Mat Janson Blanchet's academic works

Cleaning up steel brackets

Posted on February 3, 2018

Advanced Practices in Video, Performance and Electronic Arts

Acier Lachine

Early Tuesday morning, I went to the Acier Lachine warehouse to get the L-Brackets I ordered. I had to get a 20 ft long piece, which they then cut to the dimensions I needed. I do however have more material than I currently need, so I guess I’ll have to figure out what to do with that.

As it happened with the frame, I was surprised just how long my pieces were. My design of the metal frame was not proportional, so it gave me the wrong impression about its dimensions. I guess I will complete my degree with a bang and a humongous piece!

Steel brackets rust

The brackets’s state was quite nasty: some bluish grey layer and lots of rust.

Grinding brackets

© Photo by Ana Carolina von Hertwig

So I spent Friday grinding the brackets in the metal shop to remove those things. I also wanted to polish and grind as much to remove the harshness of the material, so it can be as smooth as possible before I brought the brackets for chroming.

Bracket after a first pass of grinding

© Photo by Ana Carolina von Hertwig

That is a lot of dusty manual work. After a first pass, and while the steel is looking much better, it’s still nowhere near how I want it to be—mirror-like. I will spend another day this coming week to improve the smoothness.

At the end of my day, the technicians commented how how similar the pieces will look once chromed. It got me thinking that maybe chroming is not a necessary process, and maybe instead I should look into mirror polishing the pieces. To be continued.

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