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Edge breaks on plate parts?


May 11, 2017
Maple Grove, MN, USA
I'm overseeing this job largely as a favor to a great customer. It comes in every few months, three of each of two part numbers, which get laser cut from 11 gauge 304. I then edge break them by hand, which is a PITA, then they go back out to get bent and welded. They're too big to fit on my little mills, and I've tried to job out the edge break but got no-bids, but I'm thinking there has to be a better way than freehand with files, bench-grinder, angle grinder, and Dremel. What am I missing?


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Hi mhajicek:
Could a woodworker's router help you?
If you can slow it down enough and if you can find or build a small enough chamfer cutter with a bearing on it so it will ride on the edges you might be able to drop your part on a vacuum table to stabilize it and then run the router around it by hand.

The big problem is twofold:
First, you have to really hang onto the router if you try to climb cut with it...it'll grab and take off like a rocket if you don't pay attention.

Second, to get into the corners your chamfer cutter has to be small, so the bearing has to be small too, which means it's fragile.

I've never tried it...it's a commonplace for cladding woodworking projects with veneer or arborite, and trimming the edges after the panels are glued on and I've used it frequently for that.
I've also used the technique extensively for edge breaks on plastic parts.
But metals are a whole 'nother animal.

Might be worth a try though.


Ever tried one of those hand held belt sander thingies? I have not but seems like what they were made for.
unified/scotchbrite wheels you can really lean into and they leave a nice finish. not the loose weave, the really dense ones
Regarding hammer/nails etc, I would do them on a VMC just so I could one click path for deburring
Pneumatic belt sander or 2” pneumatic right angle sander.

Not surprised no one would quote this. Not worth the hassle. Laser is way too inconsistent to bother programming a chamfer tool.

What does it take, 3 minutes to lazily break these edges with a pneumatic grinder?
Some discussion of just what you want to do in this thread, tools sugested as well:
I like the band file type belt sander also, it would be my first choice for sure because I do a ton of this myself.

However, my pointer would be to purchase one that has a resilient side to the belt (not supported with a backing plate on the opposite side) and sand with that side. That's what is going to be the secret sauce in my opinion to doing this easy with pleasing results. Your mileage may vary.

And buy Norton belts, McMaster has them and they're worth the money.
One of those small flap wheels mounted like inverted router?
I use them in cordless drill- work great but slow.
Use them in die grinder- fast but glaze/wear to quick.

Not a brand I know- just first clear picture for reference:
Milwaukee's cordless "dynafile" / finger sander / whatever you want to call it, gets a lot of use in my shop for this sort of thing. There is the official one that came out earlier this year or last. And then for some years previous there were kits to put a Harbor Freight finger sander on a milwaukee cut off tool.
if its just a couple parts, any sort of grinder and about 30 seconds will do each one.
still not sure why they want an edge break on 1/8", its getting into the thin territory
not surprised nobody wants to waste there time for a 10 minute job that sucks.