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Chestnut Buffing System

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henton49er

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I have invested in a Chestnut Buffing System, but so far have not been impressed with the results I get with it. I always use all three wheels with their appropriate compounds in the usual order, but at the end I do not have a good deep shine, and there are sometimes wax deposits at the edges. Also some of the fibres from the final wheel seem to adhere to the turned item, particularly at edges and corners.

There is no indication on speed required for the buffing operation. I estimate that I am running my lathe at around 800 rpm. I follow the instructions for using only a small about of the B compound (the white one). I don't tend to press the work to hard into the buffing wheels, but hard enough to be able to see some distortion in the wheel's profile.

Can anyone provide me with guidance on what I might be doing wrong.

Thanks in advance.
 

CHJ

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OK I will run through my 'standard' regime.

Sand down to 240 grit, maybe 400-600 on a very odd occasion but that is when getting in little details and not wanting to remove wood.
Apply Cellulose sanding sealer, normally diluted about 20%, just suits my application methods and I don't produce as many build up streaks as when I use it neat. Basically slap it on, wipe off the surplus after a few seconds and burnish with cotton rag.

Wait a few minutes at least for solvents to disperse, often not longer than it takes to mount the appropriate chuck and mops.

Set lathe to approx 1200 rpm, spin up first mop and apply just enough tripoli to colour mop.
Apply enough pressure to be able to feel a slight temperature rise in the wood surface and work around until any sealant streaks or raised grain blemishes have been eliminated, usually about 20-30 seconds at most for my small boxes, up to 2-3 mins. for a larger bowl..

Change to white wheel and likewise just a low loading of white diamond, once again just enough pressure to feel some warmth in the wood.

At this point you should have a high gloss finish that would fool anyone into thinking you have applied a finishing wax.

Change to final mop and apply small amount of carnauba wax to mop and go over all surfaces, with just enough pressure to melt and spread the wax, gloss level should now hit you hard.
Alternate is to wipe abraded surface with Micro crystalline wax, just the merest smear and wait 10 minutes or so for solvents to disperse and then buff.

Regarding Mop Speed, slower speeds down to 6-800 or so can be very useful for getting in nooks and crannies allowing the mop to flow in without risk of snatching piece out of the hand.

Likewise taking speed up to 1500 or so will stiffen the mop up which may be an advantage if you need to force some weaves into a particular cove or be more aggressive with the tripoli.

Fluff stuck to the piece smacks of either a rough unburnished wood form or far too much wax applied for the final session.

At all times the piece should feel slightly warm to the touch as it passes through your hands.
 

henton49er

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Chas,

Many thanks for the advice. I think I am probably using too much tripoli on the first wheel and too much wax on the third. I have also not noticed the wood getting even vaguely warm, so may not be exerting enough force. I will try and follow your methods as closely as I can, and let you know if I have any further problems.
 

henton49er

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CHJ":3sy5zj6k said:
OK I will run through my 'standard' regime.

Sand down to 240 grit, maybe 400-600 on a very odd occasion but that is when getting in little details and not wanting to remove wood.
Apply Cellulose sanding sealer, normally diluted about 20%, just suits my application methods and I don't produce as many build up streaks as when I use it neat. Basically slap it on, wipe off the surplus after a few seconds and burnish with cotton rag.
Done without problems
CHJ":3sy5zj6k said:
Wait a few minutes at least for solvents to disperse, often not longer than it takes to mount the appropriate chuck and mops.

Set lathe to approx 1200 rpm, spin up first mop and apply just enough tripoli to colour mop.
Apply enough pressure to be able to feel a slight temperature rise in the wood surface and work around until any sealant streaks or raised grain blemishes have been eliminated, usually about 20-30 seconds at most for my small boxes, up to 2-3 mins. for a larger bowl..
Had to press more firmly than I had done previously.

CHJ":3sy5zj6k said:
Change to white wheel and likewise just a low loading of white diamond, once again just enough pressure to to feel some warmth in the wood.

At this point you should have a high gloss finish that would fool anyone into thinking you have applied a finishing wax.
Mine does not have much shine at this point

CHJ":3sy5zj6k said:
Change to final mop and apply small amount of canauba wax to mop and go over all surfaces, with just enough pressure to melt and spread the wax, gloss level should now hit you hard.
Better than I had before; no bits of "wheel fluff" stuck to the workpiece; no areas of excess wax, but not a really deep shine.
I need to practice a bit more, but am definitely getting an improved result; maybe I am expecting too much gloss!!
 

