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Anyone with beall buffing system knowledge

Tim Shettlesworth

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I have a couple of questions about these buffing systems. 1st, is there a big difference between the PSI and the Beall system? 2nd, if you were limited on funds would you get the 3 wheels, the balls for bowls, or the lathe adapter to put the wheels on individually one at a time? I have been doing a lot of hybrid resin wood stuff lately and having issues with finishes that do well on both. Found that sanding the resin to 3000 and using a polishing compound works well on the resin and using Danish oil on the wood is the best combo I have found but think it would take it a step further if I buffed the whole thing. Any help or suggestions on buffing is greatly appreciated.
 

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If you do mainly bowls I suggest the balls. If you do other things then the wheels would be the best IMO.
 

Tim Shettlesworth

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If you do mainly bowls I suggest the balls. If you do other things then the wheels would be the best IMO.
I do mostly spindle stuff but do some bowls. I am just trying to be cheap right now because I have a lot to buy for this year's markets and trying to find the one size fits all. I know cutting corners doesn't usually work but figured others experience might save me from buying something I will regret. Thanks
 

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I would go with the wheels setup Tim. You can do bowls on it too just not as easily. If you're only going to get one that would be the one to get in my opinion.
 

DKMD

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I personally like the wheels more than the balls. If you get the Beall taps, you can turn your own wooden mounts for the wheels to extend them away from the headstock(which makes them more useful for bowls)
 

JR Parks

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The Beall system works great. Bowls and pens. Takes a little practice getting so you don’t send them flying. The only hassle I have is taking the 3 wheels apart to store them. But it does help keep them in shape. Jim
 

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I use the Beall system on about 97% of all my turnings.

The three wheel set up works well for small items such as pens, handles, small bowls. Its not suited well for medium or larger bowls or even deep bowls. While you are working with one wheel you have limited space on either side to move your project.

The balls work okay on the inside of small bowls but to get enough speed to really make them useful you'll need to crank up the speed on the lathe. I have these and very rarely use them. If all you're doing is small bowls they would be fine, if you're doing other things such as spindle turnings and pens and the like you might be somewhat disappointed.

The three individual wheels with the adapter is what I use almost exclusively now. They work very well on spindle turnings from pens to large handles. They also work well on platters, the outside of any size bowl and the inside of most bowls. However if the bowl is small or very deep it may be a challenge. For small bowls where I can't use the 8" wheel I will usually hand buff or wet sand, but I normally don't do small deep bowls anyway.

Whichever system you go with you'll want to de-fuzz the wheels. Coarse sandpaper on a flat board works well. Wear a mask because the lint can be pretty thick. You'll want to place the sandpaper on the board then up against the wheel, it gets all the loose fibers out of the wheel. If I accidentally loaded too much compound on a wheel or need to clean up a wheel (once a year) I repeat the process.

The Tripoli does great at removing small scratches on raw wood. If you are buffing a finish be careful as the Tripoli can be aggressive and it is easy to go right through the finish. I don't use the Tripoli compound very often.

The white diamond is great and what I use on everything. Its less aggressive and does a great job at producing a beautiful shine/sheen, even on bare wood.

I do not use the wax whatsoever. If you use it use just a little bit. If you use too much you get smudges and that is nearly impossible to remove. The wax doesn't last very long and is a magnet for fingerprints as well. Instead, I use a microcrystoline wax, wipe it on lightly, wait a few minutes and then I buff with the wheel marked "wax", basically is a clean and bare wheel that buffs the microcrystoline wax to give a great shine that resists fingerprints.

I use danish oil on most of my turnings. No matter what finish you use make sure it is cured, not just dry to the touch. While the surface is dry it may not be fully cured and if you go through the dry layer into the uncured finish, well, you'll have a big mess. I always wait two weeks between the last application of danish oil before I buff. Maybe too long, but better than having to try to fix smudged oil and having to replace a buffing wheel. For resin items you probably don't have a finish on them and can go straight to buffing. I would suggest buffing with the white diamond then a microcrystoline wax. The tripoli will be too course and probably put scratches in the resin. One other option that I use a lot when turning say a resin pen is after I wet sand to 3000 or 5000, I use a plastic polish, rub it into the resin blank, then turn the lathe back on and buff it with a soft paper towel. Works amazingly well. Of course that is before the pen is assembled.

