# [Favorite tips] Decreasing Polishing Time

Increase the size of your polishing wheels from the standard 4" wheel
to a 6" wheel. This will cut polishing time by over 1/3. Changing
to a 6" wheel from an old wheel worn down to 2 BD" or 3" will cut
polishing time too less than 1/2. This is due to the surface area of
the wheels. Although spinning at the same speed, more surface area
moves over the jewelry in the same amount of time there by polishing

motor RPM is the same. the outer surface velocity of a 6" wheel is
much higher than a 4" wheel. I’m not exactly sure what the rate
increase is. the calc has something to do w/radius, pi, and RPM. if
working in silver be carefull as this can increase the risk of drag
lines on your work. this is because of great increase of friction
where the metal meets the wheel. that’s how I see it anyhow.

JH

Absolutely Correct, John Humphries! For those with a mathematical
bent: The circumference of a 4" wheel = 4 x �(pi) inches. And the
surface speed = 4 x � x RPM inches/minute. Similarly, the surface speed
of the 6" wheel = 6 x � x RPM inches/minute. For a motor turning at
1725 RPM (a common speed), the surface speed of the the two wheels is:
4" Wheel = 21,677 inches/minute (20.5 miles/hour). 6" Wheel = 32,515
inches/minute (30.8 miles/hour). So at any RPM, the 6" wheel will have
a surface speed 6/4 or 1.5X that of the 4" wheel. Probably more than
you wanted to know, but it may come in handy some day. Just put it in
your book of handy, dandy conversion factors…Bob Williams

While I advise keeping buffs, split laps and brushes of many shapes
and sizes handy, I could not agree more that a larger buff is much
more efficient. If my calculations are correct the surface area of a
six inch buff will speed by you at sixty one mph . A worn out two
inch buff only has a surface speed of twenty mph. To put this into
more practical terms consider if someone had never driven a vehicle
that went over twenty mph and then they were given a car, they may at
first be intimidated by the power but would soon become comfortable
with the highway speeds. Also, in addition to using a larger buff try
using a 3/4 horse power motor (available from Baldor and Redwing)
they do not bog down under the pressure put on the wheel while
polishing a heavy or platinum piece. Just remember that if it
polishes that much faster it can also wreck things in a hurry.

John Sholl
Littleton, Co

Just a caution to all the newbies out there, I seem to remember
reading (from “Cheap Thrills in the Toolshop”? or something posted on
Orchid) that it is a very bad idea to use a wheel or buff with a
larger diameter than one recommended for your machine. My 3450 rpm
polisher came with a 4" buff and that is the largest I will use.

Gail Middleton

``````Just remember that if it polishes that much faster it can also
wreck things in a hurry.
``````

Amen! For just this reason, I’ve gone to mini-buffs (with an adapter
on the spindle), especially for rouge. I’ll happily sacrifice speed
for greater control and security.

Beth