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Old 01-13-2019, 09:18 AM   #1 (permalink)
Join Date: Dec 2017
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Default There's gotta be an easier way

Need some advice on an easier way to scuff up brass tubes prior to gluing them. I got an order for 30 pieces and spent way too much time with a piece of 150 grit sandpaper scuffing up the brass tubes. Thought about using my DP but thought I might over tighten the chuck and bend/squish the tubes. Tried my belt sander but that just shot pieces all over the place. Any suggestions are welcome.
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Old 01-13-2019, 09:29 AM   #2 (permalink)
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IMHO, 150 grit is way too abrasive for this task.
A green Scotch pad will work just fine.
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Old 01-13-2019, 09:29 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Place between centers, with light pressure, and touch sandpaper to the tube while it's spinning. Only takes a second or two.


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Old 01-13-2019, 10:16 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I use a cordless Dremel ($25 from Walmart or wherever) and their 80 grit drums using the slower speed. I don't the the grit or speed make much difference - that is just what I do. I hold a tube by the ends and sand lengthwise (I don't think the direction makes a difference either). I then wipe the sanded tube with DNA and let dry for a few seconds.
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Old 01-13-2019, 10:17 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Make your self a tapored spindle. Similar in design to a round chop stick. 5-6 inches is long enough. Put it in your pen chuck, lathe on low speed and slide the tube on as the lathe is running. Run your sand paper over the tube in the direction of the headstock, "pushing" the tube into the larger area of your spindle. This will "drive" the tube. Scuff it up, slide it off, slide on the next one, rinse and repeat. You should be able to get all the tubes scuffed in no time. Clean with mineral spirits or rubbing alcohol, use rubber gloves to touch the blank so you don't transfer oil from you fingers and glue in with your favorite adhesive. I use 5 minute epoxy, plugging the tube ends with dental wax. After 24 or more hours, I square the blank with a disk sander and jig that uses transfer punches to hold the blank square to the sander.

If you use a lot of different kits with different size tubes, you'll need to make a spindle for each tube, but it's good spindle turning practice.

Last edited by Jarod888; 01-13-2019 at 10:23 AM.
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Old 01-13-2019, 10:29 AM   #6 (permalink)
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A quick pass through one of those green scour pads works for me
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Old 01-13-2019, 11:04 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Terredax View Post
Place between centers, with light pressure, and touch sandpaper to the tube while it's spinning. Only takes a second or two.
I don't even turn the lathe off between tubes. I extend the tailstock quill, then move towards the tube and headstock, tighten the tailstock to the bed, and simply retract the quill between tubes. About 10 seconds per tube.
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Old 01-13-2019, 11:05 AM   #8 (permalink)
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I have a wire wheel mounted on an old bench grinder. But you could just as easily chuck up a small wire wheel or a flap sander in a drill press. Put the tube on an old mandrel rod or similar and give it a quick, light pass. ( As always, wear eye protection and be safe)

Takes no time at all if you have many to do.
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Old 01-13-2019, 11:28 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Today's mentality at work again Everyone is in a hurry you see it everyday on the roads. 30 tubes takes what 4 maybe 5 minutes. Couple twists with 180 grit paper and each side is done. It does not have to be completely dull. Just give it some tooth for glue. I would get more board spinning the same kits over and over. Have no easy way to dull tubes that will make your time go faster. Sorry.
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Old 01-13-2019, 01:16 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Ok all, First let me just say this is just a fun idea. OR is it? I haven't actually done this but I am considering giving it a go.
What if you took a pair of snug fitting cotton gloves (gardening type) Apply a thin coat of epoxy to the finger tips of the thumb and index finger of both gloves. Then immediately dip into sand and set aside to cure.
These gloves can be dedicated for scuffing up your tubes.
Yes, No? Anyone think this can work?
This is strictly the Macgyver side of me

If anyone tryes this, please post the outcome.
Also, I would suggest wearing latex or nitrite gloves under the cotton gloves. I wouldn't want to be responsible for someone epoxing gloves to their hands.

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