Stainless steel backing plates, thoughts, where to buy? - Page 3 - SailNet Community
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post #21 of 34 Old 02-07-2012
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There are also people who electropolish s.s. but I was not able to get a quote from anyone, I guess because it was not a big enough job.
I've had quite a bit of electropolishing done. It isn't very expensive. It is a corrosion resistance process though, it doesn't "polish" the metal in the way this discussion has been talking about it. The surface will come back bright but no smoother that when you started. grinding, sanding and polishing with a wheel and abrasives is the only way to do that. I wouldn't bother with it for inside hardware like backing plates.

I spent $150 or so to buy a proper long shaft polisher - like a bench grinder with extra long shafts. If you are restoring a boat it will be one of your best friends. You can achieve professional finishes on all metals very easily - it is a filthy process though, best left for outdoors. I find it a very "Zen"ish process - mindless, but satisfying as the shiny surface appears out of a nasty looking but sound piece of hardware.

I, myself, personally intend to continue being outspoken and opinionated, intolerant of all fanatics, fools and ignoramuses, deeply suspicious of all those who have "found the answer" and on my bad days, downright rude.
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post #22 of 34 Old 02-08-2012
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Have often thought about buying a polisher for finishing instruments like guitars and fiddles. I use powder abrasives but it's a lot of work to raise a good finish. Never thought about using one for s.s. sailboat parts. I've never used one. How do they work for getting into corners of odd shaped pieces?

Alberg 35: With a philosophical flourish Cato throws himself upon his sword; I quietly take to the ship.
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post #23 of 34 Old 02-08-2012
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Have often thought about buying a polisher for finishing instruments like guitars and fiddles. I use powder abrasives but it's a lot of work to raise a good finish. Never thought about using one for s.s. sailboat parts. I've never used one. How do they work for getting into corners of odd shaped pieces?
Basically, they don't. For tight corners and the like you have to get smaller buffs - cone shaped and so forth. That is actually the hardest part of buffing any hardware. Pieces like stanchion tubes, chainplates etc. are easy.

I don't know how it would work on a musical instrument though - my experience is they are pretty heavy duty - I've never even tried to use it on varnish. Perhaps a loose single sewn buff could be used with rouge or something finer. The lightest material I've ever done is plexiglass - the edges of cut pieces, and you have to be VERY careful not to melt them.

FWIW, my polisher and my pressure washer are by far my most frequently used power tools. My wife loves her copper pots after I'm done with them.
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102. Compass - before.jpg   103. Compass - after.jpg  

I, myself, personally intend to continue being outspoken and opinionated, intolerant of all fanatics, fools and ignoramuses, deeply suspicious of all those who have "found the answer" and on my bad days, downright rude.

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post #24 of 34 Old 02-08-2012
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Having made a very large number of stainless backing blocks for Aeolus I second much of what has been said on this thread. However, one thing I haven't seen mentioned about aluminum is perhaps so obvious it gets overlooked. I have personally removed numerous aluminum backing blocks from my Gulf 32 and found them corroded anywhere from slightly to completely due to the presence of stainless bolts and washers. The original aluminum backing blocks underneath my traveler mounts had disintegrated around the old stainless bolts and washers so completely that they were literally not performing any useful function. Here is my blog post showing the new backing blocks:Stories of Aeolus- Our Gulf 32 Pilothouse: New Harken traveler installed!

Since all my bolts are stainless, I have gone to all stainless 316 backing blocks, purchased either from onlinemetals.com or mcmaster carr.

I

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Bainbridge Island, WA

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post #25 of 34 Old 02-08-2012 Thread Starter
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This has been a very interesting thread!

Today I spoke to a mechanical engineer friend, and he suggested that a sheet metal shop could actually punch the bolt holes in s/s plate.

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post #26 of 34 Old 02-08-2012
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Basically, they don't. For tight corners and the like you have to get smaller buffs - cone shaped and so forth. That is actually the hardest part of buffing any hardware. Pieces like stanchion tubes, chainplates etc. are easy.

