I am looking at buying some tubing. There are options; stainless, polished stainless,chrome plated stainless. Given that 316 is better than 304, has anyone tried polished 304? Does it get light surface rust? Thanks
I would not get chrome plated. The plating deteriorates. There are several grades of polished. I have called friend to remind me of the grades. 304 will deteriorate (surface rust) much more quickly that 316, I know that, but it is plenty strong.
Thanks Terry, this is what I know. 316L is the best we can get, low carbon good for welding without cause a lot of rust. 304/18-8 are the same but I understand it might get surface rust and that is the question I am putting out there for first hand info.
My canvas guy uses 304 polished for his biminis etc. After a year in the tropics, it had very slight rust, easily removed with Flix polish. His polish level is not "mirror glaze" but one step down. It all depends on where you will be and the use involved. Monitor used to build their self steering out of 304, but so close to the salt water they got pretty ugly, Now they use 316.
My experience is the same as well. 304 will develop rust. 316 is much less prone to rusting, but usually quite a bit more expensive. I am about to build a bow and stern pulpit for another boat and will use 316 throughout, including the deck mounting pads.
If you get a chance, check onlinemetals.com
There are quite good tutorials on a lot of different metals. They sell a huge variety and usually ship quickly. Prices are fair as well. Only drawback might be they can only ship up to 8 feet sticks. UPS' rules.