View Full Version : Buffing question

11-19-2012, 07:01 AM
Greets gang.. long time no post -- but I've been keeping and eye on you guys. *evil laugh*

Question about buffing.. don't do much buffing.. the little I do do seems to work, but now I'm
wondering if I ain't doin' it right.

Here's what got me wondering: watching youtube vids I see alot of folks get sparking when 'rough buffing'
(for me this is black wax stick).

I've never seen sparks come off my work.. and am wondering if the way I'm doing it isn't painstakingly
slower than normal.

I'm using the usual kit.. all sorts of wheels.. cotton/flannel/flappers/etc.. mostly from big box hardware
stores. Along with the wax stick kit though usually I only use black for first pass and white for second/final

I've never gotten the red/brown/blue stuff to actually do anything other than leave black waxy stuff behind.

I use a bench grinder.. not a dedicated (long shaft?) buffer.. i think its about 3000 rpm and they're 6" wheels.



11-19-2012, 07:19 AM
on some buffing wheels you actually glue the abrasive on ..maybe the buffing wheels that give the sparks are those with glued on abrasive ..this sort of abrasive is a fine powder or grit .

i don't use buffing until I've gone all through stages of wet and dry sand paper ..of grades in this order, if work is rough to start with.

120.240 ,400,600,800 ,1000...only.then do i buff .

that is how you will get the best possible mirror finish..you can even go further with 1500 and 2000

its all about what prep you do in the early stages ..wax based buffing compounds will not get out scratches that can be removed with 120 wet and dry.

The glue on buffing grits powders can be as rough as 120...YOU THEN NEED A WHEEL FOR EVERY STAGE .

also there are premium compounds {EXPENSIVE} that you don't have to go through all these stages with..they are plastic based and you actually melt them onto the wheel by almost stalling it..they contain diamond AND PRECIOUS MINERALS and things like that ..in the uk ..this is known as "Lee compound"

all the best.markj

11-19-2012, 08:16 AM
Mark explained it good.

I just wanted to say I don't spend much time or effort buffing either. I skip all sorts of steps and whatnot. I go right from 400-600 grit paper to maybe 800 or 1000 quick and then to the buffer. When at the buffer I just use one compound and go until I get a finish I like. In fact I don't even have any actual buffing "sticks" or compounds. For metal I just use a motorcycle metal polish or 3M finesse it car paint buffing compound. Nothing else.

I was even able to buff HSS with the motorcycle stuff when I was testing different grinds and finishes to see what would happen.


11-19-2012, 09:28 AM
Its not that I can't get the finish I'm after.. its just feels like the actual buffing steps take me longer than what
I see online -- maybe my buffer is too fast / slow? cheap/wrong type compounds? not sure.

Yes I remove all scratches, etc with sandpaper (var speed belt grinder, from 40grit up to 1200 diamond if needed)..
I've even got some leather strops for it. Oh, and the scotchbrite for the brushed look it fantastic.

But sometimes my parts aren't flat.. and I can only flap wheel to a reasonable finish.. then buff.

11-19-2012, 11:11 AM
The only compound I use is what is called Tripoli or EEE, not the virus !!! It's the white compound. It works well on just about anything from plastic to stainless. I have some of the other compounds, black and red as you mentioned, I guess they are supposed to be faster cutting but in the end the white works best all around. It's all in your prep work, wet sand all the grinder scratches out first, you won't buff them out.
When your finished buffing with your compound you need to use a clean compound free wheel to get a real shine. I just use my 6" bench at about 3400 RPM's and it works fine. I can get a mirror finish on just about any material, even hard wood. It does take some time and you work tends to get warm in which case just take a rest.


11-19-2012, 11:25 AM
Greasless compounds, like the Brownells Polish-O-Ray, are a combination of glue and grit, and act like a soft grinding wheel, depending on what grit compound you have and the type of wheel it's on. You can very definitely get sparks from them! Grease-based compounds are generally a much finer grit.


11-19-2012, 02:59 PM
Thanks.. I'll have to try some of that greaseless!

11-20-2012, 07:51 AM
Gents -
I don't want to hijack the thread here but I have a question that is sort of related to buffing and thought I would ask.
I've been derusting an old chuck that I've dismantled and just took the 3 jaws out of the Evaporust. As usual the rust is long gone, but also as usual, the metal surface has taken on a dull grey - and almost black color in some places as a result.

I was thinking of taking the scotchbrite and/or buffing these up, but then wondered if I would be removing enough metal to loosen up the sliding fit in the chuck housing? Perhaps the real question is - how much metal can be removed by buffing with say the black (coarsest) compound? Are we talking microns, tenths, ?

Thanks !