Vibratory finishing, centrifugal barrel finishing and turbo-abrasive machining are the three top techniques for finishing gears, improving performance and extending service life. Isotropic finishing can have a dramatic impact on gear performance and service life, so much so that some racing teams disassemble stock gear sets and components and send them out to be isotropically finished for the performance and extended service life benefits. (Photo courtesy of Mark Riley, BV Products.) Gear before turbo abrasive machining (TAM). (Photo courtesy of Michael Massarsky, Turbo Finish Corp.) A better understanding of gear-finishing options will add to performance levels and service life. (Photo courtesy of Mark Riley, BV Products.) Dave Davidson has surface finishing in his DNA. His manufacturing beginnings trace to the 1970s working in a longstanding family business that manufactured wooden shoe pegs used for tumble-polishing small plastic items using steam-era machinery. To get a leg up on the technology, Mr. Davidson, who is now retired but remains active as a consultant in the industry, joined the Society of Manufacturing Engineers’ Burr, Edge and Surface Technology division. ...