May 3, 2018

Use of Micro-mesh Soft Touch Pads

4 comments

Mechele, you once advised me in an email to use these pads to ”roughen” up the surface of niobium for a brighter finish as opposed to using a polish. I tried this with 4 different meshes spanning range of ”grits” in the set from 100 to 400. I was surprised to see no notable difference from the coarsest to finest mesh. I tried to follow all the metal-free steps: roughed up the surfaces with the pads, scrubbed with Simple Green, rinsed in distilled water (d/water), hot etched, stored in d/water, anodized at 33 volts, rinsed in d/water and dried with hot air gun. Sadly all my hard work didn’t pay off.

 

Thiughts?

May 3, 2018

Hi Rick, I believe I remember the conversation--we were discussing how it was difficult to see crisp lines between colors when using the masks. I had advised you that the it was much easier to see the color separation if you started with a Scotch Brited surface rather than a shiny surface. I attached the same photo below showing the difference between a Scotch Brited surface (left) and a shiny surface (right) using the same mask.

 

The Soft Touch Pads we sell are more for removing the surface color if you're using our embossed Nb discs as they are rigid and won't go into the grooves the way our Scotch Brite pads would.

 

You didn't mention what results you are getting that you're not happy with...is it that your colors aren't bright or that there's not good definition between them? Could you post a photo so I can advise you further?

 

May 3, 2018

Michele,

 

You are correct, it was me and I still have your email. Many thanks.

 

My chief concern here was that I didn’t see any appreciable difference between 100 and 400 grits of the Soft Touch pads. I was expecting to see a range from matte to more luster, repsectively.

 

The first thing that strikes me in your note is that you specified Scotch Brite pads. However, when I went back and looked at the examples on your product pages, it noted the use of Soft Touch pads. So I went with that literally.

 

So the differnce is the Scotch Brite pads are used to give the surface more bite and sharper colors, while the Soft Touch pads are used to remove the first anodized color from the raised pattern in preparation for the second anodizing (at lower voltage).

 

That answers part of my other question. However, it would helpful to understand more of the technique for using the Soft Touch pads, and which grit tends to get the job done without impacting the background.

 

thanks,

Rick

May 3, 2018

Hi Rick,

We recommend using the Soft Touch Pads for the embossed surfaces since they are rigid, they don't typically hit the background areas if you keep them flat to the surface. If you're having trouble with the pads, you could also try an emery board but same caution: keep it flat to the surface, don't use the edge. You could try putting the pad on the counter and the disc on the pad, moving the disc around with your finger. Not too hard or you'll push the edges to the pad. Some people actually like the edges being removed too as it gives the discs and "aged" look.

 

I tend to like the rougher grits because it removes the color faster but Deborah likes the softer grits. It's really a matter of preference.

 

Scotch Brite pads just work really well (especially the Fine and Ultra Fine) for making a nice soft satin finish on the surface. The Coarse is really agressive and really roughs up the surface.

 

Hope that helps!

May 3, 2018

Many thanks. Have a lot of things to try again. I like the emory board idea. It sounds like I would better control overall.

 

Rick

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