Buffing Machine


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18 Jun 2020
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Completely new to the buffing machine. Your expertise required.

I have a small workshop—DIY. I am looking to buy a small—2 wheels buffing machine. Use’s would be for buffing ‘varnished’ wood and to buff metal parts. Questions are:

a) What size buffing wheels?
b) Different buffing wheels for different stages of buffing? Are the buffing wheels colour coded?
c) What compound to put on the wheel?
d) Does the size of the motor matter? 1hp sufficient or ever en less?The buffer will not be used too often.

Any other advise welcome.

Many thanks.
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An alternative approach is to get an adapter for your bench grinder. If you have a spare one you can have it permanently set up with two buffing wheels. You can even use your lathe - if you have one.

I have 6" calico wheels for buffing. I use three different ones for polishing wood. The first stitched one I use with brown Tripoli compound, the second, again stitched, I use with the white compound, and the third loose calico wheel I use with a small amount of carnauba wax for the finish.
I have written on the side of them with a felt tip to help distinguish one from the other, though it is pretty self evident which is which, from the colour of the compound left on.

If you are going to polish metal as well then you will have to have separate wheels for this, as they will get very blackened in use, and some of them will also need different coloured compounds to suit the metals being polished. There are quite a few of these compound to choose from - 6 or 8 if I remember correctly.
Guessing you mean a portable one?
Two thoughts (neither tried). An angle grinder (likely too fast?) with a buffing head.
A car 'valeting' polishing machine.
Question: Can you get a polishing mop to fit the hook and eye pads on a random orbital sander?
Have a look at Union Jubilee style pedestal machines. I bought one and use it almost every day, very powerful takes large and small mops and will run all day. So heavy it doesn’t need bolting down, runs very smoothly in single phase
On a smaller level I have some in a set that run on a drill press. Good introduction but beall used to make a wood polishing set
Power = torque x rpm.

Torque = force x distance.

If you want to use a big wheel and lean hard on it, you need a lot of power.

Consequently, if you only have a limited amount of power, you will buff better with a smaller wheel.
I tried mops on an 8” grinder and it was a hassle with it not being on a pedestal. If you’re contemplating a lot of polishing which is very therapeutic then the free standing machines the way to go- you can’t stall the mops, if mule skinners are attached rusty metal can be shiny within minutes . The hoods are just trailer mud guards . Dust mask and goggles essential


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I can sort of get polishing but like to remember we are dealing with wood not glass or china , Some texture in the surface is what I aim for , As said it is wood with growth rings .
Sealey do bench grinders with variable speed…as already mentioned motor power is important…bigger buffing wheels can stall easily if not enough hp…

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