CHJ

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What wood are you working on, if anything you should end up with gloss level that some folk might consider excessive.
 

gus3049

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CHJ":3zvi082q said:
What wood are you working on, if anything you should end up with gloss level that some folk might consider excessive.
Absolutely! I go straight from Tripoli to wax without the intermediate stage. I make sure the tripoli is wiped off carefully first but it gives me the sheen that I like. A couple of times I've actually gone back and taken some gloss off because to me, it looks too plastic.

I find it surprising that you are not getting a good gloss though, I find that with no finish applied at all and just relying on the wood burnishing up, gives me a real shine but then I'm not using the Chestnut system but a homemade one out of denim!!. I wouldn't have thought it that much different though.

I was in the bakers yesterday getting my Sunday croissants and on one of their displays of honey was a HUGE lump of pure beeswax for €9. Bit chuffed about that.
 

Doug B

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Keep persisting, I found that from new the mops took a bit of "bedding in"


Follow Chas`s instructions & with a bit more practice I`m sure you`ll be getting the results you`re after in no time.


Cheers
 

CHJ

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Having seen some used mops I would say that many users of buffing mops apply far too much abrasive and the mops end up saturated in the wax carrier which to my mind is counter productive to the cutting action of the abrasive.
I'll try and get some snaps of my chestnut mops which are a set of the prototypes and been in use at least 12 months longer than any from kits.
 

CHJ

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Little Walnut Bowl, some will have seen this last year at Peters Bash, muggins forgot it and retrieved it saturday, it's been on the sample shelf there and all I've done is run 240 grit over it to remove any sealer from the patch I'd treated before.
DSCN3328 (Large).JPG
The mops, never been washed or cleaned.
DSCN3330 (Large).JPG
Bowl as Sanded.
DSCN3331 (Large).JPG
Sanding sealer brushed on and burnished with cotton cloth used to wipe off surplus.
DSCN3332 (Large).JPG
Slightly duller surface from tripoli abrasive.
DSCN3333 (Large).JPG
Shine brought back by White abrasive clean-up and polish.
DSCN3334 (Large).JPG
After a light dressing of Canauba Wax.

Anybody with the ability to check the EXIF data will see that the whole sequence of images was between 14:12 & 14:26
Sanding image 14:18 so 8 minutes total from start to finish.

I've never used any other 'brand' or 'system' for wood polishing but as long as the mops are of similar grading of fabric I can't see that results should be any different or harder to achieve.
 

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henton49er

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Chas,

Thanks for the photos. It is clear that my Tripoli mop is much darker than yours and only been used on half a dozen or so small items. Can I "wash" the excess Tripoli off, or do I just have to wait for it to gradually disappear over time? Could I just use a piece of scrap wood to remove as much of the Tripoli as possible?

I have mostly experienced the problem using sycamore and alder which are my most commonly used timbers at the moment. Looking at your walnut bowl, I do not think I have ever got anything that glossy using the buffing system.
 

CHJ

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henton49er":19174uw5 said:
... It is clear that my Tripoli mop is much darker than yours and only been used on half a dozen or so small items. Can I "wash" the excess Tripoli off,
Yes you can if they are very bad or get contaminated from touching some metal etc. but I would not expect yours to need such, I've only ever needed to clean up a small domed mop by washing after a very heavy testing session.

henton49er":19174uw5 said:
... do I just have to wait for it to gradually disappear over time? Could I just use a piece of scrap wood to remove as much of the Tripoli as possible?
Should clean up pretty quickly, just don't load too much on for a while. Yes a piece of rough sawn wood is good for refreshing the mop surface.

henton49er":19174uw5 said:
... I have mostly experienced the problem using sycamore and alder which are my most commonly used timbers at the moment. Looking at your walnut bowl, I do not think I have ever got anything that glossy using the buffing system.
Both those woods are not exactly hard, Alder especially can be very soft. and of course a light wood will not show up the gloss level as easily.

Try and make sure you get good sealer penetration and harden up the surface by buffing as it dries with a cotton or poly/cotton rag. You should see a polished 'shell' surface on the wood from this alone. You'll probably end up getting streaks when you first try, it's a matter of experience to catch it just right to burnish. If you get excessive streaks you have two options, blend them out with a drop of thinners on a rag or sand them out, the formers the easier, buffing big build up streaks out is a waste of time and effort, best to not have them in the first place.
 

Terry Smart

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I haven't posted on this previously because by the time I saw it (Monday morning) Chas had taken over and - as has been said - dealt with it as well as I could! Besides, I always think the opinion of a satisfied user is more relevant than the manufacturer's. Thanks Chas for doing such a sterling job!

