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Thread: Buffing........how do you do it...??

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
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    Buffing........how do you do it...??

    OK, I've had some sucess with buffing my pieces, but some big time crashes too

    I'll tell you how I do it and please tell me what I'm doing right and what I might be doing wrong.

    I sand to #320, then put sanding sealer on, sand with #400 and #600, then rattle can lacquer, a few light coats, at least two, but not more than four. These are "Light" coats, no drips no runs, they flash off in a few minutes. I sand lightly between coats, with #600, VERY lightly.

    I then got to work on the buffing wheels.

    I DO NOT have "Beall" buffing wheels, but they are all cotton, and only partly sewn (near the hole in the center).

    I start with the brown, change buffs, go to white, change buffs, and finish with wax.

    I run the lathe at about 1500 RPM, I use a light touch, I do NOT make the buff deflect much, and I try not to build up much heat. I realize with the wax heat is not a bad thing, but I still try not to over do it.

    Sometimes, especially with the white, I burn through the lacquer, which causes bad words to be said.....repeatedly......

    Well, except for the rare burn through, that is what I do, and I think it is right, but, I'm VERY open to suggestions.

    Cheers!
    The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.
    William Arthur Ward

  2. #2
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    You're doing it about the same way I am. I don't have the Beall system, but I have Don Pencil's version of the same three wheels (each made of different materials). I run them on my Sears lathe at top speed...somewhere around 2000 RPM. Depending on the piece, I also use a set of 6" buffing wheels that fit my mini lathe. These wheels are a bit more agressive, but they are good -- especially the tripoli wheel -- for removing the very light orange peel surface effect spraying can give. Sometimes, I'll buff with tripoli between layers of lacquer just to even out the finish.

    After sanding to 600, my typical finish starts with a coat or two of Antique or Tung Oil finish, then, depending on how things look and how much of a hurry I'm in, either coat or two more of the AO or TO finish, or a few coats of spray lacquer -- usually at least 4 or 5 light coats. I usually hit the piece lightly with a white abrasive pad (Scotch Brite) between coats, and if I'm doing lacquer, I'll sometimes wet or dry sand with 400 and/or 600 between some of the coats. (Depends how uneven the previous coats were, and whether I'm trying to fill pores in the wood.) I usually wait at least a day for the final layer of finish to cure before buffing. I'm probably pushing my luck by doing that.

    I've been known to buff (or sand) my way through the finish, but I just start putting more coats of finish on, and try again. I just use it as an opportunity to exercise my cursing muscles.
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

    workingwoods.com

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
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    Pickles Gap, Arkansas
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    Try something besides lacquer...... Danish oil and wipe-on poly both work well on most woods and love to be buffed.

    When I use lacquer I only buff with the carnuba wheel and it is a very light and quick touch. Most of the buffing is just rubbed out by hand.

    Just my limited experience and is mostly the result of what I have learned from others.
    If you have a pulse you have a purpose...

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
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    Goodland, Kansas
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    I have found if I let lacquer dry for several days or at least a week it will buff nicer but you definitely must use a light touch. I agree with Mark that Antique Oil or Danish Oil will buff nicely. With lacquer I found after it has dried for a week or so that if I just buff with white diamond and then wax. That seems to work the best for me. I have talked with Cindy Drozda and Bonnie Klien about waxes they use when watching there video's. It works pretty good when buffed lightly but they use neutral shoe polish. Cindy told me in a e-mail that it is just a combination of waxes especially carnuba wax. So have been trying that on smaller projects. Seems to work pretty slick. Cindy uses it on all here finials.
    Bernie W.

    Retirement: Thats when you return from work one day
    and say, Hi, Honey, Im home forever.

    To succeed in life, you need three things: a wishbone, a backbone and a funnybone.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
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    Kutztown PA
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    What Mark said, Stu. I will buff oil finishes most of the time. I learned the hard way that shellac melts into really hard lumps when it is buffed with too much enthusiasm, and I think lacquer might be better rubbed out by hand, although it sounds like Bernie is doing well with it.
    Bill Grumbine

    www.wonderfulwood.com

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Hamilton, NY
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    i've had very good results with buffing poly and mineral oil. I also like doing mineral oil, then a coat of poly, then buffing. I just like the color change mineral oil causes, though it buffs really well on its own too.

  7. #7
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    Thanks guys!
    The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.
    William Arthur Ward

  8. #8
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    And to think, all this time I believed that people just used antique oil, and that was it! No wonder my finishes are so sub-standard!

    For us novices, it would be worth something if someone came up with a list of do's and don'ts for combination finishes. No oil over lacquer, no lacquer over oil, always put wax over poly, etc. You wouldn't believe how many things I've tried, and messed up!

    Thanks,

    Bill

  9. #9
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    stu, lacquer`s been buffed-n-polished for years....first you need a thick enough film then you need to let it cure completely not just to the touch.
    rattlecan lacquer has just a tad of lacquer comming out of the nozzle, it`s laden with retarder and thinner......try heating your pieces to 120 for 24hrs before buffing. retarder will let the lacquer "flow out" but as it`s name implys it slows drying.....sometimes very slow depending on who mixed the batch, the alignment of the stars and the relative humidity.....pianos and good dining tables are left to "cure" in a controlled enviornment with a known film thickness for months before polishing....heat and airflow will aid in the curing process.
    [SIZE="1"] associated with several importers and manufacturers.[/SIZE]

  10. #10
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    Thanks Tod

    I know one of the Japanese guys here has a box, insulated with a light bulb in it, he sprays his pieces, and puts them in the box, then he turns on the light and then closes the door for a while. He has some kind of a heat sensor on it so when it reaches a certain point it shuts off the light. I know he lets them cook in there for a while, I'll have to pick his brain a bit more next time I see him.


    Pick from his site.....
    The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.
    William Arthur Ward

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