stainless steel stanchions (I want to hear Sean Connery say that)
are too gorgeous for words. The double bend (see Windshield
installation) tooling was quite the ladydog to get right,
but I'd say we've done it. The difficulty was, polished stainless
steel is easy to mar; it's a fair bit softer than mild steel.
Heck, even aluminum tooling put surface marks on the polished
finish, in fact even vinyl tooling dulled the finish
unless we replaced the tooling every single time (apparently it
picked up abrasives from the surface of the first part bent, and
rubbed them into the second part). The solution was vinyl and
ABS tooling on a press brake (vinyl punch, ABS die) with a 1/32"
sacrificial expanded polyetheline pad on the shiny side of each
bend. The back side we don't much worry about; you don't see it
once it's mounted, and since that side was the down side on tle
laser cutting table, it already has marks and scratches.
Oooh, but the pretty
side. Here's a photo, the first photo on this site that hasn't
been jpg compressed to <medium> or worse...
This photo was taken
on a blanket on the loading dock in front of the shop. The reflections
you see on the left side of the stanchions are the upper wall
of the building (it's shingled), the facia, and the bottom of
the rain gutter. On the lowest stanchion, in the triangular flat
between the part that bolts to the scuttle and the part that screws
to the windshield frame, you can see a bit of my little bald head,
one earpiece of my glasses, a part of my hand and a tiny corner
of the camera.
Let's take a closer
I zoomed in for this
shot. You can clearly see the reflection of the camera, and the
detail of the bottom of the rain gutter. Hmm, looks like I'm going
to have to get up there and do some minor repair work before next
winter…but that's not the point of these photos. The point
is, we can do that duplex bend on stainless steel with minimal
impact on the finish. And you won't have to paint you stanchions.