Running true on tapered spindles

Does anyone know of a trick to threading felt buffs on tapered
spindles so that they run true? I try a half turn at a time, and
check in between, but somehow they always come out way off.

Forgive me if this is a repost, I would have sworn I posted it
before, but cannot find any sign of it on the site. Deja vue all over


Hi PG;

Does anyone know of a trick to threading felt buffs on tapered
spindles so that they run true? 

Boy, I’ve long wished that someone would either market an inside ring
buff that ran true, or else somebody else would come up with a gadget
that would true up the hole. They rarely are true enough that you can
just spin them on and go. Here’s how I handle it. First, I stick the
end of the steam cleaner’s nozzel in the hole and blast away for a
minute or two. That softens up the wood somewhat. Then, carefully
screw it on the motor’s spindle till it’s snug. Then turn the motor’s
spindle slowly by hand and look for wobble. Adjust it by hand until
it seems to be true. Let it dry on the spindle for a few hours. If,
when you’re using it, it gets off whack, stop the motor and re-adjust
by hand. After a little trial and error, it’ll be running about as
true as can be expected, and from there on it shouldn’t get off
center. I’ll be watching this thread for input from others.

David L. Huffman

Does anyone know of a trick to threading felt buffs on tapered
spindles so that they run true? 

I start with an oversized buff. Get it on the mandrel as best I can,
then file it down carefully ay high speed. This will cure the
out-of-balance condition. After that, the buff is left on that
mandrel until it is too worn to be of use. You can also borrow some
ideas from the carvers: Get a small piece of maple or lemonwood or
pink ivory from a wood-turning hobbyist supply shop. Cut a slice
about half an inch thick. Using a hole saw, cut a round piece of a
diameter you feel appropriate, maybe a little larger. With a drill
press, cut a 5/32 to 7/32" inch hole at the approximate center.
Using a STEEL 3/16 to 1/4" bolt, screw on a small nut, your wooden
disc, than another nut to tighten it down. Make sure you have the
hand tool set to rotate in a clockwise direction looking from the
tip of the tool towards the hand piece. This will make sure the nut
does not spin off and become a projectile. Clamp ypour hand piece in
the vise, horizontally, turn it on medium speed, and use a fine wood
rasp to turn the piece of wood true. It is now balanced. Then, soak
the wood in olive oil for a couple days. Now, apply a paste of 3000
grit diamond dust/olive oil to the wood. As you use it, it will take
up more diamond grit, using it a medium slow speed. Once it becomes
Charged, it will be very effective, last a long time and need
occasional re-charging.

Or you can do the same starting with an over-sized buff, various
diamond grits do an excellent polishing job on gold and silver, but
they will also cut quickly if you don’t watch it.

In my shop, we polished all 14 yellow with a soft buff to which a
light mixture of oil and 14,000 grit diamond had been
applied…very sparingly. Super polish, super fast. I don’t know
why more folks don’t use diamond, it works quickly.