This is 10 Awesome Reasons to Start Using the Beall Buffing System. This is your introduction to the coolest wood finishing method ever discovered. Stick around, you will love this technique, I promise. Enjoy.
Buffing Wood is Awesome
To catch everyone up that may not know, buffing is simply a process where a spinning cloth wheel with abrasive compounds as brought into contact with a piece of wood. The spinning wheel acts like micro sandpaper, and polishes the surface.
You can use a number of different types of compound, which vary from rather course to extremely fine. You can also use more than one compound to work your project from a medium sheen all the way up to a very high sheen.
Easiest way to think of the buffing wheel and compound combination is like spinning sandpaper. The grit level might be 2000 or 4000, and the method of using the abrasive may be totally different, but the outcome is the same.
The technique for buffing wood was first developed by tobacco pipe makers. Tobacco pipes actually don’t have any finish on them at all, but rather a buffing. Most tobacco pipes are buffed with Tripoli compound, white diamond compound, and carnuba wax for a shine.
Thankfully someone came along and released a system that can be used by anyone and on nearly any type of woodworking project. That system is called the Beall Buffing System, and I’ll show you 10 awesome reasons why you should start using it.
See Also: How to Buff Wood to a High Sheen
Easiest way to apply a finish
Buffing your projects is by far the easiest way to apply a finish. There are no recipes to follow, no hazardous products to handle, and no learning curve that makes the process seem more difficult than it actually is.
With normal wood finishes, you have to buy a product, learn how to apply it, make some mistakes along the way in learning how to apply it, and then finally get the hang of it. After that, you can start actually finishing projects that you’re proud of.
With buffing, the learning curve is far faster than finishing. You also don’t need to buy any type of liquid finish to apply to your project at all. The entire process happens with the buffing wheels and compounds, which is a dry process.
See Also: A Beginners Guide to Woodworking
Fastest Way to apply a finish
Buffing is also the absolute fastest way to apply a finish. You can literally go from a piece of wood right off of your final sanding to a finished project in under a minute. This depends on the size of the project of course, but smaller projects finish almost instantly.
The other amazing thing is that you don’t have any drying time to worry about. Once the buff encounters the piece, and the sheen is created, there is no waiting. You can literally handle the piece immediately afterwards.
For example, if you routinely finish your pens on the lathe, even with the friction polishing system, you can take several minutes or more to create your finish. In contrast, less than a minute on the buffing wheel and you’ll have the same results.
Easy System to Learn
The learning curve on the beall buffing system is also very low. This is great for seasoned woodworkers and beginning woodworkers alike. It means that you can start using the system at a higlevel very quickly after purchasing it.
With most tools, there’s quite a bit of learning involved before you can say that you’re proficient in its use. You have to learn where all of the little ghosts are in your particular tool, and figure out all of your workarounds.
In contrast, this buffing system is extremely easy to figure out, and there really aren’t a whole lot of steps involved in actually using it. There are two compounds, one of them finer than the other, and then a bar of carnauba wax.
All you do is buff your project using the first compound, then do the same thing with the finer compound. After that, buff the surface with the carnuba wax wheel, and you’ll have a finish that you are extremely proud of and a high sheen look.
See Also: 10 Step Guide to Wood Finishing
You will Never Make a Smoother Surface
If you’ve never buffed a piece of wood before, you are in for a real treat. No matter how much sanding you’ve done in the past, you have most likely never created a surface this smooth in your entire woodworking career.
The very first time that you see it and touch it, it’s truly amazing. You will be blown away at how absolutely smooth a piece of wood can become. You’ll also wonder how it happened so quickly, and right in front of your eyes.
Even sanding with very fine sandpaper seems like it doesn’t quite do the same thing as buffing. It also takes a lot longer to do, which is part of the problem. Sanding in general is not very entertaining, so many people give up too early.
It’s really difficult to create a surface this smooth by hand, because it requires a lot of attention to detail and a lot of patience. These things are not in abundance for most people, so the buffing wheels are actually a very good solution in this case.
It’s Not Expensive
Another great reason to use the system is that it’s not expensive. All you need is a way of turning the wheels, which could even be your lathe. You can also opt for a small motor, and there’s a system for that too.
Assuming that you already have the means of turning the wheels, the system is around $100, which is pretty inexpensive as far as tools go. It will also last a very long time, which increases the value significantly.
