A couple buffing questions

Signed-In Members Don't See This Ad

EricRN

Member
Joined
May 16, 2019
Messages
323
I just got my buffing setup installed (1/2 inch threaded rod in a collet chuck with washers and nuts holding the buff in place). A couple questions: (1) What RPM do folks use? (2) Isnit possible to buff when it’s too cold? It’s about 50 out there now and it doesn’t look like the buff is charging at all with the brown Tripoli I’m using. I’m wondering if it’s not generating enough heat.
 
Signed-In Members Don't See This Ad

duncsuss

Member
Joined
Jun 29, 2012
Messages
1,586
Location
Wilmington, MA
I use 8" wheels. If your wheels are a different diameter, you will have to adjust (for example, if you have 6" wheels you will have to increase the speed by about 25% to get the same feet-per-second speed at the point of contact.)

To charge the wheels, I usually crank the speed up to 1500 or higher, at which speed the wheels are pretty stiff.

To buff, I slow down to about 700 - maybe lower if I'm working on delicate material like celluloid or galalith. Too much heat melts celluloid and you end up with fibers embedded in the surface. Don't ask me how I know this.

(It also shortens the distance it will throw the part when the wheel grabs it out of your hand. Again, DAMHIKT.)
 

monophoto

Member
Joined
Mar 13, 2010
Messages
1,733
Location
Saratoga Springs, NY
I usually buff wood at around 1000-1200 r/min with 8" wheels. And my shop is in the basement of the house, so the temperature rarely drops below about 60 degrees (we keep the thermostat at 66 for the living space in the house - the wife complains, I put on a sweater).

But like many other things, if you ask ten turners, you will get at least 15 answers.
 

jalbert

Member
Joined
May 17, 2015
Messages
582
Location
Louisville, KY
I use a Baldor 3/4 hp 8” buffing machine for metals/tough plastics like Ultem. I think it runs about 3600 rpm. It will destroy alumilite, celluloid, cellulose acetate, and acrylics. This was not a tool I would have chosen to buy, but my brother had it and gave it to me.

I use a cheap harbor freight 6” buffing machine for mostly acrylic. It runs in the 2000-3000 rpm range I think, and is not an absolute destructive monster like the Baldor is. It requires a light touch with alumilite and cellulose acetate/celluloid, and has the tendency to burn edges like the cap lip or finials.

lastly, I have Beall buffs mounted on a 1/2” threaded rod mounted in my mini metal lathe, which I run anywhere from 1000-2500 rpm, depending on the material. I usually just reserve this for especially delicate or heat-sensitive materials like cellulose acetate or celluloid.
 

TonyL

Member
Joined
Mar 9, 2014
Messages
8,003
Location
Alpharetta, GA 30004
I buy something like this from Wal-mart or Hobby Lobby (less than 3 for close to 50). I find them useful for "holding" whatever I am buffing. I select the largest diameter possible size that allows the blank to slide easily. Prevents the old "Rocket Barrel" LOL.


Can't really add anything other than the mistakes I made - like adding/charging with too much compound, applying too much pressure, etc.

I plugged in a pedal (speed control pedal) to my lathe. I bought the pedal by accident and wound up liking it. I probably buff at 1500.
It was made in America, sufficiently rated for my buffing lathe. It was around $65. There are less expensive models.


Enjoy!
 

monophoto

Member
Joined
Mar 13, 2010
Messages
1,733
Location
Saratoga Springs, NY
I buy something like this from Wal-mart or Hobby Lobby (less than 3 for close to 50). I find them useful for "holding" whatever I am buffing. I select the largest diameter possible size that allows the blank to slide easily. Prevents the old "Rocket Barrel" LOL.

I found the description amusing - - - "natural wood".

What other kind is there?
 

egnald

Member
Joined
Jun 9, 2017
Messages
441
Location
Columbus, Nebraska, USA
For what it's worth, I use a stand alone Rikon "Low Speed Buffer" that has a 1/2 HP 1,750 RPM motor. I initially made a surface feet per minute speed chart for various buffing wheel sizes for reference. Ultimately I wound up with 6-inch wheels for about 27-28k SFPM. I use the blue rouge on a sewn cotton wheel for polishing and nothing on a loose flannel wheel for final buffing. I have seen some folks buff while the blanks are on the mandrel, but I always use some kind of tapered dowel to hold them when I am buffing or polishing to prevent the dark metal migration from the mandrel onto the wheels. - Dave
 
Joined
Dec 22, 2017
Messages
2,133
Location
Wolf Creek Montana
I use the Beall system but go really light on the Tripoli especially on blonde woods. I run my three system process at 1500rpm. Never had a problem with "cold" application. Prior to heating my shop it could be in the 20's or less and the friction always seemed to "warm up" all the wheels just fine. Of course I had to dance an Irish jig to stay warm but it never affected my buffing system. Good luck, I haven't seen 50 in several weeks now and we've already had over 3' of snow...hate the stuff!!!, but I love Montana!!!!!!
 
Top Bottom