Buffing Arbor/Machine?

Discussion in 'Glues, Fillers & Painting' started by Duplex Dave, Oct 24, 2013.

  1. Duplex Dave

    Duplex Dave Active Member

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    Does anyone use the buffing machine from StewMac? Wondering if it's worth the price. I can't find any other models that have the 36" shaft neccessary for guitar finish buffing. I think I might try the arbor and get a better motor.
    Anyone using a buffing machine out there?
     
  2. jcsimons

    jcsimons New Member

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    I mostly use micro mesh as I'm not a big fan of super shinny guitars, but I do have a buffer from harbor freight that I use to polish ebony
     
  3. Duplex Dave

    Duplex Dave Active Member

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    Yeah, I've done plenty of hand rubbed work with Micro Mesh and Novus. But, I've been spoiled by real buffing wheels for the last 16 years at work.
    I think I'm going to try and make on myself...
     
  4. Adam

    Adam Well-Known Member

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  5. Duplex Dave

    Duplex Dave Active Member

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    Thanks Adam, I had seen that before and was hoping to come accross it once more. Especially since I've been making my own list of parts from McMaster Carr.
     
  6. pfox14

    pfox14 New Member

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    I tried to save money by doing a DIY buffing machine and it was a total disaster. Tried to slow down the RPMs with a variable speed controller - did not work. You need a specialized machine like the one StewMac sells to do the job properly.
     
  7. Duplex Dave

    Duplex Dave Active Member

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    A freind of mine got the StewMac one. I'm not very impressed with it...
    Seems okay for Nitro beause of the slower rpm but that's about it.
     
  8. MikeP

    MikeP Member

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    To change RPMs you'll probably want a step pulley
    [​IMG]

    There's nothing really magical about the StewMac kit. It's all about the math- the right motor with the correct size pulleys = the correct speed. Too slow and you won't build up enough heat. Too fast and you've basically built a bench grinder!
     
  9. AxeMaker

    AxeMaker New Member

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    Make your own for 1/3 the price. Download the base plan from StewMac for free. Buy the everything else from either Amazon, eBay or Grizzly.

    I found a 1hp motor on eBay for $60 and a 1hp on Grizzly a month later for $119. I am using the second one for a belt sander. But in hindsight I would recommend the $119 from Grizzly because the $60 motor did not have a mount or a start capacitor. So by the the time you make a mount and buy a start capacitor it is worth it to buy the one for $119.

    I went to 1hp because I am using 14" canton flannel buffing wheels that I purchased from www.CaswellPlating.com That link will take you to them. I believe they have a really good price on them. I also bought their Buffing Wheel Shaft Adapter 5/8" shaft with 1/2" thread, it was $7.99 each.

    I actually bought the 5/8" diameter axle 36" long from Zoro Tools on eBay it was $28.86 + $5.00 shipping.

    The pillow block bearings on Amazon Prime for $18.50 for both.
    I cannot remember the price of the pulleys. (see update below)


    MUCH CHEAPER !!!

    Make sure if you do this you get around a 1725 RPM motor. You want your wheels rotating around 820 RPM. You will get them down to that speed by the diameter of the pulleys you buy.

    This web site will help you calculate the diameter of the pulleys;
    Pulley Calculator Make sure you select IMPERIAL at the top else you might be calculating metric speeds.

    Hope that helps... If you have any questions I will be happy to help.

    :wave: UPDATE: I found the cost of the 3.45" Pulley (goes on the arbor shaft) with a 5/8" bore you will need if your motor is 1725 RPM It can be found on Amazon Prime for $11.25 here.
    This one will go on the motor and it is 1.55" with a 5/8" bore it is also on Amazon Prime here and is $13.80.
     
