I'm working with 16 gauge steel plate/sheet. After milling my piece to completion I have scratches on it. Without facing it, how do I remove the scratches?
I want to ready the steel for nickel plating.
Any deep scratches will not fill up with plating. So it's important to smooth out the scratch or remove completely before plating.
Remember, plating is only going to follow the contour of the part. So, in a deep scratch, it's only going to follow the contour of the scratch, it will still show a divot of the scratch. May have to buff some of the surface after plating when that happens to get completely removed.
So for the sanding disks, they go on a machine like a random orbital?
I made a jig to hold the piece and I was running the piece over sandpaper on top of my shaper table. That takes forever and uses a lot of elbow grease.
Do the disks leave swirl marks?
As I mentioned above if what you mean by scratches were caused by Scotchbrite or other fine abrasives such as 220 grit sandpaper they will most likely disappear after plating, if the stock had a directional finish that you are trying to preserve such plating will likely remove that as well.
You have not mentioned the plating thickness specified, electroless plating can put .003" on per side, electro plating companies claim up to 3/8" thickness per side, choose your process wisely.
Any imperfections in the base metal will be telegraphed to the finished product unless prepared properly. Tell the plater you what a nice smooth nickel surface with no problems. The plater will give it a copper layer. This copper layer will be buffed to remove any problems. Then the plater will put on the nickel layer. And it ain’t cheap anymore, at least in my town…Dave
Yeah, In my part of the country, we are not too worried about finish as much as getting a proper thickness for electroless nickel. We run .0015 to .0020" thick and it is not cheap to do! People we deal with usually limit coating thickness for electroless nickel to around .010-.012" thick. Some materials will require to strike with flash copper before applying electroless nickel to get it to adhere to. I hate to be the paying for 3/8" thickness electroless nickel! Ouch!