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Satin Finishing: Which Machine Should I Choose?

Cibo Abrasives have three machines which will all provide a high quality satin finish when used for the right application. So which satin finishing machine should you use and when?

Finipower (variable speed grinders): Which work well on box section (up to 100mm wide)

Finimaster Pro: The premium tool for high quality flat surface finishing over larger areas

Finimaster Basic:  Using 100mm keyway wheels and brushes the basic is the predecessor of the Pro and is good for general purpose satin finishing where the quality of the finish is less critical.

Solution 1: Box Section Finishing with the Finipower (variable speed grinder)

Recommended Speed Range: 2,400 - 3,000rpm

Box section finishing has never been simpler than with the Finipower variable speed grinder.  Use the grinder to do any weld prep and grinding work you can then go on to finish on the same tool offering abrasives that give you great control anywhere from scale removal to fine satin grain finishing or even mirror polishing in one simple process.

We recommend using the Finipower grinder with the FMCM and FMTM abrasive wheels when fabricating metal up to around 4 inches wide, this allows you to give the metal a consistent finish without leaving obvious lines down your workpiece.

The 60 grit ceramic combination flap wheel is our high performance ceramic abrasive and coarse tex cloth wheel that we recommend for problems like this. With long lasting durability and a high cut rate, this versatile ceramic flap wheel can be used for a range of applications such as:

  1. Edge shaping
  2. Surface damage removal
  3. Scale removal on stainless steel with a grain finish

Want to improve the finish further?

The 60 grit ceramic flap wheel alone gives a consistent satin finish. But if you are after a finer finish simply refine the existing finish with the 80 grit FMCM wheels to leave a 240 grit satin finish.

Solution 2: Satin Finishing Large Areas with the Finimaster Pro

Recommended Speed Range: 1,200 - 2,400rpm

Use the Finimaster Pro when finish really matters.  The Finimaster Pro is the premium machine for applying a high quality satin finish to a flat (or curved) sheet metal.  The 5 inch inflatable wheels supplied with the machine allows the abrasive sleeves to offer a wide 'footprint' on the workpiece, remove the risk of bouncing and chatter marks which can be evident with smaller machines.

Never used a drum sander before?

A great place to start is with the FX87 80 grit ceramic sleeves / belts which have the aggression to remove quite a bit of damage and scratches in the workpiece whilst leaving a clear grain finish which you can blend to meet your particular requirements.

Step 1: Ensure the inflatable wheel is deflated so that you can slip the 80 grit FX87 ceramic belt over, ensure the belt is square and then inflate the wheel and screw onto the Finimaster Pro

Step 2: Use the Finimaster Pro to remove the initial scale and any scratches that may have damaged the metal and apply a consistent grain finish to your metal

Step 3: Remove the inflatable wheel and replace with the 80 grit FMTM Tex / scotchbrite type wheel. Go over the same area as you did with the ceramic belt. This will remove any sanding marks and give you a nice, consistent, blended 240 grit finish  (Note:  This is a great start point for a good quality satin finish but with the Finimaster Pro there are many, many options available...)

Step 4: Spray the Inoxiclean spray over the workpiece to apply a final layer of protection to your metal

Hints and Tips: Vary the grinding pressure on the workpiece to prevent 'start stop lines' when belt grinding.  Use a higher speed when grinding and a slower speed for the final finishing to give you the best performance and maximum life out of your abrasives.

Satin Finish Stainless Steel Process with Ceramic Belt and Tex Wheel.

Solution 3:  High Aggression Grinding with the Finimaster Basic

Recommended Speed: 2,500rpm

For almost all satin finishing applications the Finimaster Basic (and other general purpose drum sander machines) has been superseded in almost every way by the Finimaster Pro.  There is one application however where the Basic still wins.  If you are looking to de-scale and grind lots of deep damage or rust then using a ventilated wheel with a much more aggressive grinding action can be achieved.  The quality of the finish is less important as the focus is on removing scale.

The Finimaster can be supplied with either a 4" inflatable tyre (5" on the Finimaster Pro) or the rubber ventilated wheel (as mentioned above).  The smaller diameter wheel means that the consistency of your finish may not be as good but if scale removal is all you are after then this is perfect.

For high aggression, switch to the ventilated rubber wheel.

For high aggression applications we recommend our FX87 P36 belts.

This wheel is used in exactly the same way as the inflatable wheel.

Step 1: Slide the belt over the wheel and inflate if using the 4 inch wheel or attach to the machine if using the ventilated wheel

Step 2: Use the machine to remove scale from your workpiece

Hints and Tips:

  1. For high aggression applications use abrasive belts on the ventilated rubber wheel, this is will mean your control over the workpiece is reduced but the scale is removed very quickly
  2. Ensure the vents on the rubber wheel are facing forwards on the machine if using the ventilated wheel
  3. If you are interested in a higher quality finish then the inflatable wheel should be your wheel of choice as the larger footprint allows you to apply a more consistent finish and gives you greater control
  4. The ventilated wheels take abrasive belts size 287 x 100mm and the 4" inflatable wheels take a belt size 293 x 100mm

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