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 Post subject: Buffing arbor options.
PostPosted: Tue Jan 23, 2018 8:25 am 
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Koa
Koa

Joined: Fri Feb 24, 2017 8:43 am
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As far as buffing arbors go what are the main points I need to look for when shopping around?
I know there is the stewmac one but dang it’s costly.
As cheap as some of their tools can be, I know harbor freight has this type of thing, but I’m not sure what would be suitable. Do I need a certain power? A certain target rpm?
Thanks for any insight
B


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 23, 2018 9:19 am 
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Koa
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Joined: Sun Jun 22, 2014 1:45 pm
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First name: Michael
City: Port Townsend
State: WA
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I think for the beginner at least belt drive is a good idea because one can adjust the tension allowing the belt to slip a little. Slowish speed is also good. Less likely to burn the edges. I think mine runs at about 700rpm though I've never had a tach on it or bothered to do the math. Mine is the first generation SM which is a pretty poorly made. I've shimmed and replaced the bearings to try to keep it from wobbling are over the place. I'm running it with a 1725rpm 1/2hp leesen motor which provides plenty of power.

Do not daydream when buffing! Even with a loose belt and a slow speed the buffer will catch and throw your hard work to the ground so quick....


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 23, 2018 11:09 am 
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Koa
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Joined: Thu Jan 10, 2008 5:08 am
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Location: Raleigh, NC
First name: Steve
Last Name: Sollod
Focus: Build
Status: Amateur
Here's what I did... I bought one of the Grizzly 3/4" Heavy-Duty Portable Shafts.

http://www.grizzly.com/products/3-4-Hea ... rizzly.com

I also went ahead and bought the Stew Mac motor, although, you could probably find one cheaper. I understand that an old clothes dryer motor can work. The Stew Mac motor is really pretty nice. I has a slow start... Then, I bought a belt from a auto parts store. Bolted everything onto a piece of plywood. When I want to use it I clamp it to my bench. Stores out of way (pretty much). I bought the buffing wheels from LMI (3/4" arbor). I double-up two wheels at a time, side by side, to give me plenty of buffing surface. If necessary on cutaways I'll go down to one wheel. I change the buffing wheels for each Menzerna grit. This set up has worked well. No complaints...


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www.swiftcreekguitars.com



These users thanked the author sdsollod for the post: J De Rocher (Tue Jan 23, 2018 12:56 pm)
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 23, 2018 11:09 am 
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Old Growth Brazilian Rosewood
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Joined: Fri Nov 02, 2007 9:49 am
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Location: Ann Arbor, Michigan
First name: Hesh
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What Micheal said. I'll add that 1/3 hp is enough IME in so much as you want to be capable of stopping the buffs with too much pressure. More hp then you need increases the distance and velocity that the best build you have ever done will travel before being smashed to pieces on the floor or wall.

It happens.....

As such some of the pro finishers that I know actually have a padded space/room for buffing. Not only does the padded room minimize damage if you catch a corner in the buffs and it throws the guitar but also when you learn how much money you've spent on Lutherie your suicide may be more survivable......

Kidding of course...;)


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 23, 2018 12:11 pm 
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Brazilian Rosewood
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Jeez, I think 1/3hp would kill me. I learned on 5hp speed demon Cadillac machines at Larrivee...


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 23, 2018 12:30 pm 
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Koa
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First name: Michael
City: Port Townsend
State: WA
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meddlingfool wrote:
Jeez, I think 1/3hp would kill me. I learned on 5hp speed demon Cadillac machines at Larrivee...


Bad*ss!!


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 23, 2018 12:54 pm 
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Joined: Sat Dec 30, 2006 3:20 am
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Location: Powell River BC Canada
First name: Danny
Last Name: Vincent
I use a Fox. Inexpensive and does the job nicely.

http://www.toolplanet.com/product/Shop- ... -polishers


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 23, 2018 2:57 pm 
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Cocobolo
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Joined: Tue Nov 21, 2006 4:55 pm
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Location: Canada
First name: Greg
Last Name: Harrington
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Status: Semi-pro
Shop built, Furnace motor, generic arbor, 12" cotton wheels, 2" to 5" pulleys = 1750rpm > 700rpm, mounted on 2x12 plank


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 23, 2018 5:48 pm 
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Koa
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Joined: Fri Feb 24, 2017 8:43 am
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meddlingfool wrote:
Jeez, I think 1/3hp would kill me. I learned on 5hp speed demon Cadillac machines at Larrivee...

Gas powered haha ?


