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BRM's Flexible Honing, Surface Finishing, and Deburring Blog

BRM's Flexible Honing, Surface Finishing, and Deburring Blog is the place for conversation and discussion about how to solve difficult finishing problems. For over 50 years, Brush Research Manufacturing (BRM) has helped customers use brushing technology to clean, rebuild, and resurface components ranging from engine cylinders to brake rotors to flywheels to firearms. BRM's Blog on CR4 provides real-world examples of how flex hones and wire brushes work. It also evaluates related technologies and invites questions from the community.

How to Edge Radius, Polish, and Deburr Harder Materials

Posted February 23, 2015 3:43 PM by Brush Research

Do you need to produce an edge radius on machined parts made of hard materials such as diamond, ceramic, cubic boron nitride (CBN), or glass? Does your manufacturing facility or machine shop polish the flute reliefs on high-speed steel (HSS) or carbide drills, end mills, or reamers? Do you deburr gears made of hardened tool steels? If you're serious about solving surface finishing challenges like these, it's time to learn about NamPower diamond abrasive wheels from Brush Research Manufacturing (BRM).

HOUSTEX 2015 is the place to see innovative manufacturing technologies, and the BRM booth is the place to find edge radiusing, polishing, deburring, and surface finishing tools for harder materials. Visit BRM in Booth 242 and talk to our technical team about NamPower wheel brushes with black diamond filaments. These composite hub wheels feature virtually indestructible cores and have a dense, uniform fill pattern that puts more cutting points at the point of attack.

Surface Finishing Applications

NamPower diamond abrasive wheel brushes produce the ideal edge radius on hard materials such as CBN, ceramic, diamond, glass, and hardened tool steels. With their diamond-impregnated filaments, these nylon abrasive brushes also extend the benefits of NamPower technology to plasma-sprayed and nitride-coated surfaces. BRM's brushing tools cost significantly less than other diamond wheels on the market, and combine high-performance with greater value for dependable results.

NamPower diamond wheels are also used for polishing flute reliefs and carbide inserts. With end mills and reamers, a polished flue relief enhances chip removal and promotes better finishes and longer tool life. With carbide inserts, edge radiusing prevents fracturing and premature insert wear. An alternative to wire wheels and non-woven abrasive brushes, NamPower composite hub wheel brushes are great for turbine blades, steel gears, machine parts, extrusion cut-offs, and shaft finishing.

Product Specifications

BRM's diamond-filament NamPower wheel brushes are supplied in three diameters: 100 mm (4 inches), 150 mm (6 inches), and 200 mm (8 inches). The 150 mm and 200 mm diameter cutting tools have face widths of either 10 mm or 15 mm. The 100 mm diamond wheel is available with either a 5 mm or 10 mm face width to accommodate a variety of flue relief sizes. All of these diamond abrasive brush tools come standard in 600 mesh, which provides just the right amount of cutting action.

Manufacturers and machinists should also consider the relationship between brush diameter and arbor hole size. NamPower composite hub diamond wheels with a diameter of 100 mm have a 20 mm arbor hole. NamPower diamond abrasive wheel brushes with diameters of 150 mm or 200 mm have a 3.25" arbor hole. BRM produces machined arbor adapters in a variety of sizes. These adapters are designed to offer increased brush support, less brush vibration, and longer brush life.

Visit BRM at HOUSTEX 2015 (Booth #242)

From February 24 to 26, BRM's technical specialists will be on-hand to answer your questions about NamPower composite hub nylon abrasive brushes at HOUSTEX 2015. To learn more about our diamond wheels, visit BRM in Booth #242 in the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston, Texas. BRM's technical team will also welcome your questions about NamPower small-diameter abrasive disc brushes, Flex-Hone® tools, and our full line of industrial brushes.

Can't wait for HOUSTEX 2015, or can't make this year's show? Watch this short video to learn more about NamPower diamond wheels, or contact us today.

Author's Note: This CR4 blog entry originally appeared in the BRM Flex-Hone Blog.

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Automated Deburring and Finishing with Mini Abrasive Disc Brushes

Posted February 16, 2015 4:59 PM by Brush Research

Does your manufacturing facility or machine shop use grinders, polishing heads, chamfering tools, hand deburring tools, or other equipment for secondary operations? Would your machining center operators like to achieve outer diameter (OD) surface finishing and deburring at the same time? Are you ready to explore automated finishing to accelerate production, improve quality, ensure consistency, and reduce off-line finishing times and costs?

