the Beall Buffing method ......

Discussion in 'Tutorials and Tips' started by odie, Feb 11, 2017.

  1. odie

    odie

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    I am creating this thread to discuss anything related to the Beall buffing method. If you have input, please comment here.

    I recently discovered that if a bowl sits in storage for +/- 8 months, or so......it will need to be re-buffed with the third step, carnauba wheel, before sold, or put to use. There is a noticeable difference in the luster with the re-buff. Do you also find this to be necessary?

    It appears as if the average life span of an 8" bowl buff is around +/- 250 bowls for the step #3 carnauba wax wheel. The other two wheels are still a good diameter, but are slowly being reduced in size. They will last much longer.

    Has anyone compared the new style bowl buffs with the older discontinued style of bowl buffs? I have the old style bowl buffs, and they are not that useful for me. They seem to be too inflexible in the way they are constructed. The newer style looks like this may have been addressed. The old style 4" buff is installed in the photo shown in the next post.......

    ko
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 11, 2017
  2. odie

    odie

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    BTW: For anyone first starting out with the Beall system, using some latex disposable gloves are great for helping to grip the bowl while buffing. Once you get some experience with what you can and cannot do while holding your bowl to the buffing wheel, the gloves become optional. I'd say I lost about 5-6 bowls before I wised up! :rolleyes: It is a really disheartening thing to see your newly finished bowl flung across the shop, or bouncing on your cement floor.....been there, done that! :mad:

    Here is my homemade buffing motor. It's made from the old motor from my lathe. It's 1 1/2 hp, and is too much power for this purpose, but what I had on hand when I built it, and seems to be working well, regardless. I'd say 3/4hp, or 1hp is probably about ideal.......:D

    ko
    IMG_1951.JPG
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2017
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  3. Dennis J Gooding

    Dennis J Gooding

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    Is that a variable speed motor?
     
  4. odie

    odie

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    No, Dennis......it's a Leeson 1 1/2 hp, single speed 110v......I believe it's rated at about 1800rpm.

    edit: It's 1725 rpm.

    ko
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2017
  5. Mike Johnson

    Mike Johnson

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    I like using a lathe for buffing wheels which allows adjusting the speed for buffing and waxing.
    If you have the room for several machines one can have buffing wheels mounted between centers, you
    can also make an adapter for an adjustable chuck for a bowl buffing ball to polish the inside of a bowl.
     
  6. Gerald Lawrence

    Gerald Lawrence

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    Odie is that hockey tape on the Beall mount?
     
  7. Breck Whitworth

    Breck Whitworth

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    ko[/QUOTE]
    Odie I still use the Beall buffing system after many years the only improvement I have found to the normal methods ( after much experience) is to discontinue carnuba wax because of the horrid water spots that occur if water contacts a bowl. Also down here due to heat and humidity finger prints became a problem for me because customers love to pick up and feel a bowl to see if it right for them. I was having to rebuff constantly to remove finger prints. I now use a light coat of Renaissance wax then buff lightly no more water spots or finger prints so it works for me and a mico thin coat of micro-crystalline wax doesn't hurt anyone.
     
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  8. Bill Boehme

    Bill Boehme Administrator Staff Member

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    Could you comment on the cables with turnbuckles? I see two possibilities:
    1. Stabilize the buffer from swaying -- OR --
    2. Adjusts the flatness of the base so that it doesn't rock
    It's a nice industrial strength looking set up and the heavy duty push button switches look like they also came from your lathe.
     
  9. Bill Boehme

    Bill Boehme Administrator Staff Member

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    The two big "bumps" on the motor means that it is capacitor-start capacitor-run single-phase induction motor (quite a mouthful to say). Single-phase AC induction motors can't be used with a variable frequency drive*. Three-phase motors are required for electronic adjustable speed control with a variable frequently drive.

    *There are some exceptions such as low torque air handler motors, There are also universal motors which are really DC motors that are used in hand tools like drills and routers.
     
  10. odie

    odie

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    Howdy Gerald......Yes, the arbor has hockey tape on it. I initially put the tape on there so I had something to grab onto when I wanted to stop the motor quickly.....but it really doesn't help much, if at all. Never bothered to take it off.

    ko
     
  11. odie

    odie

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    Hello Bill.......:)

    It's my bad engineering that caused the need for the cables and turnbuckles. I made the stand with a piece of 6" angle iron for the upright, with plates welded at both ends. It needed more stability than this provides. I found that the upright angle iron was not completely stable, and tended to twist vibrate on the vertical axis.....or, along the length of the angle iron. The cables were a second thought to overcome this tendency for the angle iron to flex. The cable fix works, but if I had to make a buffing stand again, it would be designed a little differently.

    Yes, those switches are the original switches from my Woodfast lathe......back when I changed belts, and before I converted to variable speed. That was one of the best improvements I've ever done to my lathe! :D

    ko
     
  12. odie

    odie

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    Thanks for your input, Breck......:)

    The average temperatures here in MT are much cooler, and that could make a difference in how the carnauba wax reacts to handling. Do you use the Beall wheels to buff out the Renaissance wax? Before I started using the Beall system, I was using the Black Bison wax, and it's not nearly as good......

    ko
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2017
  13. Raul McCai

    Raul McCai

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    I bought a buffing wheel. Cranked 'er up and quickly decided that power buffing wasn't for me. I got abrasive and crap from the wheel flying everywhere. Since then I've used shavings on occasion as a burnishing medium.

    Maybe I just got a crappy wheel?
     
  14. Gerald Lawrence

    Gerald Lawrence

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    Odie not Breck but Renissance does not require wheel buffing on a hand slight buff and you can use more than one coat.

