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
... 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
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.
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.
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
But heck, I'm mostly a piano player anyway...
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.
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
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.
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