Buffing system?

Discussion in 'Newbie' started by Fadi Zeidan, Jul 20, 2016.

  1. Fadi Zeidan

    Fadi Zeidan

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    hello all,

    I'm really new to this, I've been reading on oil finishing and it seem that I need to buff my bowls after applying the Minwax Antique Oil finish. Do I need to buy the Beall buffing system? It seem to be the most discussed buffing system. Any other options recommended?
     
  2. Bill Boehme

    Bill Boehme Administrator Staff Member

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    I frequently use Minwax Antique Oil Finish. It is actually a blend of varnish and linseed oil. I generally apply two or three applications, but sometimes I will apply several more coats if I want a high gloss finish. I have never felt a need to buff the finish. The goal of buffing is to increase the surface gloss which can be accomplished by adding another cost of finish. This is more durable than buffing.
     
  3. Fadi Zeidan

    Fadi Zeidan

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    That is actually a relief, I was not looking forward to buying a buffing system. Thanks :)
     
  4. john lucas

    john lucas

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    I love my buffing system. Almost all of my work is buffed any more. It just makes the final finish look that much nicer. I'm not looking for a perfect gloss just a a cleaner look than I get right off the finish. I use 4" buffs instead of the 8" wheels. I still use the Beal wax sticks.
     
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  5. Fadi Zeidan

    Fadi Zeidan

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    Thanks John,

    I saw many finishes on YouTube after buffing, I like th shine it provides. I was not sure if I had to buy a buffing system yet. Whoever said the lathe is the small investment of woodturning was not kidding :)

    I plan on buying a buffing system after I better understand what I will need and after a while since I've had big initial investment in the lathe and tools last month. I was not sure if I had to have it for Antique Oil finish to get presentable finish.
     
  6. Breck Whitworth

    Breck Whitworth

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    Fadi, I have and use the Beal Buffing system on almost all my Utility bowls (with a food safe finish) that I sell just because it gives a wonderful warm satin finish on them after applying Mahoney's walnut oil. Just add a buffing system to your wish list for the future. It is not what I would call a necessity just one of those tools that once you get used to it you will wonder how you ever did without it. I will say that I never use the carnauba wax any more because of finger prints and water stains but the first two compounds I use all the time. Buffing can improve a good finish but can't do miracles.
     
  7. Gerald Lawrence

    Gerald Lawrence

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    I use the Beal Buff on most of my pieces. It clears away any dust nibs still there and gives the finish a more "good to feel" touch. Lately I have been Trying Micromesh, but only on film finishes like lacquer and so far get good results with it.
     
  8. Jamie Straw

    Jamie Straw

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    When the buffing system nears the top of your list, check back in here. Lots of help, can save you $$ in the long run.
     
  9. john lucas

    john lucas

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    Well I agree with the expense. I did an awful lot of turning without the Beal or other buffing systems. If you pay enough attention to sanding and apply a good quality finish it will be fine for most people. In fact I often see poorly sanded pieces and pieces with thick body uneven finishes that the turner used the Beal system and of course it still doesn't look good. It's not the secret to good finishing. it's the final touch to a good finish to add that something extra. Guitars for example are buffed for their final finish. If you look at a guitar the finish is flat, without any torn grain, sanding marks or lumps in the finish. The buffing brings out the final shine. Imagine a guitar with torn grain and a thick finish trying to cover it up. You can do it by applying enough finish but the final look will still be poor. I'm actually using a satin finish now and buffing. It's not a high gloss finish but a very smooth and nice feeling finish. It doesns't appear to have much finish (because it doesn't). It also feels really nice which is I think what it's all about on bowls and my hand mirrors. They are supposed to be held.
     
  10. Fadi Zeidan

    Fadi Zeidan

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    I think I'm doing ok with the sanding, the few pieces I did, I sanded them down to 600 and took my time doing it walking through the grits. I still tend to leave tool marks and ridges inside the bowls and as you said, I need to do better job with bowls thickness. Overall, happy with my progress and trying to get different finishes to learn more.

    I only turn couple of hours on weekends due to my day job and Texas heat (I turn outside) so my progress will be slow but as the weather gets better in couple of months, I should be turning few times a week and longer hours.

    Right now I'm buying my blanks and that is getting expensive as I get faster at it. Just purchased blanks for $160 with the shipping cost. I need to invest in the tools and supplies to make and turn free wood down the road.

