Buffing Wheels & Compound Recommendations

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EricRN

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May 16, 2019
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48
Hi all,

I'm making a buffing wheel set-up to mount between centers on my lather. Sort of like a poor man's beall system. What are some good pads that folks recommend? I'm thinking two flannel wheels and a third muslin wheel. For compound, I'm thinking I'd use red rouge followed by blue, both on the flannel wheels. (I'm buffing sterling silver, that has largely been finished already, but I want to put a maximum mirror like shine on it.) Then, use the muslin wheel to clean and hit it with Renaissance Wax. (Or should I use muslin for the blue, too.) Are there any particular brands of compound that folks like and trust? I don't want to cheap out and, like low-quality sandpaper, use a compound that does more harm than good. (Likewise, any recommendations for the wheels? Or will any old brand of wheel do?)

For the set-up, I'm planning to get some 5/8 threaded rod at Home Depot, then use washers and nuts to hold the three wheels in place. I'll mount it between a chuck and a live center in the tail stock. That's the plan at least. I figure I"ll use it to bring a high gloss shine to CA finishes, and maybe plastics, too.
 
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bmachin

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Jul 28, 2013
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Owensboro, KY
Hi Eric,
I'm pretty much in the dark when it comes to buffing systems. What these guys have passed along to you is the result of many years of combined experience that you can take to the bank. However, it is all about polishing plastic and not silver. It may be the same, but I would suspect that it is not.

At any rate, worth looking into. I would call Caswell Plating and ask them. Mike Redburn (mredburn on IAP) at silverpenparts.com would be another source.

FWIW
Bill
 
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EricRN

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May 16, 2019
Messages
48
Nice. I just picked up 12 inches of half inch threaded rod. I’m hoping I can fit three wheels on there but might have to settle for two. Will post some picture when I get it set up.
 

JimB

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Mar 18, 2008
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West Henrietta, NY, USA.
Your wheels will be rather close together and you will risk cross contamination from wheel to wheel. You are better off with a system pictured above by Dogcatcher. I have a similar setup using Beall wheels and compounds.

You will need a set of wheels for your sterling silver and another set of wheels for CA finish buffing. You also need a separate wheel for each compound.
 

EricRN

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May 16, 2019
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48
How far apart should they be to avoid cross contamination do you think?
 

dogcatcher

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Jul 4, 2007
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TX, NM or on the road
A 12 inch rod, 2 inches lost to the chuck/driver end and at least 1 more on the tailstock end. That leaves 9" to be divided by 3 wheels. With only 1/2" wide wheels, you are right on top of each other with a little more than 2" between them.

Get some 1.5 squares blanks about 3" long and drill and tap like in my pics. Use the rod in place of the bolts, or make some like this using the all thread rod. Buffing Wheel_640x480.jpg

This is also drilled and tapped, but the left side can be a piece of the all thread stuck into a chuck with a nut and washer, and the right the side the same, I do recommend a block of wood on the tailstock end to protect the point of your live center.

I have a BUNCH of them. My wife made jewelry, so I buffed it on the lathe with a few different wheels, 3 for the basics until Tex at Durango's article I linked to, that added more buffing wheels. I also made knives, that was more buffing wheels and compounds. Every wheel and compound had it's own zip type plastic bag.
 

mmayo

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Jan 12, 2013
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1,202
Location
Tehachapi, CA
If you start buffing and I hope you do, avoid metal touching the wheels. That means pen tube ends or bushings. Make matching bushings out of Delrin.

I would never go back to micrmesh. My pads sit in a cupboard in the dark. My Beale buffing system gets worked daily.
 
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