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Bead Blasting of stainless steel

4144 Views 2 Replies 2 Participants Last post by  M. Hall
Dane, Steve and other Pro 'Smiths out there,
What do you do and use to refinish stainless
without any kind of coating. How do you
prep it before and after the bead-blast?
What type of material do you use as a medium?
I'm in the middle of one, so please let me
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It depends on the look you want. There are many ways to finish stainless, here's what we do.

For a rough and tumble gun, sand or aluminum oxide at low pressure will give you a rough matte finish and covers up quite a bit of surface imperfections.

Glass bead blasting at medium-high pressure gives a smoother matte finish. Needs more surface prep.

Polished requires a lot of hard work. We work on a surface plate (a large, precision machined block of granite) and use abrasives. Any flat, smooth surface will do, a sheet of glass works well.

Start with about 100 grit sandpaper and work your way up to finer grits until you reach the level of polish desired. Apply elbow grease liberally and often. :wink:

Polish with the grain of the steel (lengthwise on barstock and forged frames and slides).

Generally speaking, the coarser finishes are more susceptible to corrosion than those with a higher level of polish. On the other hand they are nonreflective, less vulnerable to scratches and easier to touch up.

Do all your fitting, machining, dehorning and touch up of cosmetic details before you pressure blast or polish. For a 2 tone look tape off the flats and blast the rounds. Then remove the tape and polish the flats to your desired level of finish.

Use a light oil, or better yet a Sentry Tuff cloth to help prevent corrosion.
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Thanks Steve!!!
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