HOUSTEX 2015 is the place to learn about innovative manufacturing technologies, and Brush Research Manufacturing (BRM) is the place to find surface finishing solutions. Visit BRM in Booth #242 and learn about our NamPower family of products for OD applications such as surface preparation, burr and rust removal, edge radiusing, spot finishing, and polishing. NamPower technology includes abrasive disc brushes, abrasive hex-drive tools, composite hub wheel brushes and accessories for in-line operations.

Brush Sizes and Styles

NamPower abrasive disc brushes come in a range of sizes, and are available in both larger and smaller diameters. Larger abrasive disc brushes are recommended for some OD applications, but mini disc brushes offer even greater versatility in harder-to-reach areas. BRM's miniature brushing tools are also ideal for smaller applications and planetary head mountings. Supplied in 50-mm, 60-mm, and 80-mm diameters, NamPower small-diameter abrasive disc brushes come in two styles: dot and turbine.

Dot style abrasive nylon brushes are ideal for light deburring and edge blending. Turbine brushes are recommended for medium-duty and heavy-duty burr removal. Both types of small-diameter NamPower abrasive discs support short cycle times and long brush tool life. Dot style disc brushes provide greater flexibility and support entry into small holes and spaces with ease. Turbine style disc brushes feature a high-density fill for fast cutting.

Abrasive Types and Grit Sizes

NamPower small-diameter nylon abrasive disc brushes feature a unique combination of white ceramic and silicon carbide abrasive for achieving maximum burr removal rates and an optimum surface finish at the same time. Standard grit sizes of 80, 120, 180, and 320 are available, and BRM also supplies custom mini disc brushes. Custom nylon abrasive brushing tools feature a combination of blue ceramic and silicon carbide, or blue ceramic only.

The abrasive nylon filaments on all NamPower mini disc brushes conform closely to part contours, wiping and filing across part edges and surfaces. Their linear construction puts sharp, new abrasive grains into constant contact with the work surface and provides consistent deburring action throughout the length of the bristles. Compared to standard ceramic abrasive, BRM's combination of white ceramic and silicon carbide provides excellent value and increased tool life.

Sturdy Base and Flow-Through Tool Holder

NamPower small-diameter nylon abrasive disc brushes are manufactured with a molded thermoplastic base that provides greater rigidity and stability with less vibration. The result is a better balanced brush tool with improved performance and longer tool life. BRM also supplies flow-through tool holders that allow coolant to flow from the brush center instead of supplying lubricant from only the outside. This lets the brush tool cut at greater depths while dramatically reducing heat generation.

Small-diameter NamPower abrasive disc brushes feature a flow-through tool holder with a 16-mm shank. Available for both dot style and turbine style mini disc brushes, these special tool holders are heat-treated, precision ground, and PVD coated for improved corrosion resistance. As with the tool holders for larger diameter NamPower abrasive disc brushes, coolant flows through from the brush center, resulting in better lubricant dispersion.

Visit BRM at HOUSTEX 2015 (Booth #242)

From February 24 to 26, BRM's technical specialists will be on-hand to answer your questions about NamPower small-diameter abrasive nylon disc brushes at HOUSTEX 2015. Visit BRM in Booth #242 in the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston, Texas. BRM's technical team will also welcome your questions about other NamPower products, Flex-Hone® tools, and BRM's full line of industrial brushes.

Can't make HOUSTEX 2015? For more information about NamPower small-diameter nylon abrasive disc brushes, contact us today.

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Surface Finishing Technology at HOUSTEX

Posted February 09, 2015 2:21 PM by Brush Research

HOUSTEX 2015 features innovative manufacturing technologies, expert insights, and interactive opportunities for learning. From February 24 to 26, 2015, major manufacturers from across the Southwestern United States and beyond will connect with high-level buyers at the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston, Texas. Co-sponsored by SME and the Association for Manufacturing Technology (AMT), HOUSTEX is the place to make connections that matter.

For tradeshow attendees who want industry-leading surface finishing solutions, the Brush Research Manufacturing (BRM) booth is the place to find proven tools and new technologies. Visit BRM in Booth #242 and see Flex-Hone tools for inner diameter (ID) applications, NamPower technology for outer diameter (OD) applications, and our new Mini Brush Kit. The BRM technical team will be on-hand to answer your questions about finishing, deburring, edge blending, cylinder deglazing, and parts cleaning.

