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Surface finish for aluminium sheet?

What technique?

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Bo'sun13/05/2021 07:39:20
444 forum posts

Good morning,

I have a piece of aluminium sheet 250 x 190mm. I want to give it a fine surface texture/pattern of some sort. How do I reproduce the circle/semi-circle pattern that seems to be quite common?

Any other suggestions welcomed.

JasonB13/05/2021 07:45:35
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Moderator
20637 forum posts
2296 photos
1 articles

Look up "Engine Turned Finish" or Engine Turning" plenty of ways to do it.

Edited By JasonB on 13/05/2021 07:47:31

Grindstone Cowboy13/05/2021 08:17:20
620 forum posts
57 photos

Here's just one example from Mark Presling, who I find quite easy to watch.

Links to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DY7sCiahxHA

Rob

David George 113/05/2021 08:22:23
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1572 forum posts
482 photos

I have a disc holder which holds abrasive disc which fits into a drill or mill and you just press it lightly onto the surface in any pattern from a circle to straight lines to give engine turned pattern.

they come in diferent diamiter and the abrasive are diferent grades just peel of back and stick on holder.

David

Jim Nic13/05/2021 10:03:30
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335 forum posts
197 photos

I used a round piece of softish leather glued to the end of a piece of wood dowel and impregnated with engine valve grinding paste:

Engine turning 2.jpg

Note that I didn't use it in my milling machine for fear of getting abrasive in the little important bits of the machine but my cheapo drill press survived the experience unscathed.

The finish I got was:

Popcorn base & plinth 1.jpg

Jim

Craig Brown 213/05/2021 10:17:23
41 forum posts
11 photos

20201226_093408.jpg

I made this money box for my son and basically used the exact same technique described by Jim above. A wooden dowel with a piece of leather glued to the end and used a mix of oil and surface grinder swarf as the abrasive. Cover the surface in oil and then sprinkle a small covering of the abrasive and then just work your way across. It's best to set up a fence to keep the pattern square and I just did my overlaps by eye. Obviously a spacer is then used between the part and the fence for the next row and so on and so on.

Craig

Bo'sun13/05/2021 10:18:22
444 forum posts

Thank you everyone,

Looks straight forward enough with a little bit of experimentation and practice.

Just in case you're wondering, it's for the base of a small stationary steam engine I've just completed. With a wood base looking not dissimilar to Jim's example above.

Dave Halford13/05/2021 13:12:08
1507 forum posts
16 photos

Just be very precise with the spacing devil

Martin Kyte13/05/2021 14:03:51
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2407 forum posts
40 photos

or you could straight grain it if you decide against a pattern.

regards Martin

Bo'sun18/05/2021 07:49:09
444 forum posts

Thanks again, it worked out realy well. I used some maroon Scotchbrite, cut with a wad punch and glued to a wooden mandrel.

However, lesson learned. If you're working on a finished piece, and want the pattern right up to the edge, use a sacrificial strip butted up the edge, otherwise the edge will tear up the pad.

Circlip18/05/2021 10:00:22
1271 forum posts

And be careful not to damage the first row, like the tiles on a roof. Damage the bottom row and start all over again.

Regards   Ian

 

Edited By Circlip on 18/05/2021 10:00:52

Jim Nic18/05/2021 10:18:01
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335 forum posts
197 photos

Good to see you got it done, got any pictures?

Jim

Bo'sun18/05/2021 15:14:03
444 forum posts

Hi Jim,

Sorry, but my phone has buttons on it, and my camera is a 35mm OM4Ti.

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