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3M FX polishing wheels?


#1

Hi everyone, It’s been a while since I posted on Orchid. I have a
question for you. Has anyone used the new 3M FX polishing wheels?
I’d like to know how they are for polishing.

If Rich from 3M is out their please send me your e-mail. It’s great
to get back to my e-mails. I enjoy all of the wonderful ideas you
all share with the world. What a great group.

Thanks all.
Cheryl A. Orahood,
Matthews, N.C.
glasscao@aol.com.


#2

Cheryl,

I have been using a full set of these wheels for several months

now, and I love them. Because they are “spongy,” they will follow a
soft contour without leaving facets or flat spots. These are not
really a true replacement for the polishing buffs and compounds that
we are familiar with, but more like a “sanding” wheel. Castings that
I would have normally sanded at the bench prior to buffing are now
done in the polishing area.

The wheels start at 240 grit and progress to 3000 grit. Because

they are removing metal faster than you may be used to, they will
initially surprise you at how HOT the jewelry will become! The good
news here is that these wheels can also be run wet. I have not seem
any references to this, but they also work great for polishing
cabochon stones and inlay. If you don’t have, or don’t wish to have,
a water drip at the polishing wheel, just keep a cup of water handy
and dip often.

I recently had a job with an opal cab that was gypsy set into a

domed ring. I initially sanded the sprue area and finished the
casting with a 240 grit wheel. After setting, I had to shape the opal
to match the contour of the ring as well as remove any tool marks. I
started with a 240 grit wheel, run wet at a slow speed (1800rpm).
This trimmed the opal and left the ring with a fairly smooth surface.
I then progressed to 3000 grit, also at slow speed and running wet.
At that point, the ring had almost a tripoli polish. I finished with
buffing wheels and compounds, and used tin oxide on a piece of
chamois to polish the opal. This whole procedure took only a few
minutes.

The wheels are not inexpensive, and will not last forever.  If you

are doing a fair amount of platinum work, these wheels may become
your new best friend! Platinum must be sanded progressively smoother
prior to polishing. There is no way around this. The 3M FX wheels
allow you to do at the polishing motor what was previously a slow,
tedious process done by hand at the bench. I have found that they are
at least 5 times faster than hand sanding, and the results are equal.
Of course, I still have to hand sand the small detailed areas, prior
to wheel sanding. I use these wheels with water. There aren’t any
compounds to remove between steps, so you will progress quickly
through all the wheels.

I should add that I am using the 4" wheels, and I am running them

at only 1800 rpm. If I used a larger diameter wheel, the surface
speed of the wheel would be greater than the 4" wheel and generate
more heat. I would stick to a 4" wheel if you are using a polishing
motor, but would put an 8" wheel on a lapidary cabbing unit.

If Rich from 3M is reading this, it would be REALLY GREAT if 3M

would put a smaller spindle hole on these wheels, as changing the
adapter between each wheel is a pain. These wheels are too expensive
initially to have to purchase a separate adapter for each wheel. I
would also like to see these come as a set: 240, 320, 600, 1500, and
3000 grits. I’d also like to try these for polishing inside rings,
so a tapered cone would be great, and maybe some different widths,
while you’re at it!

Doug

Douglas Zaruba
33 N. Market St.
Frederick, MD 21701
301 695-1107
@Douglas_Zaruba


#3

Hello Doug,

Reading your post about the FX wheels they sound like they are used
for the same tasks as 3M’s bristle polishing wheels. Would you agree?
If not, please elucidate.

Thank you,
Joe Bloyd
JNB Studio
Battle Ground, WA


#4

does rio grande have the fx wheels yet? i couldn’t find them in the
catalog, online, or when i ordered other supplies. i see to recall
seeing a notice or ad, but of course, i can’t find it now.

and, if they do have the wheels:

-do they have the 3 inch ones yet?
-do you know the item numbers or where i can find them?

thanks,
jean adkins


#5

Jean,

Not sure about Rio but Andy @ Stuller has been fantastic getting me
skus for the new products ~ still need to get my order in this month
for them - just been killer busy ~.

