouldn't last a week there because of it and you know what? They were dead right and Bravo Fence is having one **** of a time finding permanent men that will stay for the long haul.
it's a little late now, but I believe you were on the right path with scotchbrite, though I would expect to run an abrasive belt, like a belt sander but with scotchbrite material, and run it all in one direction to get a 'brushed' look. I beleive that is how many manufacturers finish aluminum.
05-19-2010, 10:10 AM
Maybe with a little help from the "big guy" you can get the foreman to pull his hatrack out of his lower posterior and realize that hand sanding 100's of feet of aluminum is not cost effective.
Besides, if he pulls his head out, there will be more room for your boot, when you decide to leave.:D
05-19-2010, 11:11 AM
For sanding around the circumference there are various hand held pipe sanders.
Then there's the big stuff: http://www.buffingandpolishing.com/tube_Bar_polishing_grinding_machines.htm
05-20-2010, 07:55 AM
This is a wealthy company and has the money to do it right and if they cut corners on this then what will they do for their employees? Cut corners there as well and piss off the entire local welding population. This shop has an very high employee turn over and I was told by several friends that I wouldn't last a week there because of it and you know what?
Poop rolls downhill and usually onto the welders. Many weld/fab companies that have deep pockets think they can take over the world by hireing young O V E R E D U M A C A T E D and O V E R P A I D computer plinkers. They are FOOLS, whithout WISDOM intellegence is as usless as titts on a boar.;)