Flexible Cylinder Hones

Flex-Hone tools are flexible, resilient honing tools that remove burrs and improve surface finish at the same time. Designed for use with cylinder walls, these glaze breaker hones feature abrasive globules or balls that are permanently laminated to flexible nylon filaments. Unlike rigid hones, BRM ball hones are self-centering, self-aligning to the bore, and self-centering for wear. They come in standard sizes from 4 mm to 36", and are manufactured in 10 different abrasive types and 11 grit options.

Flexible cylinder hones have a metal stem for mounting, and require no special training or instruction to use. Although some manufacturers use flexible hones with handheld electric drills, Flex-Hone tools mount in most any machine spindle. Examples include CNC equipment, robotic arms, drill presses, and machine tools. Automated deburring and finishing speeds operations, and the plateau finish that flexible honing imparts optimizes lubrication through a series of oil-retaining grooves.

NamPower Nylon Abrasive Brushes

BRM NamPower technology includes abrasive disc brushes, abrasive hex-drive tools, composite hub wheel brushes, and accessories such as lightweight tool holders with flow-through cooling. Built with flexible, abrasive nylon filaments, NamPower brushes feature a balanced construction that makes them an ideal choice for automated surface finishing. These high-performance brushing tools remove burrs and improve finish at the same time. They're also great for edge radiusing and surface preparation.

NamPower nylon abrasive disc brushes come in two types or styles: dot for light deburring and general-purpose use, and turbine for medium and heavy-duty deburring. Both types are available in a range of sizes, including small diameters. NamPower mini disc brushes feature specialized tool holders for flow-through cooling, and provide greater versatility in harder-to-reach areas, smaller applications, and planetary head mountings.

NamPower nylon abrasive wheel brushes feature virtually indestructible cores, a balanced construction, a choice of face widths and diameters, and a uniform fill pattern. Available in silicon carbide or diamond abrasive, NamPower wheel brushes provide an alternative to wire wheels and non-woven abrasive brushing tools. Choose silicon carbide wheels for deburring and edge radiusing most metals. Choose NamPower diamond wheels for harder materials such as ceramic, glass, carbide, and hardened tool steels.

Mini Brush Kits and More

As a full-line supplier of surface finishing solutions, BRM also plans to showcase its Mini Brush Kit at HOUSTEX 2015. This special set of miniature deburring brushes lets manufacturers try several different brush sizes before buying a standard 12-piece set. Each brush kit includes 12 stainless steel brushes and a pin vise. Choose the mini brush kit with sizes .032" to .189", or the kit with sizes from 1 mm to 6.5 mm.

Do your tradeshow plans include a visit to HOUSTEX later this month? From February 24 to 26, 2015, visit BRM in Booth #242 at the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston, Texas. To arrange a meeting in advance, contact us today. Even if you can't attend the show, check out BRM's latest YouTube video: Surface Finishing for Manufacturing - BRM at HOUSTEX (Booth 242) to learn more about the technologies described in this blog entry.

Author's Note: This CR4 blog entry originally appeared in the BRM Flex-Hone Blog.

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Flexible Honing Videos

Posted February 03, 2015 2:18 PM by Brush Research

What's the best way to learn about flexible honing? As a full-line manufacturer of surface finishing solutions, Brush Research Manufacturing (BRM) offers a variety of ways to learn about technologies such as Flex-Hone® tools. For information about tool selection, grit selection, suggested RPMs, and other technical specifications, the Flex-Hone® Resource Guide is a must-read. The BRM website also provides application guides and many other downloadable publications.

Digital books weren't around when BRM was founded in 1958, and video content was largely limited to movie theaters and TV screens. Today, websites such as YouTube and Vimeo enable manufacturers to show how products are made, what they're used for, and how to use tools and equipment properly. If you've visited the Videos section of BRM's website before, you may be familiar with some of our most popular projects. Hopefully, video content such has How to Use a Flex-Hone® has helped you.

YouTube and Vimeo

Have you visited BRM's YouTube and Vimeo pages, too? On both video-sharing channels, you'll find helpful, informative content that you may not have seen before. For example, our YouTube channel is home to over 40 videos, many of which are about flexible honing. Our Vimeo channel contains a few fewer videos, but it's easy to see what's been uploaded most recently. On both channels, videos are arranged in playlists, a feature that helps you to find what you're looking for.

