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New polish wheels sold by Rio Grande


#1

I just got a set of the new polishing wheels that don’t require
polishing compound. They come in varying grits and seem to work great
except for the high heat generated from being in contact with the
silver or gold. Has anyone had experience with these wheels. And do
you deal with the heat. ( too hot to hold by hand).

Alburn Sleeper
Silver and GoldSmith


#2
I just got a set of the new polishing wheels that don't require
polishing compound. Has anyone had experience with these wheels.
And do you deal with the heat. ( too hot to hold by hand). 

Hello Alburn,

These wheels can be run wet if desired and if you have the proper
lapidary equipment. Other than that I would have water in a cup and
dip my work into it or apply Bur-Life in the paste form onto your
work and then work the piece into the wheel. Use Alligator Skin,
leather finger guards or Coban wrap on your digits.

Sincerely,

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


#3

Although the wheels work well, one of the ones I purchased fell
apart the first time I used it (the yellow one) I am not sure
whether I can glue it back together since it is now in three parts.
I can’t use all the parts on the spindle of my buffer- I know they
work best when they are in larger groups than 2.

Maybe you’re using the green ones?


#4

I had the pleasure of being introduced to these new FX polishing
wheels at a local jewelery tool supply, The Naja in Denver, CO.
Travis brought in a 3M engineer/expert for a mini seminar on these
wheels. He spent a great deal of time talking about the need to keep
the work cool. From what I remember the answer is two fold, a slower
speed (maximum of 2000 RPM for a 4 inch wheel) and judicious use of
water as a cooling and lubricating agent. I purchased a set of these
after playing with some titanium sheet - very easy to work with using
these FX wheels. Now my problem, and I suspect yours, will be to find
a buffer/polisher that runs slower than the usual 3600 RPM standard
speed of my 3 existing buffers. I understand that the big boys have
two speed buffing lathes which run at the lower speeds. What I
suspect is that they too will have a problem if they use the larger
(6, 8, or 12") wheels because of the increased “surface feet per
minute”. If you look at the 3M web site - 3M Solutions for Creative
Arts, then follow the FX wheels link, they use a $200 Foredom 1/6 HP
variable speed mini polisher. If anyone has a source for small,
inexpensive, variable speed polishers (0 - 3000 RPM), please let me
know. There have been several prior posts on this topic as well, see
Lames Binnion’s post in the archives for example -

https://orchid.ganoksin.com/t/announcing-3m-new-fx-polishing-wheels

Have fun
Marlin in Denver on a gorgeous Autumn day!


#5

Marlin,

Have you considered an electric or transistor powered screw driver
with a Jacobs chuck.

I know this is preferable when twisting wire and the need for a more
controlled speed.

Terrie


#6
If anyone has a source for small, inexpensive, variable speed
polishers (0 - 3000 RPM), please let me know

Longtime lurker and first time poster. Hope I am doing this right!

Try Harbor Freight. I bought a “Chicago Tools” brand 3" grinder that
is variable speed 0-10,000 rpm and has a flex shaft attachment! I
you don’t find the flex shaft useful (I didn’t) save the arbor
attachment. I drilled it out and brazed in a felt point tip. I
doesn’t get used as often as my main buffer but is very versatile.

dick


#7
Have you considered an electric or transistor powered screw driver
with a Jacobs chuck. 

There’s lots of motors available w/ two speeds: 3450/1725 rpm.
Baldor makes them from 1/6- 1/2 hp for studios. Bigger ones too.

I sue a 1/2hp, 2 spindle, two speed Baldor from Otto Frie. It has
tapered arbors so I can change from a tapered spindle to a chuck. If
I want to rough out a chunk of blue file wax I’ll put a coarse
"rotary file" type of burr from the hardware store in the chuck and
run it at low speed. Wax doesn’t melt and the job is done. I’ll also
chuck up a flap wheel from the hardware store (flaps of sandpaper
arranged on a wheel and mounted on a mandrel) and use this for quick
cut down of metal or texturing. I’ll use both high and low speed for
this: If I want the flap wheel to present hard surface for creating
hard edges I’ll run it at high speed. For rounding over things I’ll
run it at low speed which has the effect of “softening” the wheel.
For buffing or polishing, I’ll change to the tapered spindle–takes
seconds-- and throw a muslin wheel on. Again, high or low speed
depending on the job.

Take care, Andy