Jump to content


Photo

Recommendation For A Low Speed Bench Top Polisher


  • Please log in to reply
18 replies to this topic

#1 ThomasB

ThomasB

    tbickiii

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 587 posts
  • Location:Baton Rouge, LA
  • Flag:

Posted 20 April 2012 - 16:10

Looking to purchase a low/variable speed (<2000 RPM) 4.5 - 6 inch wheels to help out with polishing. Any suggestions?

Thanks

Thomas
Thomas Bickham
Baton Rouge, LA
(tbickiii)

Check out my ebay pen listings for tbickiii's Vintage Fountain Pens at Visit tbickiii's Vintage Fountain Pens Store

#2 Kelly G

Kelly G

    Antique

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,966 posts
  • Location:S.W. Kansas

Posted 20 April 2012 - 16:50

Thomas,

I use an old Dremel Shoe Polisher that has been modified to allow for 6" buffs to be attached to the shafts. This is a two shaft buffer that you see with a red and black furry cone type buff on each end. I picked mine up at a garage sale for hardly anything - I can't remember the exact amount.

Check out what I'm talking about on this ebay auction: 170824822089

I had my local machine shop do the shaft conversions. I don't know exactly how fast the motor turns but it is fast enough without being too fast. It is low power enough that you can control the pens relatively easily and reduce the risk of flinging a pen across the room.

The downside to this buffer is that it is fairly light in terms of duty on the motor. In other words, it is fine for buffing a few pens but it isn't built for hours of solid buffing.

Good luck finding what you need.
May we live, not by our fears but by our hopes; not by our words but by our deeds; not by our disappointments but by our dreams.

#3 jkingrph

jkingrph

    Extremely Rare

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 392 posts
  • Location:E.Texas, NE Louisiana
  • Flag:

Posted 20 April 2012 - 18:11

I have an old belt driven grinder. I use a step pulley on a 1725RPM motor and can get RPM's on the grinder to down around 900 and probably about 3500. The step pulley has 4 steps so I can get 4 speeds.

On the right hand side of the grinder I user a 1/2" drill chuck as an extender and have several different buffing wheels as well as a hard felt for different grits of polishing compounds. and a couple of small leather wheels I can pop in out of the chuck in a matter of seconds.
Regards

Jeff

#4 Buzz J

Buzz J

    If you don't fall down, you're not having enough fun.

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,262 posts

Posted 20 April 2012 - 18:25

I use a variable speed 6" Porter Cable from Lowes. The low speed is 2,000rpm.

It's this one: 6" Porter Cable

Good luck!

John
so many pens, so little time.......

#5 Ron Z

Ron Z

    Museum Piece

  • Moderators

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 5,507 posts

Posted 20 April 2012 - 19:39

Plastics manufacturers and vendors recommend a speed of 1725 rpm for polishing. Use a 1" wide wheel, about 6" in diameter. You can use a standard motor, with 1 1/2" arbor on the shaft. Use the blue compound for acrylic - which works on anything including hard rubber. It's extremely fine but cuts well and gives a good luster.

BUT, be careful. A buffing wheel can grab a pen out of your hand more quickly than you can blink. Hold the pen or work piece firmly, concentrate on what you're doing, and work in the lower front quadrant, assuming that the wheel is turning towards you. Let the wheel do the work.

Do not use a felt wheel on a Dremel unless you want to burn holes in your pen.


Visit Main Street Pens
A full service pen shop providing professional, thoughtful vintage pen repair...
The Blue Fingers Blog is live! Ramblings and musings (and occasional repair tips) from the bench.


#6 Kelly G

Kelly G

    Antique

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,966 posts
  • Location:S.W. Kansas

Posted 21 April 2012 - 04:44

Do not use a felt wheel on a Dremel unless you want to burn holes in your pen.


Just to be clear: the Dremel I am talking about in the above post is a shoe polisher not the Dremel rotary tool. I rarely let the rotary tool near my pens. The shoe polisher is slow and low power, nothing like the rotary tool.
May we live, not by our fears but by our hopes; not by our words but by our deeds; not by our disappointments but by our dreams.

