Beall Wood Buffing System

Dave Hoskins

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Parker County, Texas
No photos but I think a lot of ya out there know what I am talking about. Bit the bullet and bought the 4" and 2" buffs, all three grades, tripoli, white diamond, and carnauba. Of course bought the 3 compounds as well. I figgered I'd see how I liked them before I got any more. Have to admit it does seem to help give a better finish on bowls. The pecan bowl I am going to post in a couple of minutes is the first one using this.
 

Vaughn McMillan

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ABQ NM
Congrats. :thumb: If you're like most of us, you'll be glad you made the investment. Although my buffing system wasn't made by Beall (mine came from Don Pencil years ago), I use the same approach on virtually everything that comes from my lathe. From my personal experience, I'd recommend skipping the carnauba wax. It's prone to water spots and it doesn't last very well. Instead, I coat each piece lightly with Renaissance Wax, let that dry (which only takes a few minutes), and then do the final buffing with a clean buffing wheel (preferably linen, but soft cotton also works). One of the qualities I really like about Renaissance Wax is the fact that finished pieces don't show fingerprints if I use it. I found that especially helpful when I was doing art shows and I encouraged people to handle the merchandise.
 

Dave Hoskins

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Parker County, Texas
Me thinks me will leave the carnauba out of the equation. Interesting on what you say about the Renaissance Wax. I have looked at it many times and wondered about it, but that is all. The walnut oil I use is Mike Mahoney's. Same as the walnut oil based wax. It's not a microcrystalline wax, but pretty good stuff. If it leaves fingerprints I have not noticed them. I've got another piece of pecan waiting out in my saw cart for me to do something with and when I get it finished I'll look for fingerprints. I do like Mike's products, and like him personally. We've only talked on the phone and email, but he's a pretty good guy.
 

Paul Douglass

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S E Washington State
I've had the Beall system for years... though I seldom use it anymore. I just haven't been doing any type of wood work that needs buffing... But I do love buffed, waxed wood... Always looks rich. I also use to use the Renaissance Wax. Fact I still have a can. Great stuff.
 

Ted Calver

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Yorktown, Virginia
You're going to like the results, Dave. Agree with the others on using Ren wax instead of carnuba. Also don't use white diamond on porous woods as it gets into the pores and won't buff out. Good idea to get extension tubes for your buffs so you can get into the inside of large pieces.
 

Chuck Ellis

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5,272
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Tellico Plains, Tennessee
Like Vaughn, my buffing system came from Don Pencil a number of years back... I don't buff bowls often, I use an abrasive paste wax instead... sanding with a high grit of sanding discs from Vince's Wood N Wonders, then apply the AGW with a blue shop paper towel... works best for me. I tried the walnut oil finish some years back, but really prefer to use a sanding sealer and wipe on poly then the AGW.... works better for me.

Funny story on the buffing system, I ordered one of Don Pencil's hollowing tool sets... what arrived in the mail was the buffing system, but the packing list was addressed to a guy in California.... I called Don and told him what happened, asked for the name of the correct recipient to forward the buffing system.... he laughed, said to keep the buffing system and he would make the correction to the guy in California and would also send my hollowiing system... I find myself using the buffing system more than the hollowing system.
 

Dave Hoskins

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Location
Parker County, Texas
OK. Now if my new thunking on this here subject is clear, don't use the carnauba wax. OK. It was a scrawny bar of it anyway. :rofl: Scrawny, puny, weak looking. If the wood be porous, like cottonwood or hackberry, don't use the white diamond either. Too bad. It's a healthy looking bar. it'tis! But in all cases use the Tripoli! Hmmm. "From the Halls of Montezuma to the Shores of Tripoli!" OK. I get it. Not relative at all. I'll play around more after a new round of storms that seem to be headed my way pass. Need the rain. Dry as a popcorn fart around here. Oh, did I mention I am now a proud owner of one of Jack Vale's Pooter's? OK. Never mind.
 

Vaughn McMillan

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You'll get a feel for what compounds to use on what woods. You can use Tripoli on most woods but there may be some light woods that it gunks up. Same goes with how much compound to use. Too much on the wheel and you'll spend more time getting the excess off the wood than you will buffing it. (That does for both Tripoli and White Diamond.) Mineral spirits can help remove excess compound on most woods. Just think of the compounds as extensions to your sanding process, just going finer (Tripoli) and even finer (White Diamond).
 

Chas Jones

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691
Location
Cotswolds, UK
I don't ever use a Buffing system on bare wood,
Over here in the UK buffing with Tripoli/White diamond polishing on wood items is considered by most users as a Polishing system for surface coatings on a parallel with any other surface coating such as used on cars etc.

(I use the Chestnuts system and have 200/150/100/75mm diameter versions and a selection of Domed ones for internal bowl and pot use.)

I always polish on a sealed wood, that way you are just removing sealant runs or blemishes with very limited risk of carrier wax being trapped in wood grain, although there is a risk to be taken into account with open grained woods such as oak.

Sanding sealers and lacquer coatings are left to cure to hard skin, with acrylics and melamine enhanced this can be several days, if not there is a risk of breaking through any surface skin.

Polymerising Oils are left until fully polymerised so that there is a hardened surface to blend and polish, once again this can be days.

This is my basic method in PDF form (formatted for double sided printing, sorry if not convenient just need to read the pages as numbered.)

This is another leaflet on finishing a lacquered or polymerised oil finish by another UK turner

This is the sort of finish you can get with a fully polymerised oil, in this instance a Hard Wax Oil.
 

Vaughn McMillan

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Chas brings up a valid point. I only buff after I've put a film finish on the wood and it has cured. The only exception is with hard oily woods like ebony, cocobolo, or desert ironwood.
 

Chas Jones

Member
Messages
691
Location
Cotswolds, UK
A further point which may be relevant dependent upon what final finish is going to be applied, the abrasives are carried in wax, wax is a release agent for most coatings and any residual left in the wood pores could result in failed adhesion of any lacquers and poor penetration of finishing oils resulting in blotchy or failed finish layer at a later date.
 

Dave Hoskins

Member
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3,563
Location
Parker County, Texas
OK. One thing for sure I think has been established. There are more ways of doing this than I care to count. But, I gotta say I like a lot of the suggestions and methods and I will have fun playing with it to develop whatever it is I develop. No telling what I might develop. Never know.
 
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