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Buffing wheel

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  • Buffing wheel

    I have been looking at hard felt buffing wheels and i was thinking ( always dangerous to any one within 50' ) instead of the felt wheel, can i bond leather to an aluminium wheel. If so, what bonding agent would i want to use? I have some 1/2" aluminium plate i can make the wheel out of, say 8" diameter.

  • #2
    Are you thinking of putting a leather tire on the aluminum wheel?
    Free software for calculating bolt circles and similar: Click Here


    • #3
      Contact cement.






      • #4
        3M weatherstrip?

        There are also cardboard(paper)strops and even one made from MDF board.
        I just need one more tool,just one!


        • #5
          If I remember right 6" diameter hard or soft felt wheels can be used on a common 1750 rpm motor. The 8" hard and soft felt wheels need close to one horsepower motor and speed of about 3600. You can get some buffing wheels at lowes or home depot. The more pricey hard and soft wheels from Brownells, montezuma IA. They do mostly firearms parts, supplies and parts. My current buffer motor is a 3650 rpm motor 3/4hp double shaft taken from a truly ancient table saw. As long as you are buffing always make sure that you do not catch an edge with the wheel. It'll be gone in an instant. Gloves, eye protection and breathing mask. Some of the buffing compounds that is expelled from the wheel while rotating are not good for your health. Buffing compounds you can get from sears. I bought mine in 6lb bars from a machine shop supply house before I moved to louisiana. I've polished everything from artillary shell casings, rifle barrels, rifle parts. only thing is that you have to keep your mind on what you are doing. Frank


          • #6
            You weren't real specific on how you would use this setup.

            Hard felt takes a nice charge from the buffing compound and is a tad more agressive then leather. Leather is great for a final finish in general.

            Leather can be cut into circles and glued all together, trimmed/trued and used that way but I find it a lot of work for the results. You can take a leather belt and wrap it around a form such as aluminum or plywood and assuming a good scarf joint, glue it with contact cement. The scarf has to be working in your favor with respect to wheel direction. You can also glue one piece of flat aluminum to an aluminum platter with the smooth side out and it makes a great final polisher for mirrior bright finish on flat surfaces. If you charge a leather wheel with greenchrome polish it does a really nice job.

            If you don't have a hardfelt wheel on your bench I would go there first as it was always one of the last steps before leather for me. The hardfelt wheels don't tend to weep the holes like conventional cloth does expecially on aluminum.
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            • #7
              if you're serious about buffing you need all sorts of different types of wheels

              with the one you describe, you're going to be limited to what you can do ..all you would be able to do is buff very flat surfaces ..and it may put grooves in those

              .flexible wheels deform and allow you to get into corners, crevices etc.

              buffing is carried out first one way ...then 90 degrees on and so on.

              so you're going to be able to do bugger all with a aluminium wheel alone.

              yes, agreed, it is dangerous's the skill of the operator that stops it being dangerous.

              you need a selection of wheels ..a dedicated buffing machine...and an understanding of what buffing is about .

              all the best..markj
              Last edited by aboard_epsilon; 02-09-2012, 01:56 PM.


              • #8
                Originally posted by quadrod
                ...what bonding agent would i want to use? ...
                As for the bonding agent... I once bought a bottle of adhesive from Sears that was for adhering sanding disks to a combo disc/belt sander. This was a thin milky glue. It worked great. It would hold tight, but yet could be easily pealed off when time came to replace the sanding disc.

                Don't know if that's still available. The bottle lasted for years and years.
                Lynn (Huntsville, AL)


                • #9
                  Caswell has a nice buffing how-to guide:



                  • #10
                    I think MDF would be a better, and cheaper, alternative to aluminum. The adhesive I would use is water-based contact cement. (look for it near the plastic laminate at the home center.) It drys fast, sticks well to both MDF and leather, and is latex based so it has low fumes. Two coats on both surfaces. Allow to dry until the glue changes from white to clear. Press together. Overlap the joint where the two ends meet and cut through both layers at a 45 degree angle to get a tight fitting seam.

                    In the interest of safety, I think that wheels of this type should always spin away from the operator so tools don't catch as easily.


                    • #11
                      FWIW there is acompany in Nova Scotia that manufactures a line of comercial cutlery. It is pretty good stuff, but apparently caters to the commercial trade. In any case, they use, (or used to,) Walrus hide buffs. A narrow strip is bonded to the perimeter of a fairly large wheel. I saw the operation but was only passingly interested, hence the vague description. It was explained that the hide worked particularly well, and it was through a bit of Government assistance, (rare as rocking horse poop!) they obtained two hides, which they said would last for MANY years. (That was MANY years ago! ) This stuff is really thick, by the way. (Has to be to keep a walrus together. )
                      Tandy Leathercraft will probably have the best adhesive for attaching the strip and closing the scarf joint. A "poor man's" leather buff could be made from a belt blank from Tandy. Pick a width to 1 1/2", glue it to an MDF blank as already suggested. Make sure the scarf is LONG, at least 4 to 6 times the thickness.
                      Duffy, Gatineau, Quebec


                      • #12
                        wow, Walrus hide buffs!! Never heard of that, very interesting, Duffy thanks for posting that!!

                        (wonder if any of that is used for footwear in the artic areas?)


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by sasquatch
                          wow, Walrus hide buffs!! Never heard of that, very interesting
                          Walrus hide is apparently very thick. I've heard of it being used in high-end custom guns/gunstocks for polishing.

                          I use an 8" hard felt wheel for polishing with chromium oxide -- leaves a beautiful finish, and will create a blisteringly-sharp power stropped knife edge. Felt polishing wheels, as well as leather, are relatively common (albeit expensive).

                          I think felt glued to an aluminum contact wheel would work very well. You might cut the splice at an angle.
                          "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did."


                          • #14
                            This would be for sharpening a knife, and some buffing of miscellaneous parts. I should stop being cheap and get the hard felt wheel from durofelt, they are only $41.00.