Many Flex-Hone® users are most familiar with YouTube, of course, so let's focus on what's there. The Flex-Hone® In-Machine Setup for Surface Finishing and Deburring video displays prominently, and is worth watching whether you haven't seen it before or just haven't seen it in a while. You'll also find playlists called Flex-Hone® for Firearms and Flex-Hone® Videos. So click on a playlist and select the video of your choice, or start with the first video and let the playlist present them all.

Playlist Picks

In the Flex-Hone® Videos playlist on YouTube, you'll find favorites such as Brush Research and the Flex-Hone® Tool along with in-depth content about cylinder honing and cross-hole deburring. Members of different industries can learn about surface finishing on-demand. For example, Top-Performing Engine Hone Tools and Automotive Brushes is an excellent resource for engine builders and rebuilders. For brake mechanics, there's the Flex-Hone® for Rotors - DIY Surface Finishing Challenges video.

On BRM's YouTube channel, both the Flex-Hone® Videos and Flex-Hone® for Firearms playlists contain clips about flexible hones for firearms. For gun maintenance that keeps bores at the precise dimensions requirements, BRM gunsmithing tools improve surface finish while removing residues and build-ups that can interfere with proper firearms functioning. This SHOT Show 2015 video explains.

Knowledge Transfers

Have you used Flex-Hone® tools for cylinder wall surface finishing, parts deburring, cross-hole deburring, engine cylinder deglazing, or edge blending? Whether you're an experienced user or thinking about trying flexible honing for the first time, BRM videos inform, educate, and entertain. Just ask Chris Duke, host of the popular DIY automotive television show Motorz, who narrated this YouTube video about a Chevy V8 small block engine rebuild.

Sometimes, Flex-Hone® users create their own instructional videos and post content to their own YouTube channels. Remember to always follow guidelines from BRM, but videos such as Engine Building with Rog are worth watching, too. Do you have what it takes to produce and post a YouTube or Vimeo video about flexible honing? Let us know by commenting on this blog entry.

Author's Note: This CR4 blog entry originally appeared in the BRM Flex-Hone Blog.

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How to Maintain Rifle Chambers

Posted January 26, 2015 6:17 PM by Brush Research

Flexible hones impart the optimum surface finish to any type or size cylinder, chamber, slide, magazine tube, or smoothbore barrel. These gunsmith tools from Brush Research Manufacturing (BRM) refine the raised areas or "peaks" that can interfere with proper firearms functioning. They also produce oil-retaining "valleys" that improve a metal surface's ability to retain oil. The plateau finish that flexible honing imparts doesn't remove significant amounts of material, however. In this way, flexible hones improve surface finish while keeping the bores of your firearms at their precise dimensions.

Flex-Hone tools for Firearms are available for pistols, revolvers, rifle chambers, smoothbore shotguns, and even paintball guns. At SHOT Show 2015 in Las Vegas last week, the BRM technical team talked to shooters, hunters, gunsmiths, and firearms manufacturers who wanted to learn more about our Made in the USA gunsmithing tools. As a full-line supplier of surface finishing solutions, BRM enjoys describing the benefits of Flex-Hone technology. At the same time, there's no substitute for what Flex-Hone for Firearms users say about our products. Here are two success stories about BRM's rifle chamber hones.

Polishing AR-15 Chambers

On the Guns Magazine website, an article entitled AR-15 Building Tools - Part II described what a shooter called "handy" items for firearms maintenance. The list included rear-sight spring tools, a bolt disassembly fixture, and a front takedown pin detent installer. The gunsmith also emphasized the importance of polishing AR-15 chambers to ensure that spent cartridge cases eject properly. The gun tool he mentioned by name was the Flex-Hone for Firearms.

Self-centering, self-aligning to the bore, and self-compensating for wear, flexible honing tools feature abrasive globules or balls that are permanently bonded to flexible nylon filaments. In the case of AR-15 chambers, the Flex-Hone for Rifles safely removes residues, machining marks, corrosion, oxidation, and surface imperfections. BRM's rifle chamber hones have a 1-5/8" silicon carbide (SC) abrasive part and come in overall lengths (OALs) of 6, 8, 12, and 14 inches.

Maintaining U.S. Model of 1917 Firearms

According to the U.S. War Department's Basic Field Manual of 1942, the chamber of the M1917 Enfield rifle "must be cleaned as thoroughly as the bore" because "a rough chamber may cause shells to stick." The Flex-Hone for Firearms wasn't invented back then, but that didn't stop a gun blogger from using a modern-day rifle tool with a U.S. Model of 1917 Enfield Rifle. Unable to remove rust and residue with a chamber brush, the gunsmith tried flexible honing.

