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View Full Version : Just received my steel tubing do I clean it make it shiny!!



badweld
04-05-2012, 02:16 PM
OK just bought my metal tubing for the frame and wile looking over the plans, I notice that the metal is clean, and shiny! What do I need to do to clean the metal ...do I use my grinder and a flap disk and clean the metal tubing up a bit first before I begin cutting? :rolleyes4:

arms10
04-05-2012, 03:06 PM
It's probably OK to cut the square steel in its non-shiny state.

worker1234
04-05-2012, 05:37 PM
If you clean the steel it will rust faster. Clean weld spot just before welding. Clean steel just before painting. ( I have not built my trike so I could be wrong, but I have some welding experience.)

socialtalker
04-05-2012, 11:07 PM
wow, i didnt know that! thanks!


If you clean the steel it will rust faster. Clean weld spot just before welding. Clean steel just before painting. ( I have not built my trike so I could be wrong, but I have some welding experience.)

charlie_r
04-05-2012, 11:24 PM
You are correct, worker1234. The mill scale on the tubing is actually a high carbon leftover from the rolling process, and acts to protect the steel from oxidation. However, paint doesn't like to adhere to it. Most people do as you suggest, and clean it off of the weld area, but that is not a necessity. Just makes stick welding easier to strike an arc. The small amount of extra carbon that stays in the weld doesn't hurt the strength of the weld, in my experience.

Leaving the mill scale on the tubing makes it easier to see your marks if you are using a soapstone. If you are doing your entire build in a shop, out of the weather, you can clean the tubing if you so desire. If you are using a sharpie (permanent marker) to mark your cuts, it will be easier to see on the shiny metal. If you are doing like I do most of the time, and use a scribe to mark your cuts, leave the scale on. The sharp point of the scribe will cut through it, and be a very easy to follow line.