Advice needed on a buffer tree for my lathe

Help Support

This site may earn a commission from merchant affiliate links, including eBay, Amazon, and others.


Established Member
UKW Supporter
19 Jan 2019
Reaction score
I'm not a turner (yet) but bought a small 2nd hand Delta 45-250 Midi Lathe with extended bed along with a shed load of (mostly Sorby) chisels with the intention of learning the black art enough to turn things such as a new mallet, sandpaper roll holder etc. It has now occurred to me that I can also find other uses for it and one of these is use it as a buffer. Can anyone recommend what I should buy? I've seen the 3 wheel buffer 'tree' which looks pretty versatile but are they useful and if so which one should I buy? I would add that I intend to use it for wood and metal pieces.
They are good for small items like pens and pepper mills were accessing deeper areas don't get in the way of the next wheel. If you can find the one ended shafts that have a morse taper #2 on the end with a thread for a draw bar then the single wheel gives more room. You'll need to change the wheel for each grit or get lots of mandrels 😱 and I would not recommend using the same wheel for wood and metals. The metal is dirty and contaminates the wood. If you really wanted to do it right you have a wheel for each compound and each metal. So if you were using 3 compounds per material then three wheels each for brass, aluminium, steel and plastics / finishes. That would be a dozen or so wheels. Most people would just use a buffing rake to remove the compound when changing materials if at all. The download might help. There is a Caswell in Europe but I couldn't find the download.

Inspector mentions draw bar, vital. Morse taper not suitable for sideways load and can precess out very very very... etc... very very fast. Been there. Luckily went up not at me.

I use buffer occasionally, only thing I would add to the above is put a small sheet of thin ply or mdf under the wheel to keep grime off the lathe bed.
Chestnut do an individual 3 wheel buffing kit available from themselves or dealers such as Yandles.
Those that use the 3 in line wheel system report that it can be restrictive especially for items like larger bowls.
Its worth having a look here Polishing Kits | Polishing Mops | Polishing Shop | Polishing Kit
I do a fair bit of polishing on the lathe and bought all my stuff from there. I use one of these Mop Taper 10mm Shaft | The Polishing Shop in a drill chuck (held in with a drawbar).

Mainly polish sealed timber and acrylics, I've used Menzerna compounds (Tripoli, gloss wax 16, p175) and Chestnut carnauba wax.
For mops, I use 'reflex' mops for the p175 and carnauba and G grade unstitched for the others. Occasionally a stitched for more aggressive first stage.

I do have a few of the Chestnut buffing system (mop for wax and various domes). They are also pretty good.
Last edited:
I have both the Tree and the individual wheels from Chestnut products. I prefer to use the individual wheels myself, as it gives you more room to work.
Ok thanks all, along with the lathe and chisels I also got a bag of 'accessories' so I will check if there is a drawbar in there. I'm minded to make a 3 wheel buffer tree for metal (mostly tool restorations) which I have a need for now, and separate wheels for wood. Thanks @scooby for the website links - very useful.

The lathe was great value (especially as the chisels alone are worth twice what I paid for the whole lot), it works but needs some cleaning up and it is noisy so new bearing may be needed.
I use the Chestnut system; works well for me and I don't see the need for a tree as it takes seconds to spin one wheel off, and the other one on. A tree definitely restricts room to move the workpiece around the mop.
Mike, there are two woodturning clubs near Daventry: who meet in Weedon on 1st and 3rd Wednesdays of the month, and Tudor Rose, who meet in Daventry on 2nd and 4th Thursdays. Why not go along to them and ask what members use for buffing?
And see about joining one or both clubs of course! As a new woodturner, you will definitely benefit from belonging to a club.
I just bought the new Record ,RPB8 polisher twin 8" buffing wheels self contained bench style unit , arrives tomorrow £79.99 delivered!
Will give me buffing away from the lathe or mounted on lathe bed !
I use the Chestnut buffing wheels but mounted on a taper threaded mandrel held in a woodturning chuck. Quick & easy mounting & removal.
Taper Mandrel.jpg

Available from Axminster & polishing suppliers. They were about £2 each when I bought mine but the APTC ones are now £11.98 - Axminster Woodturning Polishing Mop Adaptor - 12mm shank