I don't know how it would work on a musical instrument though - my experience is they are pretty heavy duty - I've never even tried to use it on varnish. Perhaps a loose single sewn buff could be used with rouge or something finer. The lightest material I've ever done is plexiglass - the edges of cut pieces, and you have to be VERY careful not to melt them.

FWIW, my polisher and my pressure washer are by far my most frequently used power tools. My wife loves her copper pots after I'm done with them.
Nice job on the compass. It looks like the same one I have atop the pedestal. I know they use long shaft polishing wheels in the commercial guitar shops like Taylor. A buddy of mine, a prof. luthier, got a tour of their factory. One of the jokes is how everyone splinters a guitar now and then when losing grip using the polishing wheels. They sell them in the tool departments of guitar suppliers but I don't know if they are the same as yours: http://www.stewmac.com/shop/Tools/Sp...ing_Arbor.html They ain't cheap.

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post #27 of 34 Old 02-08-2012
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This has been a very interesting thread!

Today I spoke to a mechanical engineer friend, and he suggested that a sheet metal shop could actually punch the bolt holes in s/s plate.

Absolutely.. if you can find a place to punch the holes you'll be way ahead. Much cleaner hole. When I still worked in industry we had access to all that kind of stuff (except the polishers... pulp mills didn't much care! )

I remember the sticker shock the first time I had to actually go buy something SS.

Ron

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post #28 of 34 Old 02-08-2012
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Nice job on the compass. It looks like the same one I have atop the pedestal. I know they use long shaft polishing wheels in the commercial guitar shops like Taylor. A buddy of mine, a prof. luthier, got a tour of their factory. One of the jokes is how everyone splinters a guitar now and then when losing grip using the polishing wheels. They sell them in the tool departments of guitar suppliers but I don't know if they are the same as yours: STEWMAC.COM : Guitar Buffing Arbor They ain't cheap.
Very similar to mine. I had a motor so I just bought the arbor. You can get a Baldor that is a motor with a long protruding motor shaft at each end - the arbor & motor are one piece. It costs a lot less the the arbor in your attachment. You can get Chinese ones - the same setup for 2/3 the price of the Baldor. I paid about $100 for my arbor. If I had to do it again I'd pay for the one piece type.

I'd like to know more about polishing varnish - do you have any directions to sites that have info on that - type of abrasives, type of buffs, speed of buffer etc?

Does it give you a type of French polished finish?

P.S. you don't splinter any hardware but you sure have to go on an Easter egg hunt sometimes if you let it catch a piece wrong!

I, myself, personally intend to continue being outspoken and opinionated, intolerant of all fanatics, fools and ignoramuses, deeply suspicious of all those who have "found the answer" and on my bad days, downright rude.
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post #29 of 34 Old 02-10-2012
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Have never used one of these polishers. The finish they're dealing with is a nitrocellulose lacquer, somehow made more flexible than the cabinet grade variety so they can expand and contract without spider-cracks. I use brushed-on oil-based varnish for violin finishes which is the traditional violin finish. Have both sprayed and brushed the nitro and then finished by hand. Rubbing out with 12000 cloth and then rottenstone makes a mirror finish. The nitro is very thin and takes at least 5 coats to work it. I know some good instrument builders use French polishing but I have never tried it.

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post #30 of 34 Old 02-10-2012
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Quote:
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However, one thing I haven't seen mentioned about aluminum is perhaps so obvious it gets overlooked. I have personally removed numerous aluminum backing blocks from my Gulf 32 and found them corroded anywhere from slightly to completely due to the presence of stainless bolts and washers. The original aluminum backing blocks underneath my traveler mounts had disintegrated around the old stainless bolts and washers so completely that they were literally not performing any useful function.
I've never had this problem. To my mind there shouldn't be a corrosion problem with a backing plate unless the deck side isn't properly sealed.

Were you having problems with leaks through the deck that led to the dissimilar metal corrosion?

I, myself, personally intend to continue being outspoken and opinionated, intolerant of all fanatics, fools and ignoramuses, deeply suspicious of all those who have "found the answer" and on my bad days, downright rude.
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