Buffing Tips

 

Important tips while using the cleaning or flap wheels:

  • Remove as much grease, oil, and dirt as you can before using the wheels, so you’re not contaminating them.
  • Sand or buff in the same direction if you’re going for a brushed look. Intersecting scratches do not look good.
  • Don’t spend too much time in one area, or you’ll end up with a dip or low spot. Try to buff evenly across the part.
  • In order to make the wheels last as long as possible, stay away from sharp edges. The direction of the wheel should be spinning away from an edge and not towards it. Adjust the orientation of the part accordingly. 
  • Use light pressure with the wheels, if you apply heavy pressure you'll wear out your wheel prematurely. Go to a more aggressive wheel. Refer to the Wheel Guide.
  • Buffing against the direction of the wheel will cut quicker, buffing with the direction of the wheel will give a smoother finish.
  • The sweet spot on the wheel to buff with is between 4 and 5 o’clock. Look at your buffing machine from the left side, and picture where 4 and 5 o’clock are on the wheels. That is where you will want the part to touch the wheel when buffing.
  • Stack the cleaning wheels on the buffer to achieve a more consistent finish, and to prolong the life of the wheels.
  • The bigger the diameter of the wheel, the faster the surface speed of that wheel will be (provided it's at the same RPM). So keep in mind that an 8 inch wheel will cut or buff quicker than a 6 inch wheel at the same RPM.
  • To achieve a consistent brushed look on larger parts, finish by hand with a fine cleaning wheel or hand pad, going in the same direction you were buffing in.
  • Always wear a dust mask or respirator and eye protection while buffing!

Essential tips while using the polishing wheels:

  • Refer to the polishing chart for the proper wheels and compounds to use with each metal type, as well as the steps to achieve the desired finish.
  • Remove as much grease, oil, and dirt as you can before polishing, so you’re not contaminating the wheels.
  • Use light to medium pressure with the wheels or you'll wear them out prematurely or burn your part. If you feel the need to apply heavy pressure, you should go to a more aggressive wheel and compound.
  • Don’t spend too much time in one area, you could end up with a dip or low spot. Try to buff evenly across the part.
  • The sweet spot on the wheel to buff with is between 4 and 5 o’clock. Look at your buffing machine from the left side, and picture where 4 and 5 o’clock are on the wheels. That is where you will want the part to touch the wheel when buffing.
  • Buffing in different directions and angles will lead to a more uniform finish. You may end up with streaks if you buff in only one direction.
  • In order to make the wheels last as long as possible and to prevent flinging the part out of your hands, be careful around sharp edges. The wheel should be spinning away from an edge and not towards it.
  • Buffing against the direction the wheel is spinning will cut quicker, buffing with the direction of the wheel will give a smoother finish.
  • Use compound sparingly, only hold the compound onto the wheel for about 2-3 seconds. Once color appears on the wheel, you are ready to polish.
  • Re apply compound to the wheel when the polishing effect lessens. Application every 1 to 2 minutes is a good interval.
  • For best results, each wheel should only be used with one compound. Mixing compounds on a wheel will produce an inconsistent finish.
  • After final polishing, wash the part with warm water and soap to remove any leftover compound. A liquid polish is helpful in removing remaining compound as well.
  • A clear ceramic coating will protect your part after polishing without diminishing the shine too much. 

After buffing:

  • A clear ceramic coating will protect your part after buffing.
  • Steel and magnesium parts must be protected with a coating, bare steel will rust quickly and magnesium corrodes in a matter of hours. Stainless steel and aluminum can be left bare without corrosion issues, as long as you keep the parts clean and out of the weather during storage. 
  • You can touch up a brushed finish by hand with a fine wheel or hand pad.
  • To keep up on a polished finish, use a liquid polish on a soft microfiber towel.

Whenever you're doing any sort of buffing or polishing you'll want to use eye and respiratory protection. Trust me, you do not want to be breathing in metal particles!

A great product for protecting yourself is this https://amzn.to/2zPKoaN

Alternatively, this is also a great respirator to pair up with safety glasses https://amzn.to/2LnhHap

Use these filters with the previously mentioned respirators https://amzn.to/2MTfJC1

If you're doing lots of buffing, I'd recommend getting some sort of ventilation like this exhaust fan that I use https://amzn.to/2P9GoKx

And of course, always a good idea to wear gloves https://www.prymemx.com/products/rubber-gloves