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Author Topic: hand protection while buffing  (Read 834 times)

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hand protection while buffing
« on: November 12, 2017, 04:40:58 PM »

I have a buffer that takes 5" wheels. I use mechanics gloves from Harbor Freight to hold the piece so I don't buff or burn my fingers off. The problem is with small pieces... I have a difficult time holding onto the piece and getting it properly buffed. Because I can't 'feel' the small pieces very well, the wheel grabs it and makes a projectile out it. I know this is probably a metal shop 101 question, but how do the pros do it?


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Re: hand protection while buffing
« Reply #1 on: November 12, 2017, 04:51:46 PM »

I never use gloves and I work with knives.  Gloves do not allow for the fine movement and pressure needed in buffing and I use 3,600 RPM 8 inch and 10 inch buffers.   I have found that the buffing compound used is the most important element in the final results and I use different compounds for different materials.

For metal I use K& N green compound for all knife metal polishing.  One compound for all metal from the scothbrite wheel to final polish.

The 2nd most important aspect is the actual buff.  I use sewn 1 inch wide 120 layer cotton for everything,


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Re: hand protection while buffing
« Reply #2 on: November 12, 2017, 05:03:22 PM »

I don't use gloves while buffing or polishing.  It can be very dangerous if a glove finger gets caught in the buffer.  You could lose a finger.  I generally just take the piece away from the wheel and let it cool off if it gets too hot to handle.  Usually I don't need to use too much pressure against the wheel to buff or polish my piece, so it doesn't get scorching hot.

For very small pieces, I'll use my Foredom with mini buffing and polishing wheels for the job.

Debbie K

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Re: hand protection while buffing
« Reply #3 on: November 12, 2017, 08:50:07 PM »

I have the same problem. When polishing a ring I always put it on a mandrel. I think part of the problem is that I press too hard on the wheel. I've found that lighter pressure doesn't allow the wheel to grab the piece quite as much. Some pieces can be held with one of these or these

But if it's a really important or fragile piece, I use the foredom with the small buff wheels or brushes. And I don't wear gloves either, I have a morbid fear of being pulled into a machine since it's already happened to me once before.

Debbie K


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Re: hand protection while buffing
« Reply #4 on: November 12, 2017, 10:23:33 PM »

Another obvious tip is never buff into a joint and instead buff away.  An example would be a double half round wire that splits and and then the wires are at opposite ends of the bezel.  allowing the buff to drop into the joint allows it to grab and then pull the piece out of your hand.  I also buff from center out rather than letting it grab an edge.
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