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 Thinking about getting a buffer

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Dave_In_Philly

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Age : 36
Location : Philly
Registration date : 2011-08-18

PostSubject: Thinking about getting a buffer   Fri Sep 06, 2013 9:37 am

I have a pretty nicely equipped shop in my basement, but one thing I don't have is a buffing wheel. I have never really had a need for one. While I'm sure there are numerous reasons for me to have one, the principle reason is to refinish pipes - mostly stems, but possibly some briar too (in truth the real reason is tool acquisition disorder...but we won't mention that).

With that in mind what should I be looking for? Would the cheap 6" buffer with an external speed control from Harbor Freight work?
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Dave_In_Philly

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Age : 36
Location : Philly
Registration date : 2011-08-18

PostSubject: Re: Thinking about getting a buffer   Fri Sep 06, 2013 9:55 am

Dammit, meant to put this in the DIY section.
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Cartaphilus

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Age : 63
Location : East Texas
Registration date : 2011-12-15

PostSubject: Re: Thinking about getting a buffer   Fri Sep 06, 2013 10:00 am

Dave_In_Philly wrote:
I have a pretty nicely equipped shop in my basement, but one thing I don't have is a buffing wheel. I have never really had a need for one. While I'm sure there are numerous reasons for me to have one, the principle reason is to refinish pipes - mostly stems, but possibly some briar too (in truth the real reason is tool acquisition disorder...but we won't mention that).

With that in mind what should I be looking for? Would the cheap 6" buffer with an external speed control from Harbor Freight work?
A buffer with a variable speed control would be nice but, you can take an old washer/dryer motor dual shaft or single and make a buffer into it a lot cheaper and they run about the correct speed 1300 - 1700 rpm's. But if you got the money to get a variable speed by all means get one. But, be warned Harbor Freight hasn't the best. I have one I got off a buddy, of course it's 3400 rpm but, it hasn't the torque needed to polish anything other then stems maybe but, much too fast (actually stops when you apply any pressure) and it runs so hot you can't put your hand on it after 15 minutes of running. If you can run it before purchasing it would be a good idea.
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Mozjo33

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Age : 48
Location : Just moved...Chantilly, Va
Registration date : 2011-12-04

PostSubject: Re: Thinking about getting a buffer   Fri Sep 06, 2013 2:03 pm

Hey Dave!  I'm in the market for one myself for the same reasons. I know that Home Depot sells them for about $100. I don't have the specs on them.  Also, try Craigslist.
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bosun1

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Location : fly over country
Registration date : 2012-10-23

PostSubject: Re: Thinking about getting a buffer   Fri Sep 06, 2013 3:41 pm

Something around 1725 RPM. 1/3 HP, maybe 1/2 HP. Either wire a switch directly onto the motor or put one in-line on an extension cord so you don't have to do too much stretching. I use individual arbors for my buffing pads (Pimo.com). I use six inch pads. Motor shafts can be either 1/2" or 5/8" . I use a 1/2" keyless drill chuck. Source: www.grizzly.com/products/Motor-Arbors-5-8-Arbor-1-2-Keyless-Chuck/G5553 to fit a 5/8" motor shaft, they also have them for 1/2" shafts. I'm sure you can think of other things to put in the drill chuck - like sanding pads (g). You'll pay a little more to get going because you have to have seperate arbors if you do it this way but it is worth it in saving time.
Obligatory pic:



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Andy Lowry



Age : 60
Location : Prescott, AZ, USA
Registration date : 2013-05-31

PostSubject: Re: Thinking about getting a buffer   Sat Sep 07, 2013 11:24 am

A buffing wheel on a variable-speed drill works pretty well.
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scotties22

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Age : 36
Location : Missouri
Registration date : 2012-06-10

PostSubject: Re: Thinking about getting a buffer   Sat Sep 07, 2013 11:49 am

I use my drill press adjusted to the correct RPM for whatever buff I am using. I keep meaning to buy the Beal spindle for my lathe and never get around to it.
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Dave_In_Philly

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Age : 36
Location : Philly
Registration date : 2011-08-18

PostSubject: Re: Thinking about getting a buffer   Mon Sep 09, 2013 2:10 pm

Andy Lowry wrote:
A buffing wheel on a variable-speed drill works pretty well.
Thought about that, but how does it work? I imagine you clamp the drill to the work table, but are there hand held drills that don't require you pull the trigger? I have several drills but I can't keep any of them running unless I'm holding the trigger down.

Or do you old the drill in one hand and the pipe in the other? I don't know if I'm dexterous enough for that.
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desertpiper

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Age : 55
Location : tucson, az
Registration date : 2012-03-20

PostSubject: Re: Thinking about getting a buffer   Mon Sep 09, 2013 6:24 pm

Dave_In_Philly wrote:
Andy Lowry wrote:
A buffing wheel on a variable-speed drill works pretty well.
Thought about that, but how does it work? I imagine you clamp the drill to the work table, but are there hand held drills that don't require you pull the trigger? I have several drills but I can't keep any of them running unless I'm holding the trigger down.

