Deburring is a necessity for any clean, functioning piece of metal work. But let me tell you right here and now, I hate deburring. It’s official. I absolutely hate deburring. Manual deburring is tedious. Deburring hole after hole in a steel support takes hours. Of course, every time you drill or grind or mill or turn or engrave you make a burr. And, that is machining any kind of material. Whether it is aluminum or steel, silver plate or even plastic, machining creates unwanted material. This material requires deburring.

Deburring small metal drilled hole
Deburring small metal drilled hole

There are many ways to approach deburring. Your project will determine your method.  Drilled holes can be swiftly tackled with a deburring tool that penetrates and “cleans” the hole. After only a few rotations you’re done. The surface is smooth. More complex objects might require a deburring wheel. A powered round wire brush or an abrasive ball or an emery wheel might also do the job. High pressure deburring requires you to always work safely and wear protective gear. Wires can come loose at high speeds as well as fragments and dust from deburring. When deburring any kind of material you need to protect your eyes and skin. Using increased pressure against vibration can easily fatigue the operator while deburring. This is something to keep in mind when choosing tools and techniques for deburring.

My fingertips are rough from years of working in the machine shop. Inspecting unwanted burrs has toughened them up the most. Sometimes I wonder how it’s possible I have any fingerprints left. But, to be ready for rivets, to have straight edges, to eliminate distortion you need a clean finish. It’s all about deburring.

Whichever deburring process you choose, deburring is mandatory for a clean finish and superior function. It’s basic. But it doesn’t mean you have to love it. Either way, whether you love it or hate it be wise and safe while deburring.

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