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Buffing station: plans or ideas

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Forum topic by Bonj posted 08-03-2014 04:07 AM 2776 views 1 time favorited 16 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Bonj

13 posts in 861 days


08-03-2014 04:07 AM

Topic tags/keywords: woodturning buffing finishing

Does anyone have a plan for a buffing station?

I have an old 1/3hp – 1725rpm motor that I would like to use for a buffing station. Lee Valley offers a double mandrel set up that I was considering but I’m not certain the shaft is long enough to allow enough room to buff a bowl. Is 1725rpm fast enough? Should it be closer to 3000rpm?

Just wondering what some of you creative, out of the box thinkers have come up with.

Cheers

-- Nothing is impossible for those that don't have to do it themselves


16 replies so far

View TheDane's profile

TheDane

4997 posts in 3123 days


#1 posted 08-03-2014 01:01 PM

ShopNotes magazine had a multi-wheel buffing station a few years back that looked pretty good. I was thinking about building it, but instead bought a Beall buffing system that I use on my lathe.

As far as speed, I would stick with the lower rpm. I have heard that buffing at higher speeds can create enough heat to damage some finishes. With my Beall system, I run about 1000rpm and that seems to do just fine.

-- Gerry -- "I don't plan to ever really grow up ... I'm just going to learn how to act in public!"

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hairy

2384 posts in 2992 days


#2 posted 08-03-2014 02:03 PM

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6I1z6_qFp50

Lyle Jamieson video, real good info on buffing.

-- stay thirsty my friends...

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Crank50

173 posts in 1036 days


#3 posted 08-03-2014 02:43 PM

High quality buffing machines exist; made by companies like Baldor, but they sell for around $400 to $1000.
As a jewelry designer and store owner I found years ago that the cheap Chinese grinders would do the job for $29 plus a couple of tapered spindle adapters that usually sell for about $7 each.

The buffing wheels have a small hole in the center and the spindle has tapered threads that screw into the hole. The rotation of the grinder tightens the wheel. You spin the wheel backwards with the motor off the remove it.

The grinder you need is the cheap generic type, like sold at Harbor Freight, and I have the best results with the 6” size. Make sure to get a grinder with stamped steel wheel guards held on by screws.

You have to remove the grinding wheels and the guards. The adapter fits over the shaft and is held in place with two set screws. Then the buffing wheels are simply placed on the tapered spindle and the motor turned on. Inertia will tighten the buffing wheel onto the spindle.

I have made six machines like this and they work great. NOTE: You do need to know the size of the shaft before you order the spindles.

View bigblockyeti's profile

bigblockyeti

3665 posts in 1180 days


#4 posted 08-03-2014 03:22 PM

I have a 1hp, 3450 rpm motor that I bolt to my workbench with a couple wing nuts for quick deployment. Most of what I’m polishing is metal so this is done in my garage away from my woodworking. I’ve found the higher speed works better for turning an 8” rag wheel.

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Bonj

13 posts in 861 days


#5 posted 08-03-2014 04:11 PM

Thanks guys.

The 3000rpm number came from watching a David Ellsworth video yesterday. He indicated he boosted the speed of his buffer to 3000 using different sized pulleys as “3000 was the speed needed”. I know there is a chance of burning the wood at higher speeds so I asked the question to get an idea of what others have found to work for them. (Not that I’m suggesting that David Ellsworth doesn’t know what he’s talking about.)

The Lyle Jamieson video had good info as well. I would like to create a system to allow the use of 2 buffers rather than having to change pads as his design does.

I’m intrigued by the adapters Crank50 suggests. Where can you source these? Can you order them with the left and right hand threads to use them in a double mandrel/spindle set up?

I’ve never used the Beall system but in looking at it, it appears to me the pads don’t have enough separation to allow being able to swing a bowl from side to side without hitting the pad next to it. Am I right or wrong on this? I can see benefits to the system: mainly having the use of the variable speed control of the lathe, not having to worry about left and right hand threads of spindles and having 3 buffing pads available to you instead of 2. I’m still looking for the ShopNotes article – no luck yet.

Again, thanks for taking the time to comment and all your suggestions.

-- Nothing is impossible for those that don't have to do it themselves

View TheDane's profile

TheDane

4997 posts in 3123 days


#6 posted 08-03-2014 04:22 PM

Here’s the edition of ShopNotes … http://www.shopnotes.com/issues/119/


”... it appears to me the pads don t have enough separation to allow being able to swing a bowl from side to side without hitting the pad next to it. Am I right or wrong on this?”

You are correct … my Beall system has an MT2 adapter and only uses one wheel/ball at a time. I looked at systems with multiple wheels on a mandrel and decided against them. Changing the wheels/balls is no big deal to me. IMHO, you could have problems buffing the inside of a vessel with any mandrel-based system. You’re not only like to be bump the adjacent wheel(s), but you could be hitting the mandrel itself.