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 23, 2018 6:42 pm 
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Koa
Koa

Joined: Fri Aug 19, 2005 4:02 am
Posts: 1848
Location: The Woodlands, Texas
First name: Barry
Last Name: Daniels
I have abandoned my buffer setup and gone to automotive compounds and foam pads using 3" diameter polishing tools. I think it works better, plus there is a lower initial setup cost.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 23, 2018 10:11 pm 
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Brazilian Rosewood
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Joined: Wed Feb 20, 2008 9:12 pm
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First name: Mike
Last Name: O'Melia
City: Huntsville
State: Alabama
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Status: Semi-pro
I trusted Hesh and others on motor HP. I bought the Shop Fox arbor from Grizzly, a 1/3HP motor, and a one inch pulley. Got my double 14" buffs from Caswell. Never regreted that design.



These users thanked the author Mike OMelia for the post: Hesh (Wed Jan 24, 2018 12:47 am)
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 24, 2018 5:16 am 
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Koa
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First name: Trevor
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SnowManSnow wrote:
As far as buffing arbors go what are the main points I need to look for when shopping around?
I know there is the stewmac one but dang it’s costly.

Make sure the main shaft is dead straight. The first one I got from Stewmac was so bent I didn't dare mount buffs on it. Good job I ran it up to speed without, as a trial. Stewmac did replace the shaft FOC. The replacement was a lot better, and one side, at least, runs pretty true. The other side is acceptable. As far as performance is concerned, minimal TIR makes a BIG difference (as it does with most machinery). Regarding power, 1/3 HP works (it was the motor I had to hand), but IMHO is under powered for doubled 14" buffs. Stewmac currently sells a 3/4HP for 14" buffs, which is likely a much better option. If I was doing it again, I'd probably go 1.5 HP (and have a shaft machined to my specs).

If you're building from scratch, a popular option seems to be a Go-Kart rear axle for the main shaft. I've not looked at this in detail, but it maybe worth checking out if you have those sorts of suppliers in your area.

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Trevor Gore, Luthier. Australian hand made acoustic guitars, classical guitars; custom guitar design and build; guitar design instruction.

http://www.goreguitars.com.au


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 24, 2018 5:38 am 
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Joined: Sat Jan 31, 2009 8:50 pm
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Location: Seattle WA
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I also did the 1/3 hp + shopfox arbor + 12" buffs with sort of a loose belt.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 24, 2018 7:02 am 
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Old Growth Brazilian Rosewood
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First name: Hesh
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My first buffer had a 3/4 hp motor and was fine but if you buff often and it's the valuable personal property of others meaning not just your own builds in my view you have a duty to take safeguards that also protect the valuable personal property of others. YMMV

Although our comprehensive coverage from Heritage actually covers one of us smashing someone's 1937 OO-18 on the walls of our shop we still don't want to go there.

We intentionally downsized to 1/2 hp because we want to be capable of stopping the buffs with a level of pressure that you would never intentionally do simply as a measure of having less power to rip the thing out of your hands and smash it on the floor, wall etc.

So to be clear although a f*ctory situation where someone is buffing all day may benefit from greater power with instruments that are not belonging to others, yet... in our repair world we find less power to be both advisable and safer. If you can stop the buffs with a lower power motor there is less chance that the work piece will be grabbed from your hands and thrown. If you have not experienced a "grab" while using a buffer and I have.... you know that it happens quickly, unexpectedly and because of operator error obviously making any advantage in recovery that you can get welcome. Fortunately I was able to hang-on and keep my grip but it unnerved me and still does to this day remembering it.

So much so that I went to wearing latex gloves when buffing new builds simply to improve my grip on the work piece if I am going to be turning the instrument at all while buffing.

We currently use an old GE (my former employer) 1/2 hp motor but would be fine with a 1/3 hp motor.

We run two 14" buffs on each side and find no limitations in what we can do with our rig. BTW more power also means more likelihood of burning through since you get less feed back from the motor speed with more power.

For us since I stared off with more and went to less this is a very good example of more not always being any advantage at all.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 24, 2018 10:58 am 
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Brazilian Rosewood
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Another way to go for hobby builders is buffing bonnets (auto parts store) on R.O. sanders. It does take a bit longer, but is fairly safe and inexpensive.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 24, 2018 8:10 pm 
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Brazilian Rosewood
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Double post. sorry


Last edited by Mike OMelia on Wed Jan 24, 2018 9:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 24, 2018 8:10 pm 
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Brazilian Rosewood
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First name: Mike
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What Hesh said. You should be able to stall the buff with added pressure. If you cannot, your run the risk of turning your guitar into a frisbee. Not a good outcome. 1/3 to 1/2 HP. Geared down via pulley ratios to 800 or so RPM. Shopfox arbor from Grizzly is a GREAT deal. Do that.You should be able to build it all for under $150, there abouts. I did not include buffs from Caswell or Menzerna compound, those are consumables. On mine, I mounted two 14" Canton wheels, each side, from Caswell. Its a bit under powered. Sometimes I have to hand spin the wheels to get it going. But once going, its all the beast I need.


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