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  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2018
    Posts
    2

    How do we get away from buffing!

    We are a small aerospace machine shop. We use buffing pads on everything we make, one time over with a coarse pad and then one time over with a softer pad. The drone of the handheld buffers is constantly heard throughout the shop. 15 to 20 operators are constantly sitting down buffing a part while machines run the next one. Is this normal? I've hear about other shops not buffing at all. If I can get us away from buffing we would save so much time and money. I would say most of our parts are round rings under 8" with bosses, lips, extrusions. I've read that vibrating could help but from our experience, it doesn't get off all the burs or round all the edges enough. It would also be extremely expensive to get 8 vibrating machines. We also run some pretty large parts up to 30" x 20". Is programming the issue? do people run chamfers at the end of a part to take off all the sharp edges? What about swirls from end mills left on the flat surfaces? Is it normal to see Aluminum dust settling all over everything in the shop because of constant buffing?

  2. #2
    Registered
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Posts
    2999

    Re: How do we get away from buffing!

    It really depends on what the print callouts are for finish, chamfers and edge breaks. We find that vibratory finishing does a great job for our aluminum and stainless steel parts. You wouldn't need a vibratory at each station, just dump a batch of parts into a large tub and run until you're happy with the result. A tumbler might work for you also. You may still have to hand finish the large parts, but the 8 inch parts would finish well in a 3 or so foot machine. We run a small amount of water flow to keep things clean, maybe a gallon or two an hour. Normal run time is 2 or 3 hours per batch, sometimes longer.

    It is common to run a chamfer routine on the program also.

  3. #3
    Registered
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    33

    Re: How do we get away from buffing!

    When I did Aerospace parts for NASA We had to leave the tool swirls on. We could buff a little with scothbrite brown but no removal of the tool marks. Wasn't given an answer as to why. The first parts I made were smooth and polished but came back to me as unacceptable. Next batch of parts with countersunk holes. The prints just noted chambered with a major Dia. No one told me they were 90 deg. and not 82. Got to make them over too. You would not beleave how many grades of aluminium that they use. Every batch of parts called for a specific grade with folders that followed the parts thru the shop stating which grade to use and how much of stock used this was filled out in triplicate . We built part of the galley on the ISS it was made from one big chunk of aluminum about 1 foot square and 20" long. No seams or joinery. No telling what the boss got for his efforts but I only got $12.50 an hour for mine. Being a manual machinist I didn't get top pay like the window watchers got. More talent but less money. The internal cabin parts for Falcon commercial jets were all shiny brass and polished aluminum and top grade exotic wood.

  4. #4
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2018
    Posts
    2
    Thank you, I appreciate your time.

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