Buffing Wheels

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Feb 20, 2008
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I think I have figured out what the different buffing compounds are used for and I know I need 8" wheels. What I don't know is what type wheels to use. I want them for buffing handles and guards. I doubt I will do any mirror finishes on blades. I looked at one supply site and they show the following:
40 or 60 ply and sewn @ 1", 3/4", 1/2", 1/4", 1/8" or loose. I know what they are refering to, I just don't know what difference they make and why.
Can someone please give me a quick lesson on buffing wheels. :confused:
 
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Feb 20, 2008
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Thanks for that link but it only refers to wheels by #. Such as #1, #2, #3, and #4. Not by ply or stitch spacing. Most supply places I have checked sell the wheels by ply and stitching.
 
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Apr 19, 1999
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The number of plys refers to the buff thickness.

The other referance is to stitch spacing....the greater the spacing the softer the buff thus more flex.

I am a professional metal polisher and prefer stacking several buffs together to produce a 1" wide buff. If you prefer you can glue the buffs together with hot melt glue. I also suggest 1/2" spacing on the stitching because it gives a softer pliable buff that polishes well and does not glaze over like tighter stitching produces.

In theory loose buffs appear to be best but they tend to grab at parts and pull them out of your hands. This can be dangerous.

Take care
George
 

Stacy E. Apelt - Bladesmith

ilmarinen - MODERATOR
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For handles and guards you want a slower arbor speed. Don't just put a buff on a 3600RPM grinder and think it won't ruin the handle....it will most likely. I prefer 800-1400 for handles ( 1800 RPM will work, though).

Get 50-60 ply muslin , either loose or 1" stitching, for the pre-buff,using matchless white or no-scratch pink. Use a high ply loose linen for the final buff with final white polish ( or similar).

High speed and loose buffs can grab a blade from your hand in 0.2 seconds flat, so pay attention to what is pointing into the buff when polishing. Never put an upturned edge or point near the moving buff. The smaller the wheel, the slower the surface speed. Use 4" and 6" buffs for delicate jobs. They also will grab less.

The closely stitched wheels are to make the buff stiffer. They are great for blade buffing, but can scorch and burn most handle materials. Guards are usually fine with a looser buff, but from time to time you may want a 1/4" wide,6" buff with close stitching...to get into those tight places.
Stacy
 
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Feb 20, 2008
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Ok, I'm getting a little confused here. What I have done is convert a 8" Slow Speed (1750rpm) Grinder with a 5/8" arbor into a buffer. Should I use 8", 6" or 4" wheels as the standard for buffing? I know I will probably have to use multiple wheels to get width. Basically how wide should the wheels on the buffer be (1/2", 3/4" or 1")? Most sites I've looked at just show ply, stitch spacing and arbor size and say nothing about what they are made of (muslin, linen).
 
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what horsepower is the motor. that has a lot to do with the size of wheel you can use efficiently.
 
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Feb 20, 2008
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It was a 1/2 hp slow speed grinder (1750rpm) with 8" stone wheels. I will be replacing the stone wheels with the buffing wheels as soon as I can figure out what I need.
 

Stacy E. Apelt - Bladesmith

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Depending on what I am buffing, I stack from 1" to 2" of buffs on the shaft. I have a 1HP baldor slow speed, and another VS unit.
Stacy
 
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Apr 1, 2007
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you can turn a 1/2" easy and maybe a 1" in an 8" or 10" wheel. i used to use my 1/2 hp with 2 12" but it was too much for the motor. it would turn one just fine.
 

SBuzek

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Charles I use 8" X 1" sewn muslin wheels some at 3/4" sewn and some at 3/8" sewn.Use a differrent whell for each compund and keep all buff is ziplock bags to keep the from cross contaminating with different grits.
Stan
 
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Feb 17, 2007
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Some one here suggested shower caps for your buffer wheels and I got some and it is a greatway to keep them clean Jim
 
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