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2015
  10. B. Howard

    B. Howard New Member

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    Yes, I use the 14" SM buffer. I use it on a weekly basis on nitro, 2K, polyester and varnish. It is a high quality purpose built machine that comes with everything needed to get started in one box. Yes you can build one cheaper, but not better. The sealed motor with aluminum housing and cooling fins is impervious to the dust and lint produced by buffing and will last much longer in this type service than a regular motor. The rpm's are already worked out and you get a set of buffs, the proper collars and compounds. You can be buffing in 30 minutes or less. Ore you can spend a week sourcing parts and a day to put it together. I do this for a living so my time is very valuable to me and at $50/hr for my time on a DIY deal the SM is a no brainer....
     
  11. AxeMaker

    AxeMaker New Member

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    Hum... And you have not even seen the motors I have yet you assume just because you spent $600+ dollars yours is better?

    I just gave the fellow the RPM's worked out... 1725 RPM motor... 1.55" motor pulley and a 3.45" arbor pulley and you get 739 RPM. I mis-spoke earlier... not 839. If you check SM it will be just a hair faster than the one you have. I they say theirs is 715 or 718 something like that.

    If I were in a production environment I guess I might plug N play too because most likely I would have the $600+ to drop on it. However I am just a garage hobbyist who doesn't have that kind of money living on retirement. By the time my motor clogs I will be ready for the big dirt nap LOL.

    So if the motor is the big deal... they sell it for $152.00 far less than the $600+ they want for the setup. Still does not justify the cost of their complete setup. You can buy their base for $50 including the hardware. There is $200. So if you spend $30 at Zoro for the Arbor/Axle and $18 at Amazon for the pillow blocks and another $30 for the pulleys. You are still far less than the selling price of the SM setup.
     
  12. HEADKNOCKER

    HEADKNOCKER Active Member

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    Dean show us some pictures of your setup..
     
  13. AxeMaker

    AxeMaker New Member

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    Let me unpack the motor and I will lay everything for yas and take a pic tonight. I have the base in the vise getting ready to put a primer coat of paint on it. I just finished buying everything to be honest. I will post it as soon as I finish getting everything together.
     
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  14. AxeMaker

    AxeMaker New Member

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    Okay I laid everything out. The only thing I forgot to lay out was the lift blocks that go under the pillow blocks. They provide the clearance for the 3.45" pulley.
     

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  15. AxeMaker

    AxeMaker New Member

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    And I am by far a Stewart-MacDonald basher. I order enough stuff from them I paid for the $39.00 per year Shipping Club. I just think on this one they are way over priced.

    Here is my latest purchase from them...
     

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  16. B. Howard

    B. Howard New Member

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    Dean, The rest of us who do this are using airway buffs instead of canton flannel. For the final gloss and swirl removal I use a domet flannel. Buffing coatings is different than buffing metals.

    Jescar has an assortment of proper buffs for lacquer. https://www.jescar.com/buffing-wheels/
     
  17. HEADKNOCKER

    HEADKNOCKER Active Member

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    Looks like a nice buffer & vise IMO..

    Congrats on them..
     
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  18. AxeMaker

    AxeMaker New Member

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    Hi Brian,

    I will check them out for sure! Thanks for that info.

    Stewart-MacDonald is selling canton flannel wheels on their web site for their buffing system. Am I missing something and bought the wrong type of wheel?


    Taken from the Stew-Mac web site description:

     
  19. AxeMaker

    AxeMaker New Member

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    Thank you!

    I just need to get everything put together now. I am going to paint the base today, and tomorrow drill & tap the 1/2" aluminum pillow block plate.

    By the weekend I should be able to get everything put together unless my back acts up. I retired on a medical disability because of my back and it tends to not let me do the things my mind wants to do.
     
  20. B. Howard

    B. Howard New Member

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    Yep, The stew mac discription is a bit deceptive. The ones they sell are actually cotton airway buffs, medium hard I believe.....I think I still have one of the original SM ones in service here but I have bought new ones from various vendors. You will also need a set of vented collars for each set of buffs, make sure they are vented or again overheating of the buff will be a problem.

    Here are some old pics from when I first got my setup you can see the buffs hanging on the wall[​IMG]

    And here you can see them mounted with the vented collars.[​IMG]
     

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