Hope some of this helps.

Damon
 

Barb

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I use the Beall system on about 97% of all my turnings.

The three wheel set up works well for small items such as pens, handles, small bowls. Its not suited well for medium or larger bowls or even deep bowls. While you are working with one wheel you have limited space on either side to move your project.

The balls work okay on the inside of small bowls but to get enough speed to really make them useful you'll need to crank up the speed on the lathe. I have these and very rarely use them. If all you're doing is small bowls they would be fine, if you're doing other things such as spindle turnings and pens and the like you might be somewhat disappointed.

The three individual wheels with the adapter is what I use almost exclusively now. They work very well on spindle turnings from pens to large handles. They also work well on platters, the outside of any size bowl and the inside of most bowls. However if the bowl is small or very deep it may be a challenge. For small bowls where I can't use the 8" wheel I will usually hand buff or wet sand, but I normally don't do small deep bowls anyway.

Whichever system you go with you'll want to de-fuzz the wheels. Coarse sandpaper on a flat board works well. Wear a mask because the lint can be pretty thick. You'll want to place the sandpaper on the board then up against the wheel, it gets all the loose fibers out of the wheel. If I accidentally loaded too much compound on a wheel or need to clean up a wheel (once a year) I repeat the process.

The Tripoli does great at removing small scratches on raw wood. If you are buffing a finish be careful as the Tripoli can be aggressive and it is easy to go right through the finish. I don't use the Tripoli compound very often.

The white diamond is great and what I use on everything. Its less aggressive and does a great job at producing a beautiful shine/sheen, even on bare wood.

I do not use the wax whatsoever. If you use it use just a little bit. If you use too much you get smudges and that is nearly impossible to remove. The wax doesn't last very long and is a magnet for fingerprints as well. Instead, I use a microcrystoline wax, wipe it on lightly, wait a few minutes and then I buff with the wheel marked "wax", basically is a clean and bare wheel that buffs the microcrystoline wax to give a great shine that resists fingerprints.

I use danish oil on most of my turnings. No matter what finish you use make sure it is cured, not just dry to the touch. While the surface is dry it may not be fully cured and if you go through the dry layer into the uncured finish, well, you'll have a big mess. I always wait two weeks between the last application of danish oil before I buff. Maybe too long, but better than having to try to fix smudged oil and having to replace a buffing wheel. For resin items you probably don't have a finish on them and can go straight to buffing. I would suggest buffing with the white diamond then a microcrystoline wax. The tripoli will be too course and probably put scratches in the resin. One other option that I use a lot when turning say a resin pen is after I wet sand to 3000 or 5000, I use a plastic polish, rub it into the resin blank, then turn the lathe back on and buff it with a soft paper towel. Works amazingly well. Of course that is before the pen is assembled.

Hope some of this helps.

Damon
This is a great post! So much useful info!
 

Tim Shettlesworth

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I use the Beall system on about 97% of all my turnings.

The three wheel set up works well for small items such as pens, handles, small bowls. Its not suited well for medium or larger bowls or even deep bowls. While you are working with one wheel you have limited space on either side to move your project.

The balls work okay on the inside of small bowls but to get enough speed to really make them useful you'll need to crank up the speed on the lathe. I have these and very rarely use them. If all you're doing is small bowls they would be fine, if you're doing other things such as spindle turnings and pens and the like you might be somewhat disappointed.

The three individual wheels with the adapter is what I use almost exclusively now. They work very well on spindle turnings from pens to large handles. They also work well on platters, the outside of any size bowl and the inside of most bowls. However if the bowl is small or very deep it may be a challenge. For small bowls where I can't use the 8" wheel I will usually hand buff or wet sand, but I normally don't do small deep bowls anyway.