-- Gerry -- "I don't plan to ever really grow up ... I'm just going to learn how to act in public!"

View Crank50's profile

Crank50

173 posts in 1036 days


#7 posted 08-03-2014 08:06 PM

http://www.riogrande.com/Product/Brass-Tapered-Spindles/333042?Pos=1

This is a link to Rio Grande jeweler’s supply for the spindles. They also sell buffs and compounds and complete buffing stations with dust collection if that is what you need.

I think they will sell to anyone. (some jewelery sources require you have a retail tax number)

The spindles are available for right or left hand threads and most machines are double ended.

There is a buff made for polishing the inside of silver goblets that might be useful for bowl work.

View dhazelton's profile

dhazelton

2322 posts in 1756 days


#8 posted 08-03-2014 08:47 PM

Look at Caswell Plating’s website. Everything you could want in buffing mandrels, kits to add your motor etc.

http://www.caswellplating.com/buffing-polishing.html

Also google home made buffing mandrel and switch to image search. Tons of ideas. Also search for guitar makers buffers as they have long spindles.

View waho6o9's profile

waho6o9

7166 posts in 2037 days


#9 posted 08-03-2014 08:55 PM

http://www.bealltool.com/products/buffing/

Here’s some added info

HTH

View Bonj's profile

Bonj

13 posts in 861 days


#10 posted 08-03-2014 09:07 PM

Some great links posted by you guys. Thanks

Caswell Plating looks like it has everything anyone would ever need for buffing and polishing – just as you said. Given they have a Canadian location I think I’ll give them a call.

Thanks everyone.

Cheers

-- Nothing is impossible for those that don't have to do it themselves

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

17118 posts in 2565 days


#11 posted 08-07-2014 11:03 PM

I was going to make a buffing system and did research on the different wheels needed with the specific compounds and found it cheaper to just buy the Beall system where I got just the 3- 8” diameter wheels and compounds and I made the arbor and the fittings that go in the center of each wheel. I used 1/2_13 bolts and washers for each wheel. For the arbor, I made one with a 1-8 thread for my lathe spindle and I made it 8” long instead of the 4” one Beall sells. It gives me lots of clearance so I don’t take chance of hitting the head stock.

It could also be mounted on an electric motor like Lyle Jamieson shows.

..............Jim

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

View Bonj's profile

Bonj

13 posts in 861 days


#12 posted 08-08-2014 02:19 AM

Thanks Jim. Will give that some thought.

-- Nothing is impossible for those that don't have to do it themselves

View moke's profile

moke

860 posts in 2236 days


#13 posted 08-09-2014 03:29 PM

Bonj,
I have the beal buff system mounted on the econo-Rikon mini lathe….I use it for a lot of things but not bowls…there is simply not room to get the bowl in there. Make no mistake I am not knocking the 3 wheel Beall system..it is awesome, it is well made, but not meant to do bowls. I bought the bowl buff and mandrell and have it mounted on a 3450 buffer, it works very well, but 3450 is sort of aggressive and requires some care. I would say a 1750 would be perfect…go for it. I have not had the greatest of luck with Caswell products…the buff pads do not always have the hole well centered and I end up having to mess with it to get it to run true. Having said that my friend swears by their products and would not go to anyone else.

I would say that you should give it a shot to set up a dedicated buffer with your motor, but look at you needs. A bowl buff is not well suited to do much else, and a pad is not well suited for bowls. I will say, that prior to using the beall buff, I took an old car buffer that had a really small bonnet, mounted it in my wood vise and buffed the inside of bowls with that. It really worked well.
Mike

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Bonj

13 posts in 861 days


#14 posted 08-10-2014 02:12 AM

Thanks for your input Mike. I think I will go the route to set up my own buffing station. I do have another local source for buffing wheels that other turners in our guild use and are quite happy with. I think I will use Caswell for the mandrel and spindles however.

Cheers

-- Nothing is impossible for those that don't have to do it themselves

View Ron Ford's profile

Ron Ford

200 posts in 1192 days


#15 posted 08-18-2014 12:39 AM

+1 to moke’s post. I have and use the Beall 3 wheel system, but you also need the bowl buffs to get the inside of bowls done. I run mine at 1725 – 1750 rpms and it works great.

One cautionary note – if you are buffing out walnut or any other dark wood, skip the white diamond compound. It will get into the grain of the wood leaving white spots that will NEVER come out. Also, make sure you are holding on tight when you are buffing. The wheels have a tendency to grab the piece and either throw it in the air or smash it into the lathe bed.

Ron

-- Once in awhile I make something really great. Most days I just make sawdust.

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