#7 Ron Z

Ron Z

    Museum Piece

  • Moderators

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 5,507 posts

Posted 21 April 2012 - 12:07



Do not use a felt wheel on a Dremel unless you want to burn holes in your pen.


Just to be clear: the Dremel I am talking about in the above post is a shoe polisher not the Dremel rotary tool. I rarely let the rotary tool near my pens. The shoe polisher is slow and low power, nothing like the rotary tool.


Right. But so many folks want to use the Dremel that I repeat the warning any time that the word comes up in a discussion about polishing pens. A pen just came in yesterday... a very expensive custom pen which the owner tried to polish using a Dremel and a small felt buff. I now get to repair and blend and polish out the burns in the ebonite.


Visit Main Street Pens
A full service pen shop providing professional, thoughtful vintage pen repair...
The Blue Fingers Blog is live! Ramblings and musings (and occasional repair tips) from the bench.


#8 Ron Z

Ron Z

    Museum Piece

  • Moderators

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 5,507 posts

Posted 21 April 2012 - 12:08



Do not use a felt wheel on a Dremel unless you want to burn holes in your pen.


Just to be clear: the Dremel I am talking about in the above post is a shoe polisher not the Dremel rotary tool. I rarely let the rotary tool near my pens. The shoe polisher is slow and low power, nothing like the rotary tool.


Right. But so many folks want to use the Dremel that I repeat the warning any time that the word comes up in a discussion about polishing pens. A pen just came in yesterday... a very expensive custom pen which the owner tried to polish using a Dremel and a small felt buff. I now get to repair and blend and polish out the burns in the ebonite. Maybe a better way to put it is that he now gets to pay me to remove the damage....


Visit Main Street Pens
A full service pen shop providing professional, thoughtful vintage pen repair...
The Blue Fingers Blog is live! Ramblings and musings (and occasional repair tips) from the bench.


#9 Chi Town

Chi Town

    Collectors Item

  • Premium - Ruby

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,387 posts
  • Location:Albuquerque, New Mexico
  • Flag:

Posted 02 May 2012 - 16:07

Looking to purchase a low/variable speed (<2000 RPM) 4.5 - 6 inch wheels to help out with polishing. Any suggestions?

Thanks

Thomas


I have a Dremel shoe polisher like the post above. If you want it, back channel e-mail me for more information.
Mike

Stipula Yellow Da Vinci Carbon Fiber T, Stipula Model T, Vintage Fountain Pens, Delta Amerigo Vespucci LE F/P, Pelikan Special Edition Sahara F/P, TWSBI Micarta, Danitrio Mikado,Genkai, Nakaya Decapod Cigar, Watley in Woodgrain!, Vintage Fountain Pen's
Marlen Yellow Liberty LE 113/382, Santa Fe Style Custom "51" Made by Ralph Prather


Danitrio Fellowship

#10 mhosea

mhosea

    Collectors Item

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,374 posts
  • Location:Boston, MA
  • Flag:

Posted 03 May 2012 - 20:55

Right. But so many folks want to use the Dremel that I repeat the warning any time that the word comes up in a discussion about polishing pens.


Put differently, it's amazing how much heat is generated by a Dremel felt wheel on plastic, isn't it? I'd never have thought to try this first on a pen, but I got the bright idea to try to polish up a polypropylene ring (just a worthless ring cut from a 1.25" ID polypropylene pipe, a spacer for something astronomy-related), and I was amazed that the felt wheel on the Dremel was absolutely useless for any kind of polishing of that material because it melted the plastic virtually on contact. I'm sure I haven't tried it on enough things, but this attachment so far has for me been either a disaster or completely ineffective, one or the other. There must be something that it's perfect for. I wonder what it is.
I know my id is "mhosea", but you can call me Mike. It's an old Unix thing.

