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Tumbling media for first pass on stainless?


#1

I’m working on some pieces in alloy 430 stainless. One of the issues
I have is that both sides of the pieces need to be polished to a
reasonably high shine(not mirror, but close). The stainless sheet
I’m able to get at reasonable cost is covered in plastic on one side.
The plastic covered side is pretty easy to polish up to the level I
need. The other side has a much rougher finish with many more
scratches. As a result, my polishing takes far, far longer than I
would like on the back side. One of the things I have been
considering is using either my vibratory polisher or rotary tumbler
to get a more even finish on the back before I take it to the buffer.
I’ve got some Clean Cut media from Rio on hand that I’ve used on some
silver and brass pieces before, but I’m not sure if it would be
appropriate for use on stainless.

I am currently starting on the back side with a 240 grit greaseless
compound, then 400 grit, then 600 grit, then I switch to some
specialty stainless compounds until I get the next level. On the
front, I make a brief pass with 600 before I switch to the specialty
compounds.

So a couple of questions. Does anyone have any suggestions for a
different process that may save me time? If a tumbling process would
work, does anyone have any suggestions on what type of media to use
and which machine might work the best?

Thanks,
Jason