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I'm part way through my hybrid plate/tube bumper, and with my normal grinding wheel I'm not able to get a nice clean looking surface on my welds.

I think I've seen some people using an air powered sander, with a smoother disc maybe? anyways, what tool is best for smoothing out my exposed welds? so it looks like 1 piece of metal.

this will make for a more fun post.



so where my square tubing connects to my new crossmember, and where my side mounts attach to my new cross member, also after i weld the top tube to the square tubing.
 

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You can start out using a typical 4" grinding wheel (usually equal to 24-36 grit) to knock down the welds, and then transition to a 3" 36-50 grit Roll-loc on an air angle grinder.
They are also available in a scotchbrite (higher grit) wheel that can really smooth things out nice before paint. The key to the roll-locs is the air grinder. The rpms are much higher so the finish is better.
 

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You need to use a flap wheel for that. Be careful you're not making the area at and around the weld concave.

Any decent 36-40 grit, 4.5" flap wheel on a moderately powerful grinder (I used an 8A for years) should work.
 

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another trick is 2 sanding discs back to back on a grinder, lets you get into some tight spots!
 

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Yeah, pick up a 60 grit flap disc for whatever size grinder you have and with a little practice things will look amazing. :)
I prefer DeWalt grinders, flap discs, and cutoff wheels. All their stuff lasts the longest at reasonable prices from my experiences.
 

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I'm part way through my hybrid plate/tube bumper, and with my normal grinding wheel I'm not able to get a nice clean looking surface on my welds.

I think I've seen some people using an air powered sander, with a smoother disc maybe? anyways, what tool is best for smoothing out my exposed welds? so it looks like 1 piece of metal.

this will make for a more fun post.



so where my square tubing connects to my new crossmember, and where my side mounts attach to my new cross member, also after i weld the top tube to the square tubing.
buy some 'flapper' discs. they come is several different grits. I use 60 for most everything and get a nice smooth finish but if you need it better than that go with 80. Ebay has the best deals
like this:
http://cgi.ebay.com/10-4-5-x7-8-Premium-Zirconia-Flap-Disc-Grinding-Wheel-/270390184234
 

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i use my 4x24 belt sander (handheld makita) for larger flat surfaces or cleaning up square corners, no dips that you get from a grinder. realize this doesn't help you if you don't have a belt sander though ;)
 

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another trick is 2 sanding discs back to back on a grinder, lets you get into some tight spots!
I gotta remember that...also the belt sander.

btw RAB maybe you already know this but this only really works well if you've grooved the root. I pile the weld just a little higher than flush, if I want to do this...like a butt weld that you want to look pretty, or that you're going to slide stuff over...otherwise I just fill the groove and let it be. Always try to run a bead that you'd be happy to leave as-is.
 
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