Buffer - Converting a cheap grinder into a buffer

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Blog entry by mafe posted 10-26-2014 08:38 PM 5346 reads 0 times favorited 14 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Converting a cheap grinder into a buffer

I usually use a electric drill with a buffer attached when I have buff, this is actually working fine, but I have for years dreamed of a bench version, just thought they were too expensive or cheap and with no power…

I had one of these, that ended up never used after I got a water grinder and a disc sander.
So a conversion was obvious.
I bought the spindles on E-bay for next to nothing, one left and one right twisted, split the machine apart, actually this was a couple of years ago, but as I wanted to mount them, I found out the one axle was much thicker and so the spindle could not fit… and I could not get a spindle in a fitting dimension, then a lot happened, I packed the grinder away and time went.

The other day I found the grinder in a box and set up to solve the problem, with no plan and a hack saw…
First I cut the right sized axle to length, this was easy, just made the motor run and put the hack saw on it.

Then it was just to screw the spindle on and put on a buffer.

Here we had the problem…
I tried to grind of with a hack saw but the blades just burned away…

Then I remembered I bought some hard tips for a lathe chisel with replaceable tips (another unfinished project).
Hmmmmmm could that be possible…
It spins…

So I clamped a tip in a pliers and made a simple rest.
This worked amazingly well, I just had to be careful not to over heat the axle.
In a few moments the job was done and the axle had the right dimension.
So I just needed to screw the second spindle on and make it run.

This rocks, I finally have a buffer, this will come in handy.
Big smile.

Hope this can inspire others to just go for it, when it seems not possible.

Best thoughts,


-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

14 comments so far

View patron's profile


13635 posts in 3513 days

#1 posted 10-26-2014 08:46 PM

good resolve mads

should be much better for the buffing needs now

will this be done in public
or in the back room

‘in the buff’

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View stefang's profile


16058 posts in 3506 days

#2 posted 10-26-2014 08:48 PM

Very resourceful and clever Mads. I have been thinking about maybe some set-up for buffing with my lathe, but I never seem to actually get around to it.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View SPalm's profile


5325 posts in 4054 days

#3 posted 10-26-2014 08:52 PM

That is really cool.
You got a good thinker on you.

Buffers are great.

-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

View mafe's profile


11741 posts in 3261 days

#4 posted 10-26-2014 08:57 PM

David, buffing will be in the back, it makes noise and dirt. ;-)

Mike, you can buy a cheap spindle like this and use on the lathe, just make sure you get the right direction, so it locks and not throws of the buffer disc..
Steve, big smile, yes they are.
Thank you for the smile on my lips,

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

View Don W's profile

Don W

18988 posts in 2739 days

#5 posted 10-26-2014 09:06 PM

that’s how to use what you have to get’er done!!

-- - Collecting is an investment in the past, and the future.

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

21504 posts in 3277 days

#6 posted 10-26-2014 09:33 PM

Very slick, Mads. That is some metal lathe you have!!!!!!!

Good use of that old grinder! A buffer is nice to have. Do you use Tripoli on the wheels?

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

View lew's profile


12380 posts in 3927 days

#7 posted 10-26-2014 09:42 PM

Thanks for the idea on turning the shaft. I have an old grinder that I want to convert to a buffer and was having the same problem.

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View peteg's profile


4409 posts in 2995 days

#8 posted 10-26-2014 09:53 PM

Yep I like the “manual” type lathe too mads :)
great result, it’s much flasher than my jacked up system

-- Pete G: If you always do what you always did you'll always get what you always got

View Brit's profile


7520 posts in 3015 days

#9 posted 10-26-2014 10:24 PM

Ingenious! Are you going to make a guard to contain the mess when you buff Mads?

-- - Andy - Old Chinese proverb says: "If you think something can't be done, don't interrupt man who is doing it."

View johnhutchinson's profile


1243 posts in 1801 days

#10 posted 10-27-2014 12:11 AM

Good job, Mads !!! I’m starting to wonder if I chuck a right angle adapter into my drill press. That would give me a variable-speed buffer and allow me to use inexpensive drill buffers.

Might be loud? Might overheat? Might blow up?

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

View CFrye's profile


10440 posts in 2012 days

#11 posted 10-28-2014 10:21 AM

”with no plan and a hack saw…”
...and you make it work! You do inspire, Mads :-)

-- God bless, Candy

View Roger's profile


20949 posts in 2976 days

#12 posted 10-29-2014 09:54 PM

Gr8 stuff Mads. You’ll be shinning everything up.. :)

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

View Schwieb's profile


1871 posts in 3633 days

#13 posted 10-30-2014 12:03 AM

Mads, what you have made here, is just like what we use in dentistry to polish acrylic dentures and even gold crowns. We call it a lathe but I never saw how that applied. We use rag wheels all the time and tapered – threaded cones on each end of the shafts to hold them The best ones I know of are made by Baldor. They have 2 speeds and extended shafts for better access to the work. I have rag wheels that I use only for woodworking at my practice and bring things in to polish them.

-- Dr. Ken, Florida - Durch harte arbeit werden Träume wahr.

View mafe's profile


11741 posts in 3261 days

#14 posted 11-04-2014 09:05 PM

David I laugh.
Ken, now I will have new images in my head when I use it, just had a crown made. MaFe gold teeth.
Roger, like a sun.
Fry, yes I did it! ;-)
John, I have used these on a cord drill in a fixture, did actually burn up one cord drill…
Andy, yes one fine day I might… Smiles.
Pete, yes the manual lathe rocks!
Lew, then it was worth posting it, yabadabadoo.
Jim, I was actually looking forward to hear your response, I was thinking of you when I did it, since I know your metal skills.
Don, nothing beats that.
Steve, dooohhhhhh yes.
Mike, I hope you do.
Best thoughts and thanks,

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

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