author
2Instructables29,615Views4CommentsSan Francisco, CAJoined August 17th, 2005
I love fabrication. Electronics, wood, steel, food, etc. I build stainless steel sculptures and I love solving all the little problems along the way - CAD to CNC, welding, grinding, polishing, and all the rest of the details.

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  • DIY Stainless Steel Weld Cleaning / Electropolishing

    I use a chemical made by Walter, it is called Surfox-T and you can get it on Amazon. It is very dangerous! It is a strong acid. I have burned holes in my pants and gotten burn marks on my skin from spatter. Walter also makes a pH neutral electropolishing chemical called Surfox-G. I tried that one time and it worked very slowly compared to Surfox-T. I imagine salt water would work but also slowly.

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  • DIY Stainless Steel Weld Cleaning / Electropolishing

    It's called electropolishing, you can find some good information on the wikipedia page. The chemical process that happens is oxidation of the stainless steel surface. Stainless steel is mostly iron and chromium. When iron on the surface oxidizes, the iron oxide dissolves into the acid. When chromium on the surface oxidizes, the chromium oxide stays on the surface and protects the metal. So this process both removes the heat discoloration from the stainless steel surface and leaves the surface protected from future corrosion. A process like this is necessary to ensure that stainless steel is properly stainless.

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  • DIY Stainless Steel Weld Cleaning / Electropolishing

    Yeah, you can, the TIG welder I made those welds with puts out way more current than the little power supply I use for electropolishing. However, my TIG welder cost me around $2500 and why risk damaging it doing something kind of off-label. I feel a lot better just using the cheap power supply.While I was sorting out the process I tried using a cheap harbor freight welder for the power supply, but the power supply I ended up deciding on was both cheaper and worked better.I still do this process all the time, by the way.

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