Whichever system you go with you'll want to de-fuzz the wheels. Coarse sandpaper on a flat board works well. Wear a mask because the lint can be pretty thick. You'll want to place the sandpaper on the board then up against the wheel, it gets all the loose fibers out of the wheel. If I accidentally loaded too much compound on a wheel or need to clean up a wheel (once a year) I repeat the process.

The Tripoli does great at removing small scratches on raw wood. If you are buffing a finish be careful as the Tripoli can be aggressive and it is easy to go right through the finish. I don't use the Tripoli compound very often.

The white diamond is great and what I use on everything. Its less aggressive and does a great job at producing a beautiful shine/sheen, even on bare wood.

I do not use the wax whatsoever. If you use it use just a little bit. If you use too much you get smudges and that is nearly impossible to remove. The wax doesn't last very long and is a magnet for fingerprints as well. Instead, I use a microcrystoline wax, wipe it on lightly, wait a few minutes and then I buff with the wheel marked "wax", basically is a clean and bare wheel that buffs the microcrystoline wax to give a great shine that resists fingerprints.

I use danish oil on most of my turnings. No matter what finish you use make sure it is cured, not just dry to the touch. While the surface is dry it may not be fully cured and if you go through the dry layer into the uncured finish, well, you'll have a big mess. I always wait two weeks between the last application of danish oil before I buff. Maybe too long, but better than having to try to fix smudged oil and having to replace a buffing wheel. For resin items you probably don't have a finish on them and can go straight to buffing. I would suggest buffing with the white diamond then a microcrystoline wax. The tripoli will be too course and probably put scratches in the resin. One other option that I use a lot when turning say a resin pen is after I wet sand to 3000 or 5000, I use a plastic polish, rub it into the resin blank, then turn the lathe back on and buff it with a soft paper towel. Works amazingly well. Of course that is before the pen is assembled.

Hope some of this helps.

Damon
Good info Damon, It is much appreciated. Where do you get your microcrystalline wax if I may ask? I use a Lot of Danish oil and occasionally Tried & True ( oil/wax) but it has been buffing and polishing where I have fallen short. Thanks for all the info, it will help a lot.
 

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Good info Damon, It is much appreciated. Where do you get your microcrystalline wax if I may ask? I use a Lot of Danish oil and occasionally Tried & True ( oil/wax) but it has been buffing and polishing where I have fallen short. Thanks for all the info, it will help a lot.

I bought my small container of it from Woodcraft. Its a small container but a little bit goes a long way. I purchased it three or four years ago and have only used 25% of the container so far. I do not use it on bowls or platters. It is a petroleum based product and I don't know about its food safe qualities, if any.

There is a slight learning curve to buffing. Key points is to make sure your danish oil is fully cured. Remember, its a penetrating oil, not necessarily a surface building finish. Don't put too much pressure against the wheel, you don't want to get the piece hot. Warm is okay, hot is not. Always keep your piece moving, never stop it in one place against the pads.

When you say you've fallen short, what makes you say that? What results are you getting when you do buff?
 

Tim Shettlesworth

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I bought my small container of it from Woodcraft. Its a small container but a little bit goes a long way. I purchased it three or four years ago and have only used 25% of the container so far. I do not use it on bowls or platters. It is a petroleum based product and I don't know about its food safe qualities, if any.

There is a slight learning curve to buffing. Key points is to make sure your danish oil is fully cured. Remember, its a penetrating oil, not necessarily a surface building finish. Don't put too much pressure against the wheel, you don't want to get the piece hot. Warm is okay, hot is not. Always keep your piece moving, never stop it in one place against the pads.

When you say you've fallen short, what makes you say that? What results are you getting when you do buff?
Just meant that it's what I think I need to add to my work. I tried the wheels you put on a drill press but they don't work very well. Just got the 3 wheel system and waiting on a couple of pieces to cure. Thanks for all the info.
 
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