Milwaukee Buffer question

I recently asked for advice on some old power tools my Dad is only too anxious to export from his garage to mine.
I took a couple that I had an immediate use for, but saw another not- as-old tool that I don't even remember him owning. It looked sort of like these:
http://www.milwaukeetool.com/ProductCategory.aspx?CategoryName=SC%3A+Polishers
... but seemed bigger, heavier and with more metal on it.
My question is, is this principally for polishing cars? Or could a strong, fit person use it to buff a nice sheen onto a wood finish as well?
In previous posts I have taken the precaution of describing my skill level (weekend home handyman who occasionally builds something) in order to prepare you for what will likely turn out to be my complete ignorance of the topic at hand. I repeat that practice here.
Be gentle.
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"Greg Guarino" wrote:

Get the model number.
Milwaukee makes a 7"/9" sander/polisher, variable RPM (About 2,800 RPM max) that is a beautiful buffing tool especially when equipped with a 9" foam pad.
They also make a 9" sander/grinder (About 5,000 RPM fixed) which is an absolute beast found in almost every welding shop.
Definitely NOT a buffing tool.
Both are great tools.
Lew
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Now to clarify: I last saw the tool several weeks ago, and at that, briefly, long before I looked for photos on the Milwaukee site. My memory is not sharp enough to be able to say with any precision which tool it is likely to be.
But I have now been duly chastened, and if it is a grinder, I'll resist the urge to apply it to my Melody Maker, my L6-S and my furniture.
But heck, I'm mostly a piano player anyway...
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On 10/15/2010 6:53 PM, Greg Guarino wrote:

I have one of those. Bought it more than 20 years ago out of Sears. It is a grinder, a sander, a buffer, and I would not ever try to use it on polishing wood. It would be just too aggressive. As a sander, on wood it would eat rings in what you were trying to sand. As a buffer, it would wear through your finish before you knew what was happening. It is basically for working on metal.
Jack
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On 10/15/2010 6:53 PM, Greg Guarino wrote:

Gentlemen, I do appreciate that what you have are Buffers. And I am sure that they work just as you say that they do. I do not dispute that fact.
However, If I have read the original post correctly, and I may not have, he says that what he has looks something like the buffers that you have, and his web link does show Buffers, But he also stated that what he has is VERY OLD, being bigger and heavier than the ones on the reference link. And that takes it out of the category of a Buffer and puts it into the category of a Grinder.
Yes they did make both, and each for its own purpose. And while the grinder could buff, that was only a secondary use. They not only would take the rubber disk which normally held sandpaper, but also could use grinding wheels which were rigid. At least mine could and can, and I have used it that way many times. And yes they were very heavy. Those old grinders had only one speed, and not at all like the variable speed light duty buffers being sold in these last few years.
Now, if what he really has is a Buffer, as you believe that he has, then your advice is right on. But if what he has is one of the old grinders, then it is just too powerful to buff anything other than a car or metal.
He will have to determine which one he has. His Dad should be able to shed some light on which machine that he had bought years ago. If not, the manufacture should be able to tell by the model if he has a grinder or a buffer.
Jack
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