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Is your Beall system too hungry?

Discussion in 'Woodturning Health & Safety' started by brian horais, May 13, 2020.

  1. brian horais

    brian horais

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    Location (City & State):
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    Those of you who use the Beall system to polish your creations probably enjoy the end results. But, have you had occasions when the rapidly rotating polishing wheels got too 'hungry' and grabbed your turning, flinging it who