    Raul the Beall wheels have to be broken in and after that the fiber shedding will slow down but never completely go away .Also if it is shedding abrasive you are adding too much. Only a small amount of abrasive is required. For me the worst thing is that sometime the wheels burn off some of the finish as a result of lack of cure time ot to much finish applied.
     
  15. Breck Whitworth

    Breck Whitworth

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    Odie I have a dedicated wax 8" buff for the Ren. wax and buff lightly it creates a better sheen (I would say more like a semi gloss) than not buffing, better than the white diamond step that's for sure. It is not quite as glossy as the carnuba wax creates, but like I said way down here on the gulf of mexico the humidity stays around 88-98% most of the summer and probably over half the winter if I can tell we are even having winter. They say on the can of ren wax a little goes a long way. I have had a small can for 5 years and done countless bowls and it is a little less then half full.
     
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  16. Bill Boehme

    Bill Boehme Administrator Staff Member

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    My first experience with a Beall buff was "interesting". :D

    My three car studio was almost instantly filled with a cloud of cotton fibers and dust. Even after a break-in period they never completely stop creating a small cloud, but it's nothing like the first snowstorm.

    A lot of turners use the Beall buff system, but it isn't something that I use ... maybe ten or twenty times in the past dozen years. I've barely used the tripoli and white diamond abrasives and mostly I've used the carnauba wax. I have used Johnson's Paste Wax, but handling can sometimes leave smudges. More recently I've been using microcrystalline wax by Chestnut. It's less expensive than Renaissance.

    BTW, wax can be used when you want a satin finish, but don't put it on a high gloss finish because that will turn it into a not-quite-high-gloss finish. This is true for any wax. I don't see a reason for using wax on top of any film finish. It's OK on bare wood or oiled wood. If I use wax over oil, I try to wait several weeks to let the oil polymerize until the smell is mostly gone. Not waiting will just slow down the polymerization. Wax isn't a permanent finish, but for something that sits on a shelf and looks pretty, it might be satisfactory. I have used wax alone when I didn't want to darken the wood.

    EDIT: Did I mention that on my first attempt with the Beall buff that I sent the bowl into a low earth orbit.
     
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  17. Leo Van Der Loo

    Leo Van Der Loo

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    Odie I made a motor buffer years ago, as I didn’t like to have to buff above the ways of the lathe, not enough room or freedom of holding my bowls, and also didn’t want to pay the in my eyes high priced buffing system, bought the buffs that lots of places sell and made larger ones myself.

    As I had not much room then, I made it easily placed where I could use it and then after store it away again, used just a furnace motor I had, it will not let me be aggressively buff, but it works for me, and that is wat counts :)

    For arbors I used the levelling bolds from washing machines, as they had large thin heads and the top end without thread, couple large fender washers and a regular screw works also, when I did run out of the large head bolds that’s what I also use.

    The other thing that I also do is, use drills (variable speed) and buff while the piece is still on the lathe.

    As there was some questions raised, I did make some pictures, so don’t think I am buffing un-sanded bowls ;)

    large bowl
    buffing larger bowl.jpg

    Buffing with drill.
    Drill to buff with.jpg

    Buffing wheel drawer
    buffing wheels.jpg

    Buffing on the lathe.
    buffing on the lathe.jpg
     
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  18. odie

    odie

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    Hi Raul.......As Gerald noted, the shredding of the buffing wheel is normal for a new wheel. The rate at which it breaks down slows considerably, but never completely stops. I measured my carnauba step #3 wheel, and it's a little over 5" in diameter.......after several hundred bowls. It still buffs as good as a new wheel, but would be better if it were the full original 8" diameter.

    ko
     
  19. hockenbery

    hockenbery AAW Advisor Staff Member

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    I use the beal buffs on lots of pieces.

    My General rule for wax is to not use it on things that will be handled a lot.
    The dirt on hands will get imbedded in the wax - just like the evidence transfer on CSI.
    the waxed item will the get a dingy look from handling
     
  20. Tom Gall

    Tom Gall

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    Re: Buffing ....my 2 cents.

    I purchased my Beall set in 1994 (just looked it up in my tool/equipment inventory). I had my share of fly-away bowls and some burn-throughs of the finish as others have mentioned. In 1998 I bought a set of Beall 4" buffing wheels - to which I added a couple of nuts (used as locknuts), a connector nut, and a smooth shank hex-head bolt with the head cut-off to mount in the chuck of a high speed VS drill (2800 rpm? - not critical). It worked so well I bought two more identical drills (think production), one for each wheel. I haven't used the 8-9" wheels since!!!

    I always finished and buffed my pieces on the lathe. I left the waste block or mounting method in place until completion (a vacuum chuck will also work in most cases). To buff - mount your piece on the lathe and turn slowly (slower than when turning or sanding). The 4” buffing wheels will allow you to get into some areas that an 8” wheel won’t allow. You can access pretty much all areas by reversing the lathe and/or drill to your advantage.

    The 4" wheels have proven successful for 80-90% of my turnings. After the piece is completely buffed I would then work on the foot, or whatever.

    Advantages:

    * The piece is mounted on the lathe so it will never be ripped from your hands.
    * The surface of your piece and the buffing wheels are constantly moving so you will never(?) have any burn through.

    I did shows for more than 25 yrs. and was often rushed to finish pieces. It is best to let the finish cure (surface finishes i.e. Waterlox) before buffing, but many, many times I would buff them out the next day using this method. On some small pieces with a quick-drying finish I could buff them out 4-6 hours later.
     
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