A guide to buffing & polishing

shellac leather plastic

There are different types of buffing wheels, each designed to accomplish different tasks. We have put a list together of the various buffing and polishing wheels that we carry to help you understand some of the differences between them and find the right ones that will work for you.

Most wheels and buffs are made with one of two traditional centers that make them ideal for working with different types of machines or better for being used for different purposes. A stitched leather center will add stiffness and durability to a buff. A plastic center works much like the old traditional lead centers, providing ultimate durability without the hazards of using the lead.

 

 

shellac leather plastic

Cotton & muslin

The soft buffs made of muslin style cotton are generally used with rouge to produce a final polish. A less “dusty” compound is the new Unipol gold which produces the least amount of fluff or dust when polishing. Muslin buffs are similar to cotton buffs in softness and finishing results,these buffs come in  different diameters from small 2cm diameter buffs to large 15cm diameter buffs. They commonly range from a ply of 30 to a ply of 60, a rating that describes the number of layers of muslin used in the buff, which will tell you the width of the buff too. The higher the ply is, the thicker or wider the buff will be, allowing you to accomplish a number of different tasks with this one type of buff

 

 

stitched

The stitched style buff adds stiffness to the buff allowing you to apply more pressure against it. Depending on the buff you choose, the number of rows of stitching will vary: keep in mind that the more rows of stitching that it has the stiffer the buff will be. A denim buff is a strong durable material that used  as a first polish with white Dialux or blue Unipol .

 

 

loose

A loose unstitched buff will be a very soft and flexible one. When used with polishing compounds, like a jeweller’s unipol or rouge, they are perfect for final finishing work. Since these buffs are loose, also described as unstitched, they are able to conform to whatever type of piece you are polishing as pressure is applied, making them perfect for things with contoured edges and curves. They also create a lot less heat than a stitched buff. Second or final polish is best finished with Unipol gold or Dialux rouge. for finishing platinum use Dialux vert or Poliart 

 

 

 

Treated

Muslin buffs that have been treated generally last longer and provide better compound retention than other muslin buffs. Treated buffs come in many different varieties for a wide range of tasks from aggressive buffing to light finishing work. There is the yellow buff that is a more aggressive buff excellent to use to remove any remaining scratches before moving on to the final polish, with a Tripoli or other light abrasive compound.

 

 

 

Felt Buffs

Felt buffs are made of dense and tightly compressed felt. These wheels are medium hardness and suitable for all-purpose polishing and buffing. Available in various profile, they can be used with any compound for cutting or polishing and since they hold an edge well, they are great for working in angles,flatsurfaces and corners. Most felt buffs have a pin hole center that allows you to use them on tapered spindles.

 

 

 

SatinMatte Buffs

A Satin or Matte finish buffs are usually made of synthetic or nylon fibers that have been impregnated with an abrasive material like silicon carbide or aluminum oxide. You can use these buffs to create a beautiful brushed look on watch bands and other items, making them an ideal finishing tool when a high luster finish isn’t desired. Some of these buffs can also be used on wood, plastic, and other materials.

 

 

 

Nylon and Wire Wheels and Brushes

The nylon and wire mounted brushes are usually used mostly for cleaning, de-burring and smoothing rough surfaces. However, some of the soft bristle nylon brushes can also be used for polishing. These midget polishing brushes come mounted in mini mandrels and fit in to your flexshaft handpiece. or lathe unmounted brushes to turn straight onto the spindle on your bench polisher . Each different bristle type creates a different finish. For example, brass wire bristles can be used for gold, copper and brass work whereas the steel wire bristles are better used for white metals like silver, white gold, platinum and aluminum. Soft white goat hair is for final polish stages.

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