Even if you do need to pick up a motor or a lathe, if you shop around, and look at the secondhand market, you can typically find a very good deal. If you don’t have a lathe, I recommend going that route because you will get a second tool out of the purchase.
Great for Production Work
Buffing is fantastic for production work. If you find yourself in a situation where you need to make hundreds of something, or you need to prep a lot of projects for a show or a sale, buffing can be the answer to your prayers.
I used to spend several minutes finishing each one of my wooden rings by hand. It was a bit of a tedious process because the product was so small, and you had to finish it in a way that you didn’t touch the surface and ruin the coat.
It was a very long process to finish a lot of rings, and it was probably my least favorite part of the project. In contrast, buffing a wooden ring takes less than a minute, and you have nearly identical results in the end.
This means you can finish 100 wooden rings in about am hour, which is a huge time savings over spending most of the day with a traditional finish. If you are into production work, buffing your projects is definitely for you.
See Also: Working in Stages to Increase Production
Customers Love a Good Sheen
In general, people like things that are shiny. I don’t know exactly what that says about us, but it seems like a piece with a nice sheen tends to fare better than a piece that looks dull. Take advantage of that knowledge, and start buffing your projects.
If you have to apply a finish to get a sheen, why not use a system that creates a great looking sheen without any of the fuss. Instead of spending a ton of time applying a liquid product, buff your pieces instead.
You can also control the level of seen as well. If you just use the Tripoli compound, you’ll get a good sheen but not an extremely high sheen. Switch to white diamond afterward, and the sheen goes up even more.
Finally, add a light buffing of carnauba wax and your project will look like it’s wet. This way, you can pick from three different sheen levels and satisfy your customers.
See Also: 50 Awesome Reasons to be a Woodworker
Repairs are Fast and Easy
Another great part about buffing wood is in the repair aspect. If you’ve ever had a customer ask you to repair a piece that they’ve damaged, it can be a project that takes even longer and than if you were to just make another one of the same item.
Especially when you have to repair the finish, which most likely gets damage from water, scratches, or other things that you probably warned your customer not to do, it can take a long time, this can be a very long process.
However, if you buffed the piece instead of using a liquid finish, your re-finishing process to get it back to day one quality is actually very quick. Depending on the damage, all you need to do is sand it smooth and buff the piece again.
Scratches and small issues with the surface only need to be sanded out, and then go straight to the buffing wheel. The process is extremely fast, and it literally create day one results almost instantly. You get to be the hero, and it didn’t require much effort.
Replacement Compounds and Wheels are Cheap
If you do actually get to the end of your bars of compound, or somehow exhaust one of your buffing wheels, replacements are very cheap. This is another excellent point about the system.
After your initial investment, you don’t have to make that same investment to add parts or layers to the system in the future. If you need another bar of compound, it’s cheap. If you need another wheel, it’s also cheap.
The company doesn’t nickel and dime you when you need new parts. There are also a number of accessories that you can purchase to extend the system in different ways. These are also not expensive, and are worth looking into depending on the types of projects that you do.
Buffing is a Common Finish on Lots of Things
In case you were wondering, buffing is a very common finish that you see on quite a few different products. It’s common on smaller woodworking projects more than large ones, but it’s not uncommon to see something a little bit bigger than you would expect to have a buffed surface.
One of the most common things that you probably encounter all the time are tool handles. Tool handles do really well with a buffing, which brings out the look of the wood, adds a little bit of sheen, and makes the tool handle look really nice.
Wooden jewelry, and smaller items also tend to be buffed. This can happen with buffing wheels, or it can happen in agitators that produce the same effect in a different way. Buffing is a lot more common than you think, and once you see it yourself you will notice more.
Your Action Assignment
Now that you know all the awesome things that you can do with buffing wood, it’s time to take action. Go on Amazon and buy the beall buffing system that works best for you. If you have a lathe, I recommend that the system to save money.
If you have a motor, then you can buy the other system if you like. Either one of them will do a fantastic job at getting you to buff your pieces.
Once you get it home, start playing around. Read the directions first and watch a couple YouTube videos so you know what you’re doing. You don’t want to fling any nice pieces of wood working on the floor trying to learn how to buff.
Enjoy the process, and buff several different species of wood to get an overall idea of what it looks like. You will be extremely happy with the process, and once you have this tool in your shop you’ll wish you had it years ago. I promise.
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