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Code Slinger
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Discussion Starter #1
I am wanting to make a polisher/grinder for the garage to do small projects on. Can you buy a grinder and put a polishing wheel on one side, or does it have to be a Polisher/Grinder combo?

Also what material should the polishing wheel be made of for polishing say gun parts?
 

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Retired Moderator & Gunsmith
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Keith, Here's what I would recommend: Buy a standard bench grinder; 3450 rpm, 1/2 horse motor, 1/2" arbor, 115 VAC. Remove the grinding wheel shield and grinding wheel. Buy a muslin buffing wheel from Brownell's. Larger wheels won't let you apply much buffing pressure without stalling the motor so go with a 6" buffing wheel (Brownell's P/N 032-638-500, $4.16 each, buy several). As they wear down, they work better. You will also need some buffing compound. I use the 240 grit for normal polishing and 500 grit (Polish-O-Ray, Brownell's P/N 080-505-240, and 080-505-500, $15.51) and "dress" the buffer wheel often. You can get a chrome like shine on any steel or stainless steel parts.

The other side of the bench grinder can be left with the equipped grinding wheel. I use the "fine" wheel the most.
 

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Code Slinger
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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks Iowegan! Should you change wheels when switching polishing compounds?
 

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I kept the wire wheel on the left side for rough clean up and the polishing wheel on the right. If I needed the gringing wheel I would reinstall it in place of the buffer. I'm right handed so it was more comfortable. There were several types of materials for the buffing wheel but I can't remember what they were. I changed the wheel for different compounds and color coded them with markers. Harbor Freight had them fairly inexpensively.
 

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Retired Moderator & Gunsmith
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Keith, Yes, once a buffer wheel is used for a specific grit, you should mark it and use it only for that grit. Just a few things from experience .... stay away from jeweler's rouge on guns. It tends to embed and will cause rust. If you polish brass or metals other than steel, dedicate a wheel to those too. The buffing compound will work with any metal.

There are also a good assortment of felt wheels. I use them to polish knives. For general gun stuff, a sewn muslin wheel is hard to beat plus they are cheap.
 

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Code Slinger
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Discussion Starter #6
I am wondering about the mixing of polishing compounds than the price.
 

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No such thing as "stupid questions".......but to answer, no, try NOT to "mix" grits on the same wheel, because you will forget which is or is NOT on the wheel and if any stays on the fabric, that you do NOT intened to use and have a "fine" on and some 'rough' (#180-240) is still on the wheel, you WILL ruin a nice polish job.
It takes MANY, different 'wheels' of different sizes (widths) as well as grits , to do ANY good polishing work, trust me , this I know, as I have been doing that since the late 1960's...........
 

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Keith, Stay away from the "cheapo" grinders. Chinese, Taiwanese, etc. They are not "well balanced" nor have good tight "bearings" and when you put different weight wheels on opposite ends, you sometime wind up with a lot of unwanted excessive "vibration". You can't go wrong with Baldor, Milwaukee, Dayton, etc...............Dick
 

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Code Slinger
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Discussion Starter #13
I would like to have a grinder on one side, polishing wheel on the other.
 

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Keith, I have 7 different grinder/polishers and have the one you are looking at. I bought it at 50% discount and believe me, I wasted my $20! I had originally bought it as an extra (utility) grinder. It is pure unadulterated "chinese junk"! Lots of vibration and the motor takes forever to get up to full speed of 3450 rpm's. Take a look at Sears and Craftsman. A lot better grinder at a still decent price. If you don't want to go the real good brands, the Craftsman or Ryobi would be the one's I would look at. Over the years I have owned about 20 different grinders...........Been there, done that...........Dick
 

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Keith, Both Sears are very good selections. Once again, I have the $49 one pictured. I paid $59 for it "with" a stand. It was $10 off regular price at the time with the stand. I use it a lot and have had no problems with it at all. No excessive vibration at all. Good "choice" for the money!...........Dick
 

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Code Slinger
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Discussion Starter #17
Thanks for the advise. I'll pick up the $49 with a couple of buffer and brush wheels on the way home today.
 

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Keith give us an up dateon how it worksfor you pal.
 

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Code Slinger
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Discussion Starter #19
Haven't used it much yet. I'll post when I had done a few projects. :)
 

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I've got guns and ammo and mods to pay for right now, so I'll have to postpone polishing, but I'll file away this info for later. Thanks for sharing your hard-earned wisdom!
 
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