Later, while updating readers about this firearms restoration project, the gun blogger reported that that the M1917 rifle's rounds now "ejected like butter". Firearms manufacturers often use Flex-Hone tools with production equipment, but the gunsmith chucked the mandrel of this flexible hone into a handheld electric drill. With the receiver and the chamber clamped in a vice between two wooden blocks, honing the rifle chamber for about a minute did the trick. "This works!!!", the gun specialist explained.

Share Your Story

Have you used Flex-Hone for Rifles tools to remove tool marks, residues, build-ups, or corrosion from rifle chambers? What was your experience like, and which types of long guns did you maintain? Even if you didn't get a chance to visit us at SHOT Show 2015, we'd like to hear your story. BRM's technical team can also provide you with information and advice to supplement blog entries like this. Watch our Flex-Hone for Firearms Instructional Video, too.

Author's Note: This CR4 blog entry originally appeared in the BRM Flex-Hone Blog.

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Gunsmithing Tools for Pistols and Revolvers

Posted January 19, 2015 1:23 PM by Brush Research

Handgun maintenance is essential for the proper functioning of semi-automatic pistols and revolvers. Flex-Hone for Firearms tools from Brush Research Manufacturing (BRM) remove build-ups of primer, gun powder, and ammunition casing materials from handgun cylinders. BRM's gunsmithing tools also remove surface irregularities such as machining or tooling marks. For cowboy action shooters, these reliable brushing tools are a good choice for removing residues from wax bullets.

Flexible honing for handgun cylinders imparts a finish that's free from these and other surface imperfections. BRM Flex-Hone for Firearms tools also impart a series of regular grooves that promote optimum lubrication. Firearms manufacturers, gunsmiths, gun collectors, and handgun owners alike also appreciate how flexible honing imparts a surface finish that looks great and helps to protect gun parts from fouling and corrosion.

Handgun Maintenance

As an experienced supplier of surface finishing solutions, Brush Research understands the needs of the firearms industry. Without proper maintenance, semi-automatic pistols can experience misfeeds, failures to eject (stove pipes), and misfires. Residues on the follower, feed ramp, bolt face access, or extractor groove can prevent a cartridge from chambering properly. Build-ups at the chamber's breech can keep cartridges from fully loading, leaving the bullet rim unsupported.

Revolvers can also malfunction if they're not maintained. For new shooters, it's important to remember to hold the muzzle upwards while extracting spent shells. Otherwise, burned powder residue and unburned gun powder can become lodged under the star extractor, preventing the star from fully seating in the cylinder recess. Problems associated with a residues can also affect experienced shooters, which is why periodic gun maintenance is so important.

Flexible Hones for Handgun Cylinders

BRM supplies chamber hones for a variety of handguns, including .32, .357 MAG / .38 cylinder, .41 MAG, .44 MAG, .45 ACP, .45 Colt, and 9mm. These Made in the USA Flex-Hone tools have a 1-5/8" abrasive part and an overall length (OAL) of 3 inches. Depending on your surface finishing requirements, choose silicon carbide (SC) abrasive in either 400 or 800 grit. If a surface requires significant improvement, start with a lower-grit tool and then use a higher-grit tool for the final finish.

Flex-Hone for Firearms tools are also available for maintaining the slides on semi-automatic pistols made by Smith & Wesson, Beretta, and Sig Sauer. These 800-grit SC tools have an overall length (OAL) of 8 inches. Handgun owners can also choose gunsmithing tools for the slide lug area or the main spring housing in Model 1911 firearms. M1911 pistols are used by military and law enforcement personnel, and remain a favorite of recreational shooters.

Visit BRM at SHOT Show 2015 (Booth #2828)

Do your tradeshow plans include a visit to SHOT Show in Las Vegas from January 20 to 23, 2015? Visit BRM in Booth #2828 at the Sands Expo Center and learn more about Made in the USA surface finishing tools for semi-automatic pistols and revolvers. Our technical team is ready to answer your questions, and can tell you more about the handgun maintenance tools shown in this new YouTube video. To arrange a meeting, contact BRM today.

Author's Note: This CR4 blog entry originally appeared in the BRM Flex-Hone Blog.

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