Back to Ganoksin | FAQ | Contact

Buff Maintenance- trimming buffs


I am curious to know if trimming a buff after raking is standard practice, and what the best way to trim a used/ raked buff is…?

How does one refresh a chamois buff?


Hello Julie, You must trim a buff after raking. The method I use is fire. As soon as you ignite it, the screams of co-workers and your own terror will make you put it out within seconds. That is all it takes. You’ll know you are a professional when you don’t notice the smell. Have fun. tom

Hi Julie,
For my soft white wheels I use a fine rake and then a hard rectangular stone. The same as you use on a lap. I love using the stone to keep it really squared up. It’s hard for me to polish if the wheel becomes rounded. It the buff is too stiff, take it off your machine and open up the layers and pull them apart. You can also use the corner of a stone to cut the string while it’s on your machine. I do this when the buff starts to get tight. I think it’s safer than using a blade. Hope that helps.

I don’t like burning them. Cant stand the smell. I rake them and cut the strings when they get tight but thats about it.

When you are starting to “burn the edges”, please do it away from your polishing machine, why? The burning strings will ignite the polishing refuse inside of the power vacuum and cause a smoldering and lingering FIRE!!! When you are finished using a torch, quickly pour water on the wheel!!! Gerry, who used to work in a very large jewellery factory, some decades ago!!!

1 Like

Hello all,

thank you!

Hi Wade,
When you cut the strings, do you just cut the few that are longer or do you cut the entire surface of the buff down?


I just snip off a few long ones when I cut the stitching.

It seems like we are talking about two types of buffs here, sewn and non sewn. On non sewn buffs, I use a rake and either cut or burn off the excess. However a rake does very little good on sewn buffs. The more lightly they are stitched, the more necessary it is to use a lap stone with very square edges to clean them. Then separate the leaves of the lap depending on what material your lap is made of. Some laps are made of flannel and the leves can be separate so they don’t stick together. One other important hint: never use the same buff for two different types of polishing material

You are correct Bill.Tokyo
I use a loose buff for rouge and just rake it. I use a stitched buff for tripoli I rake and then cut stiches as it wears down. I use a hard felt buff to maintain square corners and edges. This I dress with an old grinding wheel to straighten out the surface.

Hi Julie, i hope this video will help you

I use tightly sewn 6" wheels from Divine Utica, NY and medium sewn wheels from Rio. For both, as threads come loose, I pull them with a pair of flat nosed pliers. To square the wheel, I use the tang of an old file. I don’t use loose buffs very often, so I have little experience with their maintenance…Rob

Hi All,

Thanks for the replies.

Regarding using dressing stones and (sanding belts) to dress a cloth buff, I have always wondered… if the grit from these would get onto the buff and contaminate them…?

I guess I should try it out myself to answer that question!


I’m guessing that the gentleman in this video is not a full time
professional polisher. I’ve worked with some of the best and was trained by
them as part of my apprentiship.
We always prepared new buffs by first raking, then snipping and lastly
burning the loose fibers with a lighter. Then we’d repeat the
entire process a couple more times.
Have fun and make lots of jewelry.
-Jo Haemer

I agree with Jo… that is the way I was taught as well.

Andy “The Tool Guy” Kroungold
Director Tool Sales & Stuller Bench
Stuller Inc.
P 1-800-877-7777 ext 4191 or 4194

1 Like

Hello dejanbudisa0,

Thank you soooo much for sharing this video/ resource! it is fabulous! It answered my questions perfectly!

(I must order a Bocks comb immediately!)

I will look at what other videos are available on this youtube channel.


Hi All,

I found this interesting article on Ganoksin.

It walks thru the steps for singeing a buff! interesting! I never knew how it was supposed to be done.


1 Like

Hi All,

would anyone be able to share how they refresh a chamois buff?

(on a side note- funny, I just realized that the Bocks Comb looks similar to the file cleaners that I use to refresh the small buffs used on my flex shaft! I think I can use a file cleaner for my polishing lathe buffs too…I shall try it out…)


That’s me too. I do a lot of stainless, which is not too commonly used for many jewelers, though given the price of gold and silver is bound to get more popular. Following procedures like you use is essential to get a good result.

Sounds like what I do except for the file. I don’t use a file tang because particles of steel get into the bufffs, I have found. They tend to scratch or pit the piece I’m working on. I prefer to clean with a stone, because is wears away uniformly and crumbles to dust .