Buffing and Polishing school. Here you will find all the information you need to get started in buffing and polishing. tips & advice.

How to buff and polish  

BUFFING TIPS for beginners:

For good buffing results, follow the few simple but important rules contained here. Lets first learn some common buffing industry terms:

A SECTION OR SINGLE BUFF, consists of layers of material sewed together in various ways. It is usually about 1/4 inch thick at the face. Also can be called, Buffs, Buff pads, Buffing Wheel.

A BUFFING WHEEL consists of one or more single sections. You can buy ready made multiple buffs, which are single sections sewed together, or you can assemble any thickness buffing wheel you wish by putting together single or multiple buffs on your spindle. Buffing wheels should always be mounted on your spindle between flanges firmly gripping the sides.

A COMPOSITION, OR COMPOUND, is the material applied to the face of a buffing wheel to enable you to obtain the finish you desire. It consists of abrasives, which do the work, held in suspension by wax or grease, which acts as a binder to hold the abrasive to the buff. There are many kinds of compositions, ranging from coarse cutting emery to the finest jewelers' rouge', and each has a particular use. Buffing wheels will not product results without compositions, Bayland compositions are specially compounded for easy application and to give dependable results.

Big Tip!! The compound or composition does the work! not the buffing wheel ! so do not starve the buff. Just because a buffing wheel is made of soft cotton does not mean it will shine metal. It is the compound that shines the metal. The compound is the real tool, the buffing wheel just holds the compound. So apply compound in short small amounts very often. 

SPINDLE SPEED is the speed of your spindle expressed in R.P.M., or revolutions per minute.

SURFACE SPEED, or S.F.P.M., is the speed at which the face of your buffing wheel travels, as distinguished from the spindle speed of your buffing or polishing head. S.F.P.M. is an abbreviation meaning Surface Feet Per Minute. It is important that you know the S.F.P.M. of your wheel, as it should be varied to obtain the best results for coarse buffing cutting down, or coloring. For best results, your wheel should maintain a S.F.P.M. at 3,600-7,500. The higher the speed the better and quicker the results. Formula for calculating S.F.P.M. is S.F.P.M.=1/4 diameter of buff multiplied by the spindle speed in R.P.M. Thus, an 8" wheel @ 3,600 R.P.M. =2 x 3600 R.P.M. or 7200 S.F.P.M.

CUT  BUFFING means buffing with coarse compositions, such as emery, to remove rust, grinding marks, and rough surface imperfections. CUTTING DOWN means buffing with sharp cutting compositions, such as Tripoli and Stainless, to remove additional surface imperfections and give a moderate luster.

COLOR BUFFING or COLORING means the final buffing, which is done with various softer or finer compositions to bring out the natural color or luster of the material. Most polishing projects will require more than one buffing operation in each of the above classes. You may find it advisable in some instances to color, or even to cut down, with two or more compositions or with the same composition on different type buffing wheels in order to obtain the result you desire


On a new wheel: Be sure the wheel is revolving toward you and has attained full speed. Then pass tube of composition lightly across wheel face in front of, and a little below spindle, until face is slightly coated. Now hold a clean piece of old metal lightly against wheel face for a few seconds to spread coating. Do this several times until face is uniformly coated. After face has been adequately charged with composition, you are ready to buff. It will be necessary to apply more composition from time to time as you buff, and the best way to do this is with a wiping motion, being careful not to overload the wheel. But do not starve the buffing wheel! The buffing compound does the work, the buff only holds the compound. 

Never use a wheel for coloring which has previously been used for coarse buffing or cutting down. Particles of grit remaining in the face may scratch your final finish. You will save time and avoid costly mistakes by using a separate wheel for each type of composition.Be sure your wheel is revolving toward you and at a full speed. Coat your wheel with the right composition and let it run for a few seconds so the composition will settle on the buff. (Never put the composition on the article to be buffed.) Now grasp your work firmly and apply it lightly against face of wheel. Make sure to keep it below the center of the wheel, otherwise the buff might catch in your work and pull it out of your hands. Keep your work constantly in motion, always removing it from the wheel with a slanting downward stroke. This will blend buffing marks and help avoid spotty or streaked results. Wipe additional composition across wheel face as needed, but do not overload. Overloaded wheels will produce many thick, black streak marks. If this occurs, clean the buff with a buff rack or file and reapply the composition as needed. Do not use too much pressure against the wheel let the composition and the wheel do the work. Work when changing from cutting to coloring composition to prevent coarse grits from becoming embedded in coloring wheel, thus scratching your final finish. When finished, wipe the buffed surface with a soft cloth dipped in powdered whiting (talcum powder) to remove all traces of composition. A little practice will enable you to obtain the results you want. Never allow wheel to strike upper edge of work as work may be torn from your hands

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