#11 jkingrph

jkingrph

    Extremely Rare

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 392 posts
  • Location:E.Texas, NE Louisiana
  • Flag:

Posted 04 May 2012 - 17:36

Those small buffs at very high rpms generate a fair amount of heat, the problem being that it is concentrated in one small
spot

A bigger say 8" buffing wheel still generates heat, even at slower rpm say 1100-1800, but due to larger diameter and surface area contacting item being polished, spreads heat over a larger, plus the larger buffing wheel will in itself not get as hot as a small one. Another bonus of the larger wheel is that it will not tend to dig into a softer material as easily as a small one. Be advised though you can generate enough heat to melt any plastic or celluoid pen on virtually power buffer available.

On something like a pen I prerfer to use a small soft rag with some polishing compound and polish by hand. It's much slower but far safer.
Regards

Jeff

#12 Ron Z

Ron Z

    Museum Piece

  • Moderators

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 5,507 posts

Posted 04 May 2012 - 20:40

Be advised though you can generate enough heat to melt any plastic or celluoid pen on virtually power buffer available.


It takes a fair amount of heat and pressure to melt most of the plastics used on pens. One exception is the Parker VS plastic, which will melt rather easily. The key is to use the right wheel, a plastic (blue) compound and light pressure, letting the compound do the work.

The problem with a Dremel is the small contact area, (higher pressure per square inch) AND the high RPM of the tool. Even dry to a slow speed, it's much higher than a slow speed buffer.

The 1725 RPM and loose cloth wheel is what is recommended by plastics manufacturers and retailers for buffing.

Edited by Ron Z, 04 May 2012 - 20:42.


Visit Main Street Pens
A full service pen shop providing professional, thoughtful vintage pen repair...
The Blue Fingers Blog is live! Ramblings and musings (and occasional repair tips) from the bench.


#13 JPING97

JPING97

    Rare

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 102 posts
  • Location:Kensington, MD
  • Flag:

Posted 05 May 2012 - 11:41

but where can you buy one of those new?

#14 Bullwinkle

Bullwinkle

    Rare

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 146 posts
  • Location:Central Ohio
  • Flag:

Posted 05 May 2012 - 12:24

I have an old belt driven grinder. I use a step pulley on a 1725RPM motor and can get RPM's on the grinder to down around 900 and probably about 3500. The step pulley has 4 steps so I can get 4 speeds.

On the right hand side of the grinder I user a 1/2" drill chuck as an extender and have several different buffing wheels as well as a hard felt for different grits of polishing compounds. and a couple of small leather wheels I can pop in out of the chuck in a matter of seconds.



any chance of getting a picture or two?
when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth?

#15 Buzz J

Buzz J

    If you don't fall down, you're not having enough fun.

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,262 posts

Posted 05 May 2012 - 19:50

With all due respect to Ron, the 2,000 rpm Porter Cable I'm using hasn't generated any heat issues for me. That's about 16% higher rpm. I'm not sure I could tell the difference.

To generate enough bad heat, I'd have to press very hard or polish on a stationary point for a long time. Neither of these two actions is advisable at any speed.

Perhaps you can find something slower, but if you've got a Lowe's in your town you could be up & running in the time it takes to make a Lowe's run. To me it isn't enough to angst over.

John
so many pens, so little time.......

#16 Ron Z

Ron Z

    Museum Piece

  • Moderators

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 5,507 posts

Posted 06 May 2012 - 01:10

Standard motor speeds for 60 Hz are typically 1725 and 3450, so 1725 is the recommended speed. I doubt that 2000 RPM does make much difference, but 3450 would.

It is possible to make a buffer yourself. Find a used motor, mount it, add a switch, arbor and wheel and you're off and running. My grandfather made the one that I use dozens of times a day, and I made the one that I take to pen shows. Just make sure that if it's running CW on the left hand end, that you have an arbor with left hand threads.


Visit Main Street Pens
A full service pen shop providing professional, thoughtful vintage pen repair...
The Blue Fingers Blog is live! Ramblings and musings (and occasional repair tips) from the bench.


