Metal Finishing Capabilities

We offer high quality metal finishing options on most products manufactured at TMS.  Most exterior and/or interior surfaces may be ground smooth to 125 Ra. or 32 Ra. with a brush finish depending on the part configuration.  For larger projects, we have established partners ideal for painting, powder coating, buffing, conversion coatings, anodizing, passivation and electro-polishing.  The combination of our in-house and partner surface finishing processes and robust knowledge base is powerful and available to you to get the surfaces you need whether it be aesthetically pleasing, smooth, mirror like and or corrosion resistant.  The right part material, surface preparation and surface treatment is paramount when  your application demands it.  We understand and we work hard to get what our customers need.  Contact us by phone, or use our request a quote form, and we will work to support your needs.

Manual Finishing

A very popular method of polishing stainless steel parts is a manual finishing technique.  Trained polishers apply different grades of abrasives to the parts and accomplish a polish pattern desired by the customer.  The manual finishing process requires a lathe and a properly trained person to hand work the parts with abrasives.  The recipe for the desired finish is usually trial and error until the desired finish is accomplished.  The recipe is then written down and stored until the next time the part comes through for polish.  Beautiful and aesthetically pleasing parts are the result of this laborious method.  TMS specializes in polishing stainless steel and copper parts.

Robotic Finishing

TMS has 3 robotic polishers in house.  They are all designed to do different things.  A skilled Robotic Engineer on staff programs the robots to polish what normally a person would do.  Once the robot is programmed, a skilled and trained operator loads and unloads the robots, inspects the finished pieces with an eagle eye for quality characteristics and packages the parts at the machines and readies the parts for shipment to the customer.  Robotic polishing can be very consistent in quality, but must be constantly checked to ensure each piece meets strict quality standards.  Abrasive belts are used in the robotic process and a recipe is developed, just like manual polishing, and stored once the customer approves the end product.  At TMS, many of our food grade polishes are applied by a robot and quality checked by a profilometer.    The Cleanline Waste Receptacles are polished by a robot, as well as car wash vacuum domes and our standard line of conical TMS hoppers.


#3 Finish

Grain finish. Also called Grinding, Roughing or Rough Grinding Very coarse finish. The material is polished to a uniform finish between 60 and 180 grit.

Architectural Finish

Also called Brushed, Directional or Satin Finish a #4 Architectural Finish is characterized by fine polishing grit lines that are uniform and directional in appearance. It is produced by polishing the metal with a 120 – 180 grit belt or wheel finish and then softened with an 80 – 120 grit greaseless compound or a medium non-woven abrasive belt or pad. A brush finish is a surface that is washed then ground with an abrasive. The surface of the part will have a series of uniform lines that give the part’s surface texture. Most major spin lines, draw marks, grain patterns, discolorations, and pits will be in an unnoticeable state. The finish will visually hide most minor imperfections that remain. There are no tolerances that are held with this finish. A brush finish is purely for cosmetic appearance only. This finish is very economical when compared to chemical or smoother polishing operations and a good looking part is necessary.

RA Finish

An RA Finish is more aggressive than a brush finish. The difference between the two is the  RA surface finish is held to tolerances on an RA scale. The finish’s visual appearance is typically not as bright and textured. It usually is more dark and smooth. Often, this polish is suitable for parts that are to be used in sanitary type conditions.

Dairy or Sanitary Finish

This finish is commonly used for the medical and food industry – almost exclusively used on stainless steel. Great care should be taken in removing the surface defects in the metal – like pits – that could allow bacteria to grow. This finish is produced by polishing with a 180 – 240 grit belt or wheel finish softened with 120 – 240 grit greaseless compound or a fine non woven abrasive belt or pad.

Process Finish

This finish is the surface the processing of the part creates and the surface collects during that processing. When there is minimal deformation, typically the part’s surface is covered in a light oil film with minimal metal fines and minimal surface roughness. On the opposite end of the spectrum, severe deformation typically leaves a surface with a heavy oil-paraffin film with more metal fines and a rougher surface. In drawn parts, surfaces have a grain pattern on large reduction draws and typically have marks left from processing called draw lines for many materials. A draw line is a vertical line that is cut into the surface caused primarily from particulates that collect on the form die due to adhesion wear. Spin lines form during spinning. They are concentric like rings on faces and parallel lines on diameters.

Wash Finish

This finish is the same as a process finish except the part is washed. The washing of this part in a mild alkaline heated solution removes a majority of excess oil and particulates that collect on the surface during the manufacturing process.

Mechanically Cleaned Finish

A clean finish is a surface mechanically cleaned with a mineral spirit cleaning agent. A thin layer of the cleaning agent that is virtually unnoticeable by touch yields a clean looking part.


A surface that needs to have superior corrosion resistance should be passivated. Passivating is either treating or coating a metal in order to reduce the chemical reactivity of its surface. Toledo Metal Spinning Company does not have this process in-house, but can be outsourced on the part built for you.


A smooth and highly reflective electropolished surface is obtained by electro-chemically polishing a part. Toledo Metal Spinning Company does not have this process in-house, but can be outsourced on the part built for you.

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