How to Polish Stainless Steel Pipeby Steve Smith
Stainless steel pipe doesn't look all shiny and new right off the welding line. In fact, it looks burnt and kind of charred. Polishing it will give it that mirror finish (or satin silver finish) that makes it such an attractive accessory.
Grind down any welds that are still on the pipe. Use a grinding disc and grinder for this task.
Mount the pipe into a pipe vise or similar set-up. If you don't have a professional pipe vise, you can use a regular vise wrapped with a towel or fitting with a rubber cap, but a professional vise is recommended. You will be applying a great deal of downward pressure to the pipe during the polish.
Apply a polishing compound to the pipe. Then slide your polishing belt (120 to 180 grit) onto the pipe and around the head of a grinder (fitted with a belt wheel sized to your pipe width). Hold this below the steel pipe and move it slowly back and forth across the pipe, sanding as you go.
Apply additional polishing compound as needed. Then continue to use the grinding belt wheel to polish the pipe by sliding it along the pipe with steady motions.
Apply polishing compound to the stainless steel pipe and buff the fine lines out with a buffer grinding disc.
Repeat until you have a stainless steel pipe polished to the finish you desire.
- You can put several types of finishes on a stainless steel pipe. The smaller the grit of the belt sander, the finer the finish you will achieve. Different types of abrasive and non-abrasive buffing discs can also be used along with the belt grinder to achieve different types of finishes.