The only comment I would make is to ask what has been applied to the timber before buffing? The system (and that's all of them as far as I know) don't work well on bare wood, they need a coating to work on, such as a sealer, oil or lacquer. I'm not going to get into the 'to thin or not to thin' debate here, but there is a danger that if the sealer is used and has been thinned too much (20% is fine, 50% is too much) then all of it will have soaked into the wood (especially soft woods) and there's nothing for the buffing wheel to work on.

Please keep me/us posted with progress.
 

gus3049

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Terry Smart":22mw37zb said:
The only comment I would make is to ask what has been applied to the timber before buffing? The system (and that's all of them as far as I know) don't work well on bare wood, they need a coating to work on, such as a sealer, oil or lacquer.
I'd be interested in the answer to this too as I don't use any finish on the timber before buffing and always achieve as much gloss as I want. Maybe its the fact that I use denim as a mop instead of the usual cotton but it seems unlikely. So - is a finish usually necessary or not??

This little yew bowl was just an experiment to try the buffing wheel and I spent very little time getting a good finish before buffing. It has a good shine on it with no finish applied at all. This is after the tripoli without any wax applied.
 

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tekno.mage

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Hi Mike,

Sorry to hear your not getting the results you'd like from your buffing system. I've not found too many problems with mine, but maybe I use it slightly differently from other people here.

I mostly buff oiled surfaces (although it does also seem to work on sanding sealer, melamine lacquer and if used gently acrylic laquers) so after sanding to something above 600 grit (depends on the wood) I apply either Osmo oil or Chestnut hardwax oil, 2 coats with a day for drying each coat, then buff the items.

On pale woods, I never use the first wheel & tripoli compund as I find it can leave dark marks (especially in any textured areas!) so I start with the second wheel and the white compound. I run the wheel at around 1000rpm I think - slower if the item is an awkward shape or has lots of detail. I apply the compound to the wheel when the wheel is running fast, then turn the speed down if I want it slower. After about 3 - 5 minutes of buffing I normally have a glossy finish - although the depth of the gloss is very dependant on the type of wood. Yew, for instance, will take a very high gloss, whereas coarser timbers like oak and ash will not be quite as shiney. The items being buffed do get warm while during the process.

I've only use microcrystaline wax with the third wheel - and this I apply to the item by hand, then buff it off using the third wheel. This should result in a very good shine.

If you are not getting a very shiney finish, it could be that you are spending too long with the more abrasive tripoli compound and effectively removing your finish from the wood, rather than polishing it? Try starting off with the second wheel and white compound - I've found this method works very well especially on pale woods like sycamore.

If you've still got problems let me know and we can arrange a buffing get together if you like.

Kym
 

CHJ

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tekno.mage":1z4cjmzl said:
...... we can arrange a buffing get together if you like.

Kym

The mind boggles :shock: your supposed to wear protection even when polishing you know :lol:


Seriously a good idea, much easier to compare results in the flesh so to speak if you are having problems.
 

gus3049

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CHJ":19kzbzro said:
tekno.mage":19kzbzro said:
...... we can arrange a buffing get together if you like.

Kym

The mind boggles :shock: your supposed to wear protection even when polishing you know :lol:


Seriously a good idea, much easier to compare results in the flesh so to speak if you are having problems.
Now now Chas,

I'm quite sure you are the only one who read it that way ( :roll: )
 

tekno.mage

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CHJ":uu4carub said:
tekno.mage":uu4carub said:
...... we can arrange a buffing get together if you like.

Kym

The mind boggles :shock: your supposed to wear protection even when polishing you know :lol:
Actually, I do - I wear white cotton gloves to save finger prints on the polished surface :)
 

CHJ

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tekno.mage":hjlknjk9 said:
Actually, I do - I wear white cotton gloves to save finger prints on the polished surface :)
That's OK then, safety first, don't leave evidence :lol: .
 

henton49er

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Sorry not to have replied before now - just back from a few days in Devon.

Doug B - I think that this is probably the case, as my first tries following Chas's recommendations gave me better results than on my own. I was definitely not pressing my work against the spinning mops enough, but also using too much of the compounds, Particularly the tripoli. As ever with these things there is a tendency to put more "polish" on if you are not getting the shine you are looking for.

Terry S - I was applying Chestnut cellulosed sanding sealer, using a soft cloth and removing the excess while the surface was still wet. Rather than then sanding at about 600 grit I used the first stage of the Buffing System and went on from there.

Kym - I have not tried using the Buffing System over an oiled finish, but will give it a go. Happy to get together on this at some point (if you ever get to Newtown, that is!!!).

I shall ignore all the follow up "double entendre" posts - Kym is not that sort of lady (as far as I know :shock: ).
 
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