Cheers,
Taylor in Toronto


#6
 Reading your post about the FX wheels they sound like they are
used for the same tasks as 3M's bristle polishing wheels.

Dear Joe,

No, the two are totally different. The radial bristle discs are
impregnated with aluminum oxide and the FX wheels are impregnated
with silicon carbide. Also the radial bristle discs do not remove
material as much as the FX wheel, they are more of a burnishing
abrasive. I know it sounds funny but that’s what how Rich at 3M
explains them. You gotta love 3M!

does rio grande have the fx wheels yet? 

Below are the FX wheels we currently carry and our stock numbers.

 330260 4'X1"X1", 240 GRIT
 330261 4'X1"X1", 320 GRIT
 330262 4'X1"X1", 600 GRIT
 330263 4'X1"X1", 800 GRIT
 330264 4'X1"X1", 1500 GRIT
 330265 4'X1"X1", 3000 GRIT
 330266 6'X1"X1", 240 GRIT
 330267 6'X1"X1", 320 GRIT
 330268 6'X1"X1", 600 GRIT
 330269 6'X1"X1", 800 GRIT
 330270 6'X1"X1", 1500 GRIT
 330271 6'X1"X1", 3000 GRIT

Hope this helps,
Thackeray Taylor
Rio Grande Technical Support
800-545-6566 ex 13903


#7

Hi, Thackeray, Thanks for the info on the 3M products-- but maybe
you could go one step farther, and give us the cost of the FX
wheels, as well?

Noel


#8
Has anyone used the new 3M FX polishing wheels? I'd like to know
how they are for polishing. 

I have used them with Rick from 3m… they are great. I did a watch
band and it still shines…

Andy " The Tool Guy" Kroungold
Tool Sales / Technical
Stuller Inc
Phone 800-877-7777 ext. 94194
Fax 337-262-7791


#9
Thanks for the info on the 3M  products-- but maybe you could go
one step farther, and give us the cost of the FX wheels, as well? 

Hello Noel,

I’m happy to provide pricing. Sometimes I’m not sure where to stop
my posts as I don’t want to overstep my bounds.

One more thing, all the wheels have a 1" center hole and need either
a straight shaft adapter with appropriate flanges (this is my
preference for mounting), or a 1" hub adaptor. This hub adaptor is
cheaper and mounts to a tapered spindle but tends to have too much
wobble for my liking. I tease Rich at 3M about this and he promises
me they are working on a truer running hub adaptor.

 $21.30

 330260 3M FX 4'X1"X1", 240 GRIT
 330261 3M FX  4'X1"X1", 320 GRIT
 330262 3M FX  4'X1"X1", 600 GRIT
 330263 3M FX  4'X1"X1", 800 GRIT
 330264 3M FX  4'X1"X1", 1500 GRIT
 330265 3M FX  4'X1"X1", 3000 GRIT

 $36.35

 330266 3M FX  6'X1"X1", 240 GRIT
 330267 3M FX  6'X1"X1", 320 GRIT
 330268 3M FX  6'X1"X1", 600 GRIT
 330269 3M FX  6'X1"X1", 800 GRIT
 330270 3M FX  6'X1"X1", 1500 GRIT
 330271 3M FX  6'X1"X1", 3000 GRIT

Sincerely,
Thackeray Taylor
Rio Grande Technical Support
800-545-6566 ex 13903


#10

Are the 3M FX wheels the same ones we saw at the Bench Jewelers
Conference in Atlanta? And does Stuller sell them?

Related pages:

3M FX wheels specification file:

Thanks
LaVerne


#11
Are the 3M FX wheels the same ones we saw at the Bench Jewelers
Conference in Atlanta? And does Stuller sell them? 

Yes they are the same as the ones shown in Atlanta. Stuller does
sell them… 4 in and 6 in

Related pages:

3M FX wheels specification file:

Andy " The Tool Guy" Kroungold
Tool Sales / Technical
Stuller Inc
Phone 800-877-7777 ext. 94194
Fax 337-262-7791