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Motorsport Fabrication Fundamentals: Linishing Metal

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Linishing Metal


00:00 - In this module, we'll be taking a look at two different linishing methods and the different techniques required for each method.
00:06 Linishers can be dangerous machines so a healthy respect for the equipment is required along with the correct PPE to ensure your safety.
00:15 The abrasive belts used with the linisher are numbered which indicates the coarseness of the grit.
00:20 Smaller numbers are coarser which means that the belt will remove more material quicker.
00:25 On the other hand, larger numbers of course are finer which are better suited for delicate work and surface finishing.
00:31 While were on the subject of belts, it's also a good idea to have some belts marked and designated for specific materials to eliminate cross contamination.
00:39 If you're working with only mild steel or chromoly, this isn't an issue however if you use the same belt to linish stainless or aluminium, the iron particles already on the belt can impregnate these other materials, causing problems with corrosion and making welding difficult.
00:55 For our linisher, we have red belts which use a ceramic abrasive and these are used exclusively for aluminium.
01:02 We also have green belts which use a zirconia abrasive and these are suitable for a broad range of materials.
01:08 Both belts are available in a wide range of coarseness however we've settled on 60 grit for fast material removal and 120 grit for finer jobs and surface finishing.
01:18 This provides enough flexibility without the need to have an excessive number of belts on hand.
01:24 It's important to understand the direction of rotation of your linisher as this will affect where you can apply the workpiece onto the linisher without risk of it grabbing.
01:33 Most linishers suitable for metal fabrication work will offer two separate areas for linishing your workpiece.
01:39 The first is at the end of the linisher where the belt passes over a rubber wheel.
01:43 This provides a circular abrasive surface which is ideal for deburring and shaping the end of our workpiece.
01:49 The rubber wheel that the linishing belt passes over dampens vibration as well.
01:53 Some linishers will also offer the option of a removable and adjustable rest that you can locate in front of the belt and rest the workpiece against.
02:01 This can be useful for some tasks, however you may find that for some other tasks such as shaping and deburring a notched piece of tube, that the rest limits your access to the belt and you may find the linisher offers more flexibility with it removed.
02:15 It's important when using the wheel at the end of the linisher to understand the direction of rotation of the belt and to hold your workpiece against the middle or lower section of the belt only.
02:25 If the upper section of the belt is used, the direction of rotation will tend to grab the workpiece and can throw it towards you which could be potentially dangerous.
02:33 Not only this but it will affect the quality of your finished results.
02:38 The other linishing surface offered is usually a flat surface on the top of the machine which will often be covered by a removable guard to prevent accidental contact when it isn't being used.
02:48 This provides a wide, flat region that's ideal for achieving a flat surface finish on flanges, plates or the end of tube.
02:56 Usually the linisher will provide a rest or guide that you can support the workpiece against and this will also prevent smaller parts from becoming trapped and drawn into the linisher.
03:06 It can be tempting to use the rest as a reference when trying to achieve a finished surface that's exactly perpendicular to the work surface.
03:13 However these aren't always perpendicular to the linishing belt so some care is required.
03:19 The actual process of linishing requires light pressure to be placed on the workpiece and we want to allow the abrasive belt to do the work.
03:27 Excessive pressure on the workpiece will result in excessive heat being generated as well as premature wear on the belt.
03:34 A byproduct of linishing metal is that you're going to generate heat in the material and the more material you need to remove the more heat you'll generate.
03:42 Gloves will protect you to a point however for sustained linishing it can speed the process up and improve safety if you have a container of water that you can use to periodically cool the workpiece.
03:53 This is fine for low carbon steel and stainless but should be avoided for the likes of chromoly.
03:58 Changing belts is a common task on the linisher and on our unit it can be accomplished by undoing two screws on the side of the linisher which can then be folded out of the way to allow access to the tensioner mechanism.
04:09 This is an arm that can be moved to reduce tension on the belt, allowing it to be removed.
04:13 When replacing belts, it's important to note that these are directional and we want to ensure that we have the orientation of the new belt correct.
04:21 Once the belt's located over the pulleys correctly, the belt can be tensioned and the side of the linisher reattached.
04:28 There will also be an adjustment on the front pulley that allows the tracking of the belt to be adjusted.
04:34 Before starting the linisher with a new belt, it's important to stand to the side of the linisher so that we're not in the path of the belt, just in case it happens to fail.
04:42 Once we have the linisher running, we can take note of where the belt's running on the front pulley.
04:47 Ideally it should be in the centre of the pulley and we can adjust the slant of the front pulley by turning the slant adjustment knob on the side of the machine until the belt tracks centrally.
04:56 While a floor mounted linisher like ours is a great addition to your workshop, if you don't have much space or this doesn't fit your budget, there are linisher attachments for bench grinders that will allow you to have a bonded wheel for sharpening drills and tungstens on one side and a linisher on the other.
05:11 The other type of linisher that's handy to have in your workshop is the handheld linisher or belt sander.
05:17 This hand held version gives us similar capability to our floor mounted linisher but in a portable package that's easy to fit into tight spots.
05:25 In many ways, the hand held linisher can be used for many of the metal finishing jobs we also use an angle grinder for.
05:31 However the linisher can provide a uniform directional grain and finish which the angle grinder can't.
05:38 The hand held linisher also has a wide range of grit levels available, with the added benefit of also having polishing options available such as Scotch Brite belts that will polish instead of grinding.
05:49 For chromoly fabrication, we like to use both types of linisher, perfecting fit up between tubes with the floor mounted linisher and then polishing the weld area scale off in preparation for welding with the hand held version.

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