Builder Tip #32 from HomebuiltHELP 
Polishing Aluminum Aircraft Parts

If you are building an aluminum aircraft, you are aware of the tedious work of constant deburring and cleaning up edges after cutting - whether with a bandsaw or shears. Saw marks must be smoothed out to avoid future cracks and otherwise provide a nice finish to your work,

As a substitute to manual hand filing, a wonderful, fast and efficient method to polishing up those cuts is available to you from the labs at 3M in a product called Scotch-Brite.

Watch this short video to learn more if you are not already familiar with its use in aircraft building.

Above: Polishing up the end of an extrusion cut
Above: fast removal of powder coating from steel
Like to Make your own Parts?
There are two approaches for obtaining the parts needed to build an aircraft:
Buy the parts from a ready made kit - or -
Make the parts yourself from scratch.
Both methods are popular - the choice depends on your skills, budget and time. Our introductory DVD for demonstrating building from a kit is Metalworking101
- and for making parts from scratch we have Scratch Building Basics 

Watching these DVDs provides you with the understanding of the skills and challenges needed to succeed at building an aircraft using these two approaches. Making the proper decision becomes easier when you really understand the details and challenges by watching over another builder's shoulder.  This is an excellent first step towards taking the plunge of starting the build of your own airplane.
Above: Laying out parts for cutting from sheet aluminum
Don't forget that past Tip of the Week articles and videos are listed on the Archive Listing page on our website.  You can check back there for future reference and review of these tips.You can also reach that page from a link on the top, right side of our home page.
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