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Truing Felt Buffs?

I recently purchased a felt buff for each side of my buffing machine.
This is my very first exposure to using felt buffs. Because I like
to put two different types of buffing implements on each side of the
motor at the same time, I drilled out the centers of these buffs so
that they would run 3/4 of the way up the tapered spindles. This
leaves enough spindle sticking out to put an inside ring buff as the
second tool on the left side, and a Chung King bristle brush as the
second tool on the right side.

While I have been very successful doing this double-up scenario with
muslin and treated buffs on my other buffing machine, I seem to have
just missed drilling the holes dead-center on these felt buffs. I
suspect I probably missed dead-center on the muslin and treated
buffs as well, but being so much looser than the felt buffs, they
trued themselves in no time at all. The felt buffs are not horribly
off-center, but there is a decided vibration in the machine that
was NOT there before I installed them. There is no side to side
wobble in them, it is simply a matter of them being drilled
off-center. I am concerned that the vibration will shorten the life
of the motor and can’t afford to be cavalier with my equipment. I
have done a little polishing with these buffs and they don’t seem to
want to get better very quickly…

Can a felt buff be trued? What sort of implement might one use to
true them? These are hard and rock-hard felt buffs so I didn’t want
to use anything that might make the working surfaces softer or fuzzy.
Would buffing my various and sundry ring, bezel, and bracelet
mandrels help to true these beasts? I was concerned about using steel
to true them, as I have been told that steel debris can, and will,
get impregnated into the buffs and render them useless for fine gold
finishes. Likewise, obviously, for any sort of sandpaper or emery
cloth. How 'bout a 4" heavy fiber cut-off disc held by hand against a
spinning buff? Should I give up on the idea of doubling up with felt
buffs (in deference to not ruining my motor) and just buy new ones
to use single duty? Or will these drilled buffs true themselves
faster than I think under normal use? Lastly, once I solve my
vibration problem, what sort of regular maintenance should one
perform on a hard felt buff to keep it in top shape?

Thanks for any and all input!

Steve (who sometimes wishes he could just leave well enough alone) Stempinski

Steve’s Place
Jewelry Repair

Steve and anyone who doesn’t know already, get yourself some nice big
chunks of pumice block, as well as being a good abrasive for removing
heavy scratch marks in metal. these blocks are great for truing up
felt bobs, they are also good for cleaning the old compounds off the
felt bobs and giving you a fresh surface. I use pumice blocks a lot
as they are a cheap abrasive, used by UK silver polishers for
centuries as they are great for taking out any bad marks in flat
plate before polishing. Pumice powder,mixed with water into a
paste,used on a mop is good for taking bad marks out of any any
shaped surface also. This mixture is also used by lapidaries and

I hope this is of use to someone.

James Miller in the UK

Hi Steve

The best way that I have found too true a hard felt buff, is to use
a grinding stone. I have a old one that shattered many years ago that
I only use for this purpose

Best regards.
David Baggaley (Silversmiths & Goldsmiths)
Jewellery Gift Items & Handforged Flatware

i true up buffs with sanding belts or autobody discs of forty grit
or less

The easiest and fastest method I found was to use a hack saw blade
(in the frame) up against the wheel and trim off excess until the
wheel is flat. Then you are back in business.

Thanks David and James. I think I’ll try both a grinding stone and a
pumice block on those vibrating buffs. Orchid Forum: as always, a
place of infinite knowledge!

A very humble,

Steve (who has been bailed out by fellow Orchidians once again!)

Steve’s Place
Jewelry Repair