    I'm also very interested in carvings in my bowls as well, so may get dremel and carbide hits for it in the future.
     
  11. hockenbery

    hockenbery AAW Advisor Staff Member

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    One of the advantages of a local club is free wood.
    Wood is sort of feast or famine for many turners. Those that have share...
    Someone in the club always has more wood than they can turn. Some clubs have wood auctions. Others have wood yards. One of our club members brings a truckload of cutoffs from a cabinet shop every month.
     
  12. Bill Boehme

    Bill Boehme Administrator Staff Member

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    I'm in the same situation with the Texas heat because I also roll my lathe out of the garage and turn on the driveway. It looks like you might be a member of the Alamo Woodturners. If they are like my club, the Woodturners of North Texas, that is usually a good resource for finding free wood. It's hard for a new woodturner to announce that they are looking for free wood at a club meeting, but you will be surprised how eager other woodturners are to share wood that they have found ... especially with new turners. So, be brave and let fellow club members know that you are looking for wood to turn.
     
  13. john lucas

    john lucas

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    Yea, free wood is everywhere once you meet up with other turners. If you own a chainsaw and give a few bowls to neighbors even more wood is available. This thread started as a buffing thread but I turned for many many years without ever buffing. My finishes were good enough to sell work. I like the way my work looks now with the finishes I'm using the buffing but that was just a sort of evolution on my part. If you took away my buff's I'd find another way to do it.
     
  14. Fadi Zeidan

    Fadi Zeidan

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    I do the same Bill, I roll my lathe to the driveway and turn in the morning till the sun hits my driveway. I do plan to attend Alamo Woodturners meetings next month, I need to contact them and see if there are any requirements before I go.

    As far as polishing goes, sounds like I could use one to get better finish. I have long list of things I need to buy, so matter as well bite the bullet and get them. Any recommendations? Beall system still the better option?

    I don't plan on selling, but at some point I will have more bowls than I can give away, so I'm thinking if I ever get decent at it, I may sell them on etsy and donate the money to animal shelters. Turn a hobby into a good cause.
     
  15. Bill Boehme

    Bill Boehme Administrator Staff Member

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    Johnson's Paste Wax is my preferred method of applying a wax finish. I have a Beall buffing system, but rarely use it any more because I can get a nice semigloss finish when using the paste wax over an oil finish. From my personal experience I now don't buy things unless I know that I really them. I have a lot of things that I bought in my early days of turning that are just taking up space.
     
  16. Bill Boehme

    Bill Boehme Administrator Staff Member

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    The only real requirement is to have a pulse. :D Beyond that, wanting to learn more about woodturning is icing on the cake.
     
  17. hockenbery

    hockenbery AAW Advisor Staff Member

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    All but one of the clubs I know of welcome drop in visitors. The one exception meets in private community clubhouse and you need to have your name in the visitors list to get past the guard.
     
  18. John Torchick

    John Torchick

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    Not an expert by any means but our chapter had a demonstration by Mark Sillay of Atlanta. He polished two turnings on the Beale system. He got a finish that looked like glass.
     
  19. Fadi Zeidan

    Fadi Zeidan

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    Thanks guys! I will definitely go to next meeting next month.

    I used Minwax Antique Oil Finish for the first time this weekend, applied 1st coat waited 5 mins then rubbed it off. Repeated it next day, and on the 3rd day rubbed it with Johnson's paste wax. The finish is ok, but can be much better. I need to get better sanding results so I need to get better at it. Sanded down to 600 but did not do a good job. I'm getting the 2" blue flex discs from Vinceswoodnwonder site to power sand.

    What is your process for finishing? Any preference of oil, wax?
     
  20. hockenbery

    hockenbery AAW Advisor Staff Member

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    I sand domestic hardwoods and alien species such as camphor, eucalyptus, citrus
    To 320. Further sanding of these woods does little to improve the surface.
    Higher grits work on smoothing the finish not smoothing the wood.
    I use waterlox which is similar to the min wax.
    After the first coat dries I hand sand with 400
    After subsequent coats I use 0000 scotchbirte to level the finish.
    Last step is beal buffing that smoothes the surface of the built up waterlox.

    I should add that some exotics require higher grits.
    Ebony is like glass and raw ebony shows scratches at 1200.
     

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