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  #1  
Old 04-26-2022, 03:33 PM
John Buchtenkirch John Buchtenkirch is offline
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Default Stainless kitchen top questions ???

I have to make a stainless steel top for 2 cabinets and a dishwasher in my own future kitchen. Iím wondering how thick the SS should have to be so it will not dent during kitchen use ? Iím planning to use it to cap a double layer of ĺĒ plywood or possibly 1 layer of plywood plus 1 layer of flake board and I guess I would use contact cement to attach the SS. Also because the counter top is L shaped (when viewed from above) there is one inside corner that I will have to weld a piece into so Iím kind of thinking a heavier gauge SS may help avoid warping problems. I have a power shear & press brake so working the SS sheet shouldnít be too bad.

Also if anyone has any experience matching brushed finishes on SS Iíd love to hear your technique. Thank you in advance . ~ John Buchtenkirch
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Old 04-26-2022, 04:05 PM
crystallographic crystallographic is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Buchtenkirch View Post
I have to make a stainless steel top for 2 cabinets and a dishwasher in my own future kitchen. Iím wondering how thick the SS should have to be so it will not dent during kitchen use ? Iím planning to use it to cap a double layer of ĺĒ plywood or possibly 1 layer of plywood plus 1 layer of flake board and I guess I would use contact cement to attach the SS. Also because the counter top is L shaped (when viewed from above) there is one inside corner that I will have to weld a piece into so Iím kind of thinking a heavier gauge SS may help avoid warping problems. I have a power shear & press brake so working the SS sheet shouldnít be too bad.

Also if anyone has any experience matching brushed finishes on SS Iíd love to hear your technique. Thank you in advance . ~ John Buchtenkirch
Attachment 63446
Hi John,
Stlss loves to warp when welding unless fixtured carefully.
I've seen some awesome stlss work, cut/fit/welded/brushed, for high-end furniture work.
I think one artiste I know uses .090" - I will ask him since it's been a few years.... He uses a rotary brush machine to match it all very skookum.
(sniptious)
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Old 04-27-2022, 10:38 PM
bobadame bobadame is offline
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I used to work for a company that made food service equipment. We used a lot of 18 ga. 303 stainless steel. Sometimes 20 ga., hardly ever anything heavier than 18. Maroon Scotchbrite to blend the grain. Nice thing about stainless steel, it's probably the easiest material to weld. Yes the weld will shrink as it cools but it's easy to bring it back by tapping the weld. For an inside corner it's best to clamp in an aluminum chill block to prevent black oxidation in the corner. Fuse weld the back side.
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Old 05-01-2022, 12:38 PM
crystallographic crystallographic is offline
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Hi John,
I checked with one fellow who has a few decades doing stlss for bar service parts and then furniture.

Welding: Tight fits and fusion welding recommended. 14ga is what he prefers for furniture (dent-resistant). Distortion goes out one inch, which he levels by hand. Back-up flux is used to avoid either having "sugar" or using back-purge to avoid that.... header and pipe guys prefer the back-up flux. "Pulse" is used to help limit distortion, using TIG.

Finish: The bar-equipment mfg. co. had a 10-man crew doing the brushed finish work on the bar-equipment fixtures. The shop had dedicated tools and equipment to match-brush all contours and surfaces exactly. Tedious and methodical craftsmanship, they were making hundreds of patented bar fixtures for the world-wide market.
He says he now finds that matching existing brushed finishes to be very difficult, as stainless is now sourced all over the world, and so factory "graining" processes now vary a great deal, and are therefore a bee-otch to match.
He prefers starting with 2B finish and then using rotary discs to level weld areas, and then going to whatever rotary brushes for the final "swirl." Random finishes are now popular though he reports that they are lightly-done and have not the long-lasting durability as the factory brushing does.

Hope this helps your kitchen counter efforts,
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Old 05-01-2022, 09:37 PM
Rick Mullin Rick Mullin is offline
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John, I made a kitchen table top from 16 gauge. I TIG welded it with 316L wire in the radiuses on the corners with flux backing. No color issue. I gave it a 320 followed by a 400 DA finish and went over it hard with a red brite linearly. At first glance, it has a linear look but the random DA background hides light usage scratches. The DA finish allows for easy future refinishing. I occasionally go over it with a red brite. A heavy brushed finish was my original idea but it is to easy to lightly scratch it and difficult to repair in place. I straightened the roof on a Cadillac Eldorado Brougham years ago and finished it with a sand rubber paper block and a straightedge fence. I donít remember the grit but it matched the original.
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Old 05-02-2022, 05:59 AM
Desoto Desoto is offline
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Hi John,
My original trade before I decided to focus on Aviation solely was Stainless Steel.
We generally used 16# for Benchtops and 18# for shelves. The introduction of the 1mm cutting blades was an absolute blessing for the S/S trade minimum heat is always the trick with stainless due to its propensity to continue to shrink until it cracks. Anyway the keep the neatest possible joins possible when welding fusion with the slightest amount of filler. Keeping heat to a minimum. I used to weld a few inches then let the entire area cool then continue. For the clean up I used a Rex Cut grinding wheel this type of wheel was very effective but gentle once the seam was flat I would tape the area to be polished with four layers of masking tape and then use a stitch mop with 120 alum oxide glued to the mop. The mops were mounted on a barrel grinder with a tapered spline. Once you had blended the weld in with the brushed finish I would move the masking tape to the side you had just polished and repeat the process so once the other side was done and the tape was removed the satin brushed seam ran nicely into each other. I hope this made some sort of sense.
Cheers,
Ash
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Old 05-03-2022, 11:22 AM
crystallographic crystallographic is offline
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Default Welding stainless and surface finishing

This is all great info, guys.

Rick - The Cad-Eldo stlss roof-wreck job I advised on had been crushed by a snow-load garage roof failure, and the craftsman jacked it all back up very well - without adding new contours - and then used a moveable fence and various belt sanders to level and re-grain. Turned out very well ...

Thin filler wire - essential for non-warping - I use stainless 308 lock wire in spools, .015" - .020" - .025" dia, take your pick ...

Low heat inputs are essential - so adding filler only adds molten volume that increases the amount of shrinkage/warpage.

Keep to the minimums - gaps, heat, filler.

And ....
For the real "delicate" jobs, like the stainless lap pool a friend of mine built, with zero distortion - rent a "VSR device" that does stress-relief as the welds are made and leaves level surfaces when cooled. This tech has been around for a couple decades .... reliable and cost-effective.
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Old 05-03-2022, 05:51 PM
Rick Mullin Rick Mullin is offline
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Kent,
What is the VSR devise you refer to?
The Caddy I worked on had been beaten as some sort of vendetta. Small dents but a big mess. I passed on two Deloreans. With the fiberglass backing, it made more of a challenge than I cared to take on.
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Old 05-03-2022, 06:37 PM
crystallographic crystallographic is offline
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Default VSR machines

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick Mullin View Post
Kent,
What is the VSR devise you refer to?
The Caddy I worked on had been beaten as some sort of vendetta. Small dents but a big mess. I passed on two Deloreans. With the fiberglass backing, it made more of a challenge than I cared to take on.
Hi Rick,
Vibratory Stress Relief devices come in various flavors now. Used to be you would find one rental outfit that had one and you got that.
More widely available now.
Philly shows one outfit:
https://www.advancedvsr.com/

( I avoid the "snowmobiles" also.)
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Old 05-04-2022, 06:57 AM
dwmh dwmh is offline
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Gosh Kent, the stuff you teach us on here. What an interesting process. thanks for bringing it to my attention.
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