Metal surface finishers work in metal fabrication and engineering production operations. They finish metal products by cleaning, polishing, filing or bathing them in acid solutions. They also apply protective and decorative coatings.
Personal requirements of a Metal Surface Finisher
- enjoy practical and manual activities
- enjoy technical activities
- able to cope with the physical demands of the job
- able to work independently and as part of a team
- able to work accurately
- good with numbers
- free from allergies to paint, solvents or dusts.
Duties & Tasks of a Metal Surface Finisher
Metal surface finishers may perform the following tasks:
- coat metal articles and parts with a layer of decorative or protective metal such as copper, silver, nickel or chromium
- prepare and maintain plating solutions
- clean and prepare metal surfaces with cleaning solutions, such as acids or alkalis, or by using blasting cabinets
- apply waxes, lacquers or resistant adhesive tapes to areas not to be plated
- dip parts in plating solutions or use selective brush plating
- use electroplating equipment, setting and adjusting controls to achieve the desired thickness of plating.
Working conditions for a Metal Surface Finisher
Metal surface finishers work in production areas that can be noisy, hot, dusty and may contain fumes. However, the work environment is generally spacious, well ventilated and well lit. They may have to spend long periods standing and are sometimes required to work shifts.
An electroplater coats metal parts and articles with a layer of decorative or protective metal such as copper, silver, nickel or chromium. They work for electroplating firms, anodisers, metal polishers and printed circuit board manufacturers.