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Thread: Hi, Folks: Seeking Info on Flat Lapping & Polishing

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    Hi, Folks: Seeking Info on Flat Lapping & Polishing

    Really love this forum. Thanks in advance for your help.

    My business has grown to a point where I'm needing to outsource some of my finish work to a high-quality lapping and polishing service. In a year or two we will likely be able to purchase a small lapping for our shop like the one picture below, from Lapmaster.

    I assume there is no way to build something like this myself. It seems pretty complicated, and I need something that can revolve at VERY low RPM, maybe below ten (10).

    Assuming that's the case, what sort of pricing do people get for these kinds of services. I make a guitar pick that is only about 1.0 mm thick and less that 1.50" inches across. I've outsource Blanchard grinding before, which was cheap (roughly $2.00 per unit) but I assume this kind of finish work is more expensive.

    Thanks again for your insights or suggestions.

    EG
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Hi, Folks: Seeking Info on Flat Lapping & Polishing-lapmaster-12.jpg  
    Last edited by Educated Guess; 06-13-2020 at 05:32 PM.

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    Yes, lapping machines can be built and can go as slow as you'd like. Motor turns gears/pulleys that rotate platen, adjust ratios to get speed as desired. Add coolant/abrasive spray system (from simple to complex). Add the yoke arms, conditioning rings, part holders, perhaps a timer, etc. Check out how people who make their own telescope optics grind & lap. The guy who invented gauge blocks used a sewing machine with a platen on it. It will take some time and some fab work but you or someone you know could do it. Way more fun than sending money to Lapmaster!

  3. The Following User Says Thank You to Inner For This Useful Post:

    Toolmaker51 (06-21-2020)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Inner View Post
    Yes, lapping machines can be built and can go as slow as you'd like. Motor turns gears/pulleys that rotate platen, adjust ratios to get speed as desired. Add coolant/abrasive spray system (from simple to complex). Add the yoke arms, conditioning rings, part holders, perhaps a timer, etc. Check out how people who make their own telescope optics grind & lap. The guy who invented gauge blocks used a sewing machine with a platen on it. It will take some time and some fab work but you or someone you know could do it. Way more fun than sending money to Lapmaster!
    Inner, hi, I saw this when you first posted it, but have had a busy week.

    I'm curious about at least taking a look at this. However, I'm not the type who can just wing it. I've worked on cars for many years, so I have a better than average mechanical aptitude than most, but to take on something like this is honestly above my pay grade.

    What I would need would be some actual written out plans and/or a long video explaning exactly how to do it. Does such a thing exist? If not, this would likely be an exercise in frustration and futility for me.

    Thank you for responding and also in advance for any further insights or info you can toss my way.

    Thanks very much,
    EG

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    Supporting Member Toolmaker51's Avatar
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    Toolmaker51's Tools
    As an unofficial "Well, think about this..." guy, don't fixate on supposed limitations of 'pay grade'.
    Heck, already have the right mindset "Educated Guess"!

    Allow imagination, mechanical aptitude, a little bit of research on principles be the boss. Then, get a blank pad, sharp pencils and a chair.

    #1 in true lapping; platen is softer than what is being finished, whether figure 8, reciprocating, or rotary, the most common. Lots of such finishing is done figure 8 on wet or dry abrasive. Can be very accurate, but not ideal production wise, rotary is king.
    I've never seen a Blanchard wheel segment of fine enough grit to polish plastic. Seems they actually did Timesaver or double disc finishing.


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