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The Newbies Arena Are you new to knife making? Here is all the help you will need.

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  #1  
Old 11-03-2013, 11:07 AM
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mwilson mwilson is offline
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Introduction to Buffing - please

Hi Everyone,

I have been diligently reading in the Newbie Arena and am impressed with the quality of knives that are being posted. I am hoping to improve to that caliber one day.

To the point though, I am working with stabilized wood for the first time (stabilized maple that I got from eBay). I have it secured to the knife and shaped, etc... I have it sanded to 600grit, and have been trying to find information on buffing.

When I searched the forum, I found lots of information of buffing stabilized wood, and how it seems to be the preferred method of finishing stabilized wood.

Unfortunately I have no past knowledge of buffing or even where to start.

If someone would be so kind as to give me a quick rundown of it I would be really appreciative.

The questions I have so far are as follows:

What tools will I need? For example:. Is this something I can use a powerdrill, drill press or dremel attachment for, or is a seperate tool required.

What are the recommended buffing compounds? Princess Auto sells a small variety but I don't know that they are even the right type of compound and I don't want to ruin the knife.

Are the different colours of compound going to give their hue to the wood, or do they all come out clear?

I am completely ignorant of this, but everyone has been so helpful and informatie in the past I thought that this would be a great place to get the right information.

I have posted a few photos of the knife in question, it is my first attempt at a folder.

Friction Folder, I know that the part that sticks out when closed(technical terms, I know) is not very well planned, It somehow seemed better on paper and cardboard than the finished product came out. It is a design that came from a doodle of mine and slowly developed the geometry to make it work. I learned a lot from this knife, and although there are some faults to it, I am improving.

Here is the link: https://db.tt/xz92D0CL


Thanks in advance

-Matt
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Old 11-03-2013, 11:34 AM
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Ray Rogers Ray Rogers is offline
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Although I have never looked for buffing compounds at an auto supply store I would guess that most of their compounds are intended for buffing metal. There are different compounds for carbon steel, stainless steel, wood, plastics - you name it. Stabilized wood needs compounds intended for plastic. There are two compounds that are most commonly used and you need both. They have different names depending on where you buy them. Mine come from K&G Finishing and they are called White Diamond and No Scratch Pink. The White Diamond will remove any fine scratches left by the 600 grit finish and then the No Scratch Pink provides the high shine.

Every compound you use requires it's own buffing wheel. For the scratch removal step you need a stiffer wheel so a stitched muslin wheel is commonly used. For the high shine a loose wheel is better (not stitched). You should be able to find these explanations on any knife supply website where you buy your supplies but it's probably easier to make sense out of it all if you get catalogs from your suppliers. Catalogs almost always contain extensive explanations of buffing compounds they sell, wheels, and often even a brief tutorial.

The correct tool for the job, of course, is a buffer but you obviously don't have one yet. A drill will likely be too slow to be very good for this job. A drill press can be used as they usually have some pretty high speeds available. In the past before I got a buffer I mounted my buffing wheels on a half inch bolt and chucked it into the drill press. Messy, but it worked.

Take note that buffers and the buffing process is considered by many to be the most dangerous tool and process in the knife makers shop. Wear eye protection. DO NOT try to buff a sharpened knife! Be aware that buffers love to jerk the knife out of your hands, spin it around, and sling it away with great force - keep a firm grip on the knife and try to keep your body out of the line of fire ....


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Old 11-03-2013, 02:20 PM
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Fulmaduro Fulmaduro is offline
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I bought a http://www.harborfreight.com/6-inch-buffer-94393.html buffer from Harbor Freight and I have to tell you it works great. Not sure how long it will last but it has been awesome for the price I paid. They also have all the wheels you probably need at HF, and I use the green compound for steels both stainless and not, and the white and pink for stabilized wood or plastic. Worth the $40 to get you started and allow you to spend $$ on other tools.

Make sure to tape your sharpened blade and I always wear a glove on the hand holding the blade and always keep it out of the wheel. I also grip very tightly and concentrate on doing a safe and detailed job on the bottom half of the spinning wheel. Enjoy!

Tony Z
Kansas City, MO


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Old 11-04-2013, 07:46 PM
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mwilson mwilson is offline
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Thank you both for the quick replies and great info.

It is all much appreciated.
I'll post back when I find a solution in my area( no harbor freights in canada)

Now I know what I am looking for, the Internet sells it all!
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Old 11-04-2013, 09:17 PM
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TexasJack TexasJack is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ray Rogers View Post
Take note that buffers and the buffing process is considered by many to be the most dangerous tool and process in the knife makers shop. Wear eye protection. DO NOT try to buff a sharpened knife! Be aware that buffers love to jerk the knife out of your hands, spin it around, and sling it away with great force - keep a firm grip on the knife and try to keep your body out of the line of fire ....
Read that quote from Ray several times and pay VERY close attention to it! There have been threads posted on here with pictures of blades embedded in walls and floors, and stories of them being embedded in the guy trying to use the buffer. Use LOTS of Caution!!!!


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Old 11-05-2013, 08:15 AM
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mwilson mwilson is offline
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I will take it under advisement.
I have seen my fair share of shop injuries in my line of work and am careful in my own work but it certainly is worth saying one more time.

Knowing the danger inherent in buffers, are there other options I can consider to get a good polished look to the stabilized scales?
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Old 11-05-2013, 08:26 AM
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Ray Rogers Ray Rogers is offline
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Simply sand to finer grits say, up to 1000, by hand and then hand buff with a little Renaissance Wax ....


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