#17 Vintagepens

Vintagepens

    David Nishimura

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,932 posts

Posted 06 May 2012 - 17:20

Keep in mind that the surface speed with a 10 inch wheel is going to be twice that using a 5 inch wheel. So if you don't have a low speed or variable speed polisher, a good cheap solution is to go to a smaller wheel -- keeping in mind Ron's admonition regarding loose cloth vs hard felt for any wheel size!

In practice, heat dissipation as a function of circumference isn't really an issue for loose cloth wheels running at standard RPMs. I use a narrow 3 inch wheel to get into tight spots and it works very nicely indeed. A 6-inch wheel running at the same shaft speed would put a lot more heat onto the work surface.

#18 jkingrph

jkingrph

    Extremely Rare

  • Member - Gold

  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 392 posts
  • Location:E.Texas, NE Louisiana
  • Flag:

Posted 06 May 2012 - 21:33


I have an old belt driven grinder. I use a step pulley on a 1725RPM motor and can get RPM's on the grinder to down around 900 and probably about 3500. The step pulley has 4 steps so I can get 4 speeds.

On the right hand side of the grinder I user a 1/2" drill chuck as an extender and have several different buffing wheels as well as a hard felt for different grits of polishing compounds. and a couple of small leather wheels I can pop in out of the chuck in a matter of seconds.



any chance of getting a picture or two?



Actually the way mine is set up it would be difficult to take a good picture, I have a roll around stand with two fixed speed grinders, one a 3750 rpm, one a 1725 rpm and then my belt driven job. For the belt driven one it is mounted on the stand top and I have a slot cut so the belt can pass through. The motor is directly underneath in an enclosed cabinet. The motor mount is basically a steel rod or in my case a cast iron motor mount that rests in a couple of U shaped brackets. The belt holds the motor up a bit so it pivots in the U brackets and the weight of the motor provides plenty of belt tension.

On the grinder head I only have a single step pully, but a multi step could be used if not too large. The motor has a 4 step with the smallest being about 1 1/4" in diameter, the largest being about 4" in diameter.

I honestly do not know where you would find a grinder like this nowdays. It has detachable sheet metal wheel protectors. I know some of the on line woodworking and carving supply houses have what they call pillow block bearings and arbors(shafts) that are intended for buffing wheels, but can be used for grinders. The one I have is nearly 40 years old, and in fact I have another identical one that I am going to set up for my son. As for motors any good working 1/4 to 1/3 HP motor will work. Old washing machine motors are excellent, as long as it has a frame mount and a detachable pulley.
Regards

Jeff

#19 Chi Town

Chi Town

    Collectors Item

  • Premium - Ruby

  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,387 posts
  • Location:Albuquerque, New Mexico
  • Flag:

Posted 07 May 2012 - 18:02

Standard motor speeds for 60 Hz are typically 1725 and 3450, so 1725 is the recommended speed. I doubt that 2000 RPM does make much difference, but 3450 would.

It is possible to make a buffer yourself. Find a used motor, mount it, add a switch, arbor and wheel and you're off and running. My grandfather made the one that I use dozens of times a day, and I made the one that I take to pen shows. Just make sure that if it's running CW on the left hand end, that you have an arbor with left hand threads.



Ron, Thanks for your informative information on the speeds that a buffer needs to be at! I just purchased a buffer at Harbor Freight tools, that I found out was going to spin at 3450, before I opened the box I checked it on line using your data. I am now returning that Buffer and getting one more in line with the lower speed. Thank You Ron!
Mike

Stipula Yellow Da Vinci Carbon Fiber T, Stipula Model T, Vintage Fountain Pens, Delta Amerigo Vespucci LE F/P, Pelikan Special Edition Sahara F/P, TWSBI Micarta, Danitrio Mikado,Genkai, Nakaya Decapod Cigar, Watley in Woodgrain!, Vintage Fountain Pen's
Marlen Yellow Liberty LE 113/382, Santa Fe Style Custom "51" Made by Ralph Prather


Danitrio Fellowship