Upgrading buffing wheel... 6 or 8"?

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Quality Pen

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So, I have 2 questions....


Right now I use 2 6" wheels on a 3400RPM grinder. I heard that slower is better, and I also want to use more than 2 wheels in the hopes of saving time.



1) Is there any benefit when it comes to 6 vs 8" wheels?


I know people say speed matters, and an 8" will give a faster (inferior) surface speed, but is it enough to matter? It looks like a 8" wheel gives about a 1/3 increase in surface speed.


My other question is... what are some good options? The suprising thing I read on one of the few slow speed buffers I can even find - https://www.rikontools.com/product/81-608 - is that its recommended run time is 30 minutes. I almost gasped when I read that, considering I didn't think that was even a thing... but I would need to run it for 30 minutes before I even get warmed up! :)


As always, thanks for the help!
 
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jttheclockman

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I prefer the larger slower speed wheel and motor. I use my buffer for other things than pens and with too fast of speed it burns the wood and you need o control the feed more so. The larger wheel covers more area without smudging. This problem comes up for me when applying wax. That looks like a nice unit. My setup is an old used motor that I adapted with a wheel and I need to spin the wheels on one at a time but I use the assembly line approach. I have 2 different sets of buffing wheels for metal and then a set for woods and plastics. Have to run a set of pen blanks tomorrow because I could not get a top shine with MM on this set of blanks for some reason. :):):)
 

JimB

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I use 8” Beall buffing wheels. I made my own extender from scrap wood and a T nut. I mount the entender on my lathe and the wheels mount one at a time. It takes about 10 seconds to change buffing wheels. By mounting on the lathe I have variable speed.
 

BSea

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I use 8” Beall buffing wheels. I made my own extender from scrap wood and a T nut. I mount the entender on my lathe and the wheels mount one at a time. It takes about 10 seconds to change buffing wheels. By mounting on the lathe I have variable speed.
I agree with buffing on the lathe regarding speed control. Plus it's easier to change out for wood/resin & metal. I've been looking for a smaller lathe to use just as a buffing station. Of course I could also use it as a mobile lathe for when I go to someone else's shop for tandem turning, or for a meeting.

Oh yeah, I also think 8" over 6" wheels. But I really don't know that it makes much difference. Maybe someone that has used both will chime in.
 
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Terredax

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The diameter of the wheel, is relative to the size of the motor.

RPM and surface speed are irrelevant. Proper buffing practices are more important.

The wheel should be matched to the material, the compound, and the expected result. There are different wheels, for different purposes, as well as the different compounds. Wax is not a compound, and using a buff wheel to apply wax...smh. On a plastic pen, there is absolutely no benefit to applying wax.

On plastic pens, whether solid or coated, only two wheels and two compounds are absolutely necessary to get an excellent finish, provided the base prep was done correctly. If the base prep is incomplete, buffing only accentuates the imperfections.

There is much more to buffing/polishing, than buying the equipment.
Doing research, speaking with the tech dept. at your chosen supplier, and practice should help yield the desired results.

I have never buffed anything in my life.:eek:
 

Quality Pen

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The diameter of the wheel, is relative to the size of the motor.

RPM and surface speed are irrelevant. Proper buffing practices are more important.

The wheel should be matched to the material, the compound, and the expected result. There are different wheels, for different purposes, as well as the different compounds. Wax is not a compound, and using a buff wheel to apply wax...smh. On a plastic pen, there is absolutely no benefit to applying wax.

On plastic pens, whether solid or coated, only two wheels and two compounds are absolutely necessary to get an excellent finish, provided the base prep was done correctly. If the base prep is incomplete, buffing only accentuates the imperfections.

There is much more to buffing/polishing, than buying the equipment.
Doing research, speaking with the tech dept. at your chosen supplier, and practice should help yield the desired results.

I have never buffed anything in my life.:eek:
I've heard from people that make great pens say slower is better. What makes you say it doesn't matter though since that flies in the face of what I've come across?


I would very much prefer to buy a cheap standard grinder for 40 bucks rather than a low speed one at 3x that... but I figure it's a smart move.


As far as technique, definitely it's more important. You're spot on about that. Buffing is definitely an art and a science, and I'm just trying to continue my journey.


Also, as recommended the caswell wheels are great. That's what I use. I've found a lot of useful info from that old "buffing kicked up a notch" thread from years ago. Glad someone shared that!
 
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randyrls

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Beal makes a three on the lathe buffing setup for about $100. Just mount it on the lathe, and remove when done. Mine hangs in the corner from a double tool hook.

Really, 3400 RPM is much too fast for buffing wheels. Beal says 1100-1200RPM
 

Terredax

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I've heard from people that make great pens say slower is better. What makes you say it doesn't matter though since that flies in the face of what I've come across?


I would very much prefer to buy a cheap standard grinder for 40 bucks rather than a low speed one at 3x that... but I figure it's a smart move.


As far as technique, definitely it's more important. You're spot on about that. Buffing is definitely an art and a science, and I'm just trying to continue my journey.


Also, as recommended the caswell wheels are great. That's what I use. I've found a lot of useful info from that old "buffing kicked up a notch" thread from years ago. Glad someone shared that!
Ultimately, the decision is yours.

Using wheels on a lathe:
Of course it's going to be recommended to use slower speeds. The wheels are mounted on a shaft, that when spinning, causes centrifugal forces on the center of the shaft by the wheels. That will cause flex and in turn, an uncontrolled bounce. Which could cause the shaft and wheels to separate from the lathe. The higher the RPM, the more pronounced the problem.
That is coupled with the force against the face of the wheel. Most will have the same issue as with the mandrels, too much force.

Look at professional buffing jacks. They aren't variable speed, and they don't spin slow. It's up to the operator, to know how to use the equipment.

The difference between the RPM/surface speed, is the slower it is, the longer it takes to achieve results. Also, the faster it is, the quicker the heat builds up. Heat is the problem, and using correct practices, heat will not build up at any speed.

Using the correct wheels and compounds are key, along with technique.
Jamming a part into the wheel, and holding it there, is not buffing/polishing.
The compound does the work, not the wheel. Just like the particulate on sand paper does the work, not the paper. The wheel is the carrier.

I buff/polish just about any material on a regular basis. Anything from plastics (such as acrylics, lenses, finishes, etc.) to metals (such as stainless, aluminum, brass, and copper). I've polished hard rubber to a shine that was said couldn't be done. That manufacturer, had me train their employees. A lot of parts are for local car enthusiasts, and a casket builder.
I have no idea what I'm doing, I just wing it like others.:rolleyes:

So, ultimately, it's your decision and your wallet. There is doing something correct, and doing it like everyone says on a forum, that isn't a buffing forum.


You mentioned pens specifically. This is the only photo I have at the moment, of some of my casts for pens, that were buffed for a few seconds at 3450 rpm, with an 8" wheel. I'll let you do the math for surface speed.




Found another...



Actual pens.







And a close up.




These are some of my pen specific photos.
 
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Charlie_W

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Sterling, VA USA
If you are wishing to stay with buffing wheels on a grinder, Lowe’s sells a Delta variable speed bench grinder in both a 6” or 8” size.

For buffing wheels on a shaft/mandrel, many folks use a mini lathe. If space is tight, the mini lathe could be mounted vertically.
 
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