Buffing option using a spindle sander #1: converting paint roller sleeves to buffers

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Blog entry by luv2learn posted 10-06-2014 06:49 PM 3288 reads 5 times favorited 13 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Buffing option using a spindle sander series no next part

My latest edition of ShopNotes featured a tip sent in by a reader for buffing parts.

Notice that he used his 1 1/2” Φ hole saw as a mount for a section of paint roller sleeve.

I tried this and it will work, but me being me, I wondered if this would work better if the section of roller were mounted over the 1 1/2” Φ rubber drums of both my Rigid spindle sander and the small drum of my drill mounted drum. Since these drums expand the sleeves would not slip while buffing.

My Rigid drums are 4 1/2” long which made it perfect for cutting a typical 9” paint roller sleeve in half. Another typical length of paint roller is 4” which when cut in half is ideal for my 1 1/2” Φ by 2”long rubber drum. Beware that the paint roller sleeves fit tightly over the rubber drums. To help with this I sprinkled baby powder over the drum before mounting the sleeve.

Here are a few transition pictures from the sanding to buffing option.

I was only able to use paint rollers with a 3/8” or 1/2” nap with my Rigid spindle sander because of the the guard diameter but I could use a 3/4” nap on the smaller drum.

This tip also gave me yet another option to present when promoting the two mandrels I posted in my last blog. Because of their versatility,I have decided to name these two mandrels the, “Multi-task Mandrels”. What do you think?

I hope that you will find this tip of some use in your shop. Thanks for looking. As usual, your comments and suggestions are always welcome.

-- Lee - Northern idaho~"If the women don't find you handsome, at least they ought to find you handy"~ Red Green

13 comments so far

View tyvekboy's profile


1307 posts in 2433 days

#1 posted 10-06-2014 07:03 PM

Great ideas. I think Iʻll adopt them. Thanks for sharing.

-- Tyvekboy -- Marietta, GA ………….. one can never be too organized

View luv2learn's profile


2409 posts in 1723 days

#2 posted 10-06-2014 07:09 PM

tyvekboy, let me know how this works for you. Perhaps you can post a few pictures of you buffing out some of your amazing Intarsia pieces.

-- Lee - Northern idaho~"If the women don't find you handsome, at least they ought to find you handy"~ Red Green

View HillbillyShooter's profile


5811 posts in 1712 days

#3 posted 10-06-2014 08:20 PM

Great idea! You’re like the innovator’s answer to the Enigizer Bunny”: The Inventor Who Never Runs Out of Ideas.
Thanks for sharing and it looks like you’re on your way!

-- John C. -- "Firearms are second only to the Constitution in importance; they are the peoples' liberty's teeth." George Washington

View johnstoneb's profile (online now)


2104 posts in 1593 days

#4 posted 10-06-2014 08:24 PM

good idea. I might try that on my sander. I have turned a piece of pine down and slid a roller on it and used my lathe it works well for that.

-- Bruce, Boise, ID

View Mauricio's profile


7115 posts in 2571 days

#5 posted 10-06-2014 08:57 PM


-- Mauricio - Woodstock, GA - "Confusion is the Womb of Learning, with utter conviction being it's Tomb" Prof. T.O. Nitsch

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

16796 posts in 2525 days

#6 posted 10-06-2014 09:14 PM

Lots of great options. Will you be using 3 buffing pads for Tripoli, White Diiamond and Carnubla wax like the Beall system?

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View luv2learn's profile


2409 posts in 1723 days

#7 posted 10-06-2014 11:06 PM

Thanks John I appreciate your comments and good advise.

Bruce, turning a dowel is certainly another great option for accommodating the paint rollers.

Mauricio, thanks.

Jim, the beauty of my mandrel is that you can set it up any way you like. It is designed to be both mobile or lathe mounted. That being said, the mandrel for the Beall system is single purpose, longer by design, and will support three buffing pads comfortably. The two photos shown below are just a couple of ways one could set up the larger of my two mandrels.

-- Lee - Northern idaho~"If the women don't find you handsome, at least they ought to find you handy"~ Red Green

View johnhutchinson's profile


1171 posts in 1049 days

#8 posted 10-07-2014 02:25 AM

I like the idea of taking the buffer to the workpiece instead of vice versa. But I wonder if the nap on rollers is long enough to be effective for anything other than polishing hardware, as shown in the tip.

Rather than using any Beall products, I’ve been using car buffers chucked into my hand drills.

-- John - Central Ohio - "too much is never enough"

View doubleDD's profile


5057 posts in 1463 days

#9 posted 10-07-2014 02:42 AM

Lee, this is a great idea. I’m going to try this on my next project. It will definitely make some sanding options easier.

-- Dave, Downers Grove, Il. -------- When you run out of ideas, start building your dreams.

View luv2learn's profile


2409 posts in 1723 days

#10 posted 10-07-2014 02:53 AM

John, I really don’t know how effective paint rollers will be as buffers. I just thought the idea was worth pursuing to see where it lead. Gotta give it a try :).

Dave, let me know how this works for you.

-- Lee - Northern idaho~"If the women don't find you handsome, at least they ought to find you handy"~ Red Green

View Roger's profile


19714 posts in 2224 days

#11 posted 10-07-2014 12:38 PM

Really good stuff Lee. Ya gotta luv shop notes as well.

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed.

View Paul Bucalo's profile

Paul Bucalo

586 posts in 780 days

#12 posted 10-07-2014 01:14 PM

Added to favorites. Thanks!

-- -- Paul Bucalo, Upstate NY USA

View brassbend's profile


1 post in 595 days

#13 posted 03-08-2015 08:47 PM

I have never tried painting with a buffing wheel… just saying. Something that might be better than a paint roller for buffing might be a real buffing wheel. I tried this and it works. Find 3 inch buffing wheels and just stack them up on the spindle sander. I go 4 high and then I have drilled out some plastic to make a sleeve to hold the wheels down… it goes on top and is held in place by the nut on the spindle sander. A person could also finish off the project with just a hand full of fender washers to hold the buffs in place. The buffs I use have a metal center. The hole in the center is exactly correct for the spindle…lucky on that one. I run this with no plastic base in place so the spindles can go down into the body of the sander. I use this set up to buff the interior of brass curves on the instruments I make..not shown in video. It is a little slower than my usual buff, but safer for small parts!

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