ok , so my company does product development in the fashion industry and one of my many toys is a 700 watt fiber laser cutter that I use to laser cut many metals but mainly stainless steel to be used for fashion accessories, hardware and most often embellishments to be sewn on designer clothing.
We primarily do development and sampling so we are usually not cutting production quantities of any one design but the samples we do provide, need to be finished very well.
thin metals are no problem but when I cut 14 gauge or thicker steel, im getting heavy burs that need removal..along with the need to deburr 14 G and higher stainless, my customer is requesting rounded edges...I have in the past experimented with tumbling but in order to deburr and get a nice rounded edge on the small complex parts im making ( jewelry type elements about 2 or 3 inches with very complex inner and outer cuts) a tumbler just takes forever and never really gives me a nice round edge that im looking for.
I have seen very good and fast results with commercial deburring and edge rounding machines but these machines are huge, expensive and total over kill considering I make samples and never need to finish large batches.
it got me thinking that id try and create a cheap inhouse method of deburring and edge rounding that uses the same principle as the large deburring machines.
they basically have a conveyor belt where you lay the pieces on and they get fed into a abrasive type of brush that grinds the piece on top and bottom and quickly deburrs and creates nice rounded edges if you leave it in long enough.
My plan is to use a dremel, the high powered, high rpm 4000 dremel , and place the dremel in the drill press accessory..I will then fashion a base and a way to fix my laser cut part to the base...I will then create a way to attach a large 4"-6" abrasive or wire wheel (something similar to what the commercial deburring and edge rounding units use) and basically begin the deburring process by depressing the drill press handle...I can hold it in place for a set amount of time and set amount of pressure and RPM speed (experimenting will determine these) and I can add to the base holding my laser cut part, a sort of compound slide table so that I can move the laser cut part while its being deburred to help get different angles.
so this is my idea for making a poor mans deburring machine and I figure I can keep the same setup and swap out the abrasive wheel for a polishing wheel if its my desire to give my parts a mirror finish after the edges have been deburred and rounded.
this might not be a great option for finishing large amounts of pieces but since only need to finish samples , usually maybe 5-10 pieces a day with pieces ranging from 1"-4" in 14 G stainless with rounded edges, I really think this might be a good option...certainly better and faster than tumbling considering all the parts are flat, the small amount of pieces I need finished and needing a rounded edge,....
My problem is that I am unsure of a few things so I was hoping for some suggestions.
First is a dremels ability to turn a 4" or even a 6" wire brush in a drill press stand...like I said, its the more powerful dremel that they sell...what do you guys think? The RPM of this type of dremel seems to be comparable to other griders that I know are used for deburring so I figured its just a matter of finding a way to attach a 1/4 inch collet where the dremel usually takes an 1/8 inch..secondly, Im basing this homemade machine on very real deburring machines and id like to find a similar type of abrasive brush or wheel that those machines use but I really have no idea what type of brushes they take.
All I know is that I need something abrasive enough and capable of eventually rounding sharp edges in 14 G stainless as well as being soft enough to get into some very small and tight areas and holes...its for this reason that I immediately assumed it would be a wire brush of some sort but im wondering if perhaps something better exists?
Anyway, that's it, that's my plan...I think it will work to some extent, im just looking for some suggestions on how to make it the most effective...mainly the type of abrasive wheels I should try. thanks and im open to all suggestions on how to make this experiment more successful!! thanks!