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Drill-mounted buffer

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Drill-mounted buffer

Postby Hugh Anderson » Fri Jun 03, 2016 2:42 pm

I've made a dozen or so guitars, and I've decided to address inconsistent buffing results. Can you expect consistently good results with a drill-mounted buffer? I use 2, 1 for polish, 1 for buffing.
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Re: Drill-mounted buffer

Postby Barry Daniels » Fri Jun 03, 2016 3:07 pm

In short, No. This will not give consistent results. A true buffer uses 12" diameter or larger buffs that are usually mounted side by side to give about 2" wide contact with the finish. And this is powered by a 1/4 hp or often larger motor. A drill mounted buff is much less in size, speed, and power.

I am sure others may say they have used a drill mounted buffer successfully. In fact, I once buffed a large headboard project with a lambswool pad on a variable speed drill. But it took forever, and it did not polish up to the standards I have for a guitar.

I also have to further say that I have abandoned my large pedestal buffer due to inconsistent results, and I now use small, pneumatic buffer tools with automotive type foam pads and buffing compounds. I am finally able to get true mirror gloss surfaces.
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Re: Drill-mounted buffer

Postby Brian Evans » Fri Jun 03, 2016 3:49 pm

Barry, can you talk a little more on the pads and tools, rpm, etc, that you are getting good results with?
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Re: Drill-mounted buffer

Postby Hugh Anderson » Fri Jun 03, 2016 4:32 pm

A proper buffer for guitars runs at about 750 revs, much slower than many buffers. Automotive set-up might be different.
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Re: Drill-mounted buffer

Postby Barry Daniels » Sat Jun 04, 2016 4:24 pm

I can't tell you what speed I am using because its an unusual setup. The pads are small diameter (from 2 to 3" in diameter) and the pneumatic tools are mini-air tools with a top rated speed of 2500 rpm, but the variable speed trigger is not always run full open. The two tools in the photo run differently. One is a true or simple rotary but the other is a random orbital (ROS) or what the auto guys call "dual-action (DA)". Some of the automotive compounds work better with one or the other but some will work with either.

There are a lot opinions online regarding favorite compounds and/or complete systems of polishing products. After a lot of reading I saw a few compounds get repeat positive reviews. The one I settled on was Maguire's #105 Ultra-Cut Compound which starts with a heavy cut but it polishes down to a high gloss. And it works with either DA or rotary.

Another interesting product is microfiber pads for use in powered buffers. The microfiber works best for more aggressive buffing (like the #105). If additional gloss is needed then follow up with a swirl remover on a soft foam pad. The 3M Perfect-It Ultra-fine Machine Polish and matching soft, blue foam pads gives a great final polish. Residue cleanup is also good with a slightly damp microfiber cloth. So far this combo is working pretty well.
Attachments
Rotary & DA tools.JPG
McGuires.JPG
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