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Fine polishing with the Flexible shaft grinder

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  • Fine polishing with the Flexible shaft grinder

    I have the Caswell Flexible shaft grinder. It works incredibly well with the felt bobs.

    However I am having some difficulty with the final polishing step with the red or blue compound. It cannot seem to get my piece, a gold plate 6 inches in diameter, to a good even luster. Some area are whiter and others darker. As I work on the piece, the the darker and lighter areas move, so something is happening. I have tried both the felt bobs and the 2" shank wheel.

    Anyone tried to get a great shine with the felt bob?

    Maybe it just another case of the wrong tool for the job and I just have to break down and by a motor to drive a 6" canton flannel wheel for the perfect luster.

  • #2
    If you have the flexible shaft grinder, I'm assuming it's attached to a bench grinder? Try taking your part and buffing it with a loose cotton wheel on the bench grinder. The important part to remember is, when you're buffing, DIRECTION is the key. The reason you're seeing "lines" or "streaks" in the part now is because when you buff in one direction, it's considered cutting, and when you buff in the opposite direction, it's considered coloring. Right now probably what you're getting is a mixture of both. When you go back in the opposite direction from your last stroke, you're cutting the surface down a little bit more, which causes the streaks you're seeing. If you buff the part with a loose cotton wheel and make sure your strokes are all going in the same direction, (to color, you'd go with the wheel), it's alot easier to get an even tone to your surface. The loose cotton wheels are going to cover a larger area with each stroke. Also, as much of a temptation as this is, don't move the part in a circular motion. With a little patience, the surface should even out. Hope that helps.
    "Some people are like sandpaper: they may delight in the misery they inflict by rubbing up against you, but in the end you will come out smooth and polished while they'll just be ugly, wrinkled, and used up." - Beyonce Knowles

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    • #3
      It is the flexible shaft DIE grinder:
      http://www.caswellplating.com/buffs/flexible_shaft.htm

      It only has 0.5 amps, so it cannot turn a big wheel. I did put a 4" canton flannel wheel on it and it struggled with it, but I was able to get some better results. I did not use the technique of cutting in one direction and coloring in the other, although it makes sense. I was going in every direction - circles, zigzags etc.

      It seems I was twiced cursed: the wrong tool and the wrong technique,
      but, knowing what is wrong is half the battle!

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      • #4
        Another trick that helps make the compound flow more evenly, especially with lower hp tools that can't generate enough friction, is to warm the part up with a heat gun or hair dryer. Apply the compound a little at a time but often. Move very slowly over the surface avoiding any quick movements. Hope this helps. Elrod.

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