Or do you old the drill in one hand and the pipe in the other? I don't know if I'm dexterous enough for that.
I believe he is talking about a drill press, not a hand drill. The drill press is a stand alone unit with a base, post, movable work take and drill unit mounted to the post at the top. (just a rough description).
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huffelpuff

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Age : 47
Location : Laramie, WY
Registration date : 2011-12-10

PostSubject: Re: Thinking about getting a buffer   Mon Sep 09, 2013 8:28 pm

I don't pretend to speak for Andy but yes some of the older drills have a button behind the trigger that locks the drill in the on position. These were frequently clamped to a table and used for buffing. As far as I know that feature went away with the cordless drills but you should be able to pick up a nice corded drill at a pawn shop for next to nothing.

Jim
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Mikem
The Coordinator
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Age : 61
Location : Glendale, Arizona
Registration date : 2007-12-14

PostSubject: Re: Thinking about getting a buffer   Fri Sep 13, 2013 9:47 am

I have one of those large Jet buffers that turns at 1750 rpm but the one I use the most for buffing and polishing pipes is one I made from an old 1/2 horse washing machine motor. You have to spin the wheel to get it started but it turns at a nice slow speed. I have used it for years now. I mounted it in a box with a 3/4 plywood base and a light switch to turn the power on. I can mount it anywhere on one of my work benches when I need to use it and store it underneath when not needed.
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Cartaphilus

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Age : 63
Location : East Texas
Registration date : 2011-12-15

PostSubject: Re: Thinking about getting a buffer   Fri Sep 13, 2013 10:07 am

Mikem wrote:
I have one of those large Jet buffers that turns at 1750 rpm but the one I use the most for buffing and polishing pipes is one I made from an old 1/2 horse washing machine motor.  You have to spin the wheel to get it started but it turns at a nice slow speed.  I have used it for years now.  I mounted it in a box with a 3/4 plywood base and a light switch to turn the power on.  I can mount it anywhere on one of my work benches when I need to use it and store it underneath when not needed.
Just a note Mike, If you have to spin start it, most likely the start windings are bad or if it has a centrifugal start switch, it could be just dirty or a spring is off or broken on it.
Fairly easy fix.
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Mikem
The Coordinator
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Age : 61
Location : Glendale, Arizona
Registration date : 2007-12-14

PostSubject: Re: Thinking about getting a buffer   Fri Sep 13, 2013 2:55 pm

Cartaphilus wrote:
Mikem wrote:
I have one of those large Jet buffers that turns at 1750 rpm but the one I use the most for buffing and polishing pipes is one I made from an old 1/2 horse washing machine motor.  You have to spin the wheel to get it started but it turns at a nice slow speed.  I have used it for years now.  I mounted it in a box with a 3/4 plywood base and a light switch to turn the power on.  I can mount it anywhere on one of my work benches when I need to use it and store it underneath when not needed.
Just a note Mike, If you have to spin start it, most likely the start windings are bad or if it has a centrifugal start switch, it could be just dirty or a spring is off or broken on it.
Fairly easy fix.
My "bet" is the start switch is either bad "or" I wired it up wrong. The only reason that I think the windings are good is that it runs pretty strong once it is going. Thanks for the info.
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pipemaker

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Location : West Allis, WI
Registration date : 2007-12-18

PostSubject: Thinking about getting a buffer   Tue Sep 17, 2013 11:43 pm

I would recommend a 1700 rpm motor. The standard 3400-3500 rpm motor is just too fast to maintain adequate control of the process. The amount of pressure required is very critical, and it is very easy to remove more material than intended. Also it hurts when a pipe catches on the wheel, flies out of your hand and bonks you on the forehead.

A 1700 rpm motor with a 5"-6" wheel allows for a more even surface (virtually no ripples) makes it easier to get into tight spots like the shank/bowl junction on a bent, and has less tendency to grab.

With a second wheel this is a nice set up for applying Carnuba wax evenly

Mike Brissett
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Hawker

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Age : 51
Location : Alberta
Registration date : 2012-05-15

PostSubject: Re: Thinking about getting a buffer   Wed Sep 18, 2013 3:27 pm

Here's what i use for polishing just about everything i need and it works great for under a 100 bucks.



Delta 6" Shopmaster Variable Speed Bench Grinder w/1/2 " Arbor. 2000 - 3450 RPM.

Has some 8" knife working buffs on it in the picture but i keep a couple 8" buffs justs for pipes charged w/carnuda wax when i need them. Paid under $100 new on sale and i'm sure you could pick up a used one for half that. If you have trouble finding 1/2 arbor attachments you can pick up plastic sleeve adapters for 3 different sizes.
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lestrout



Location : Chester County, PA
Registration date : 2008-04-19

PostSubject: Re: Thinking about getting a buffer   Wed Sep 18, 2013 3:41 pm

Dave - next time you come to Morley's (like tonight), talk to Sam. He has been doing restorations and has some sort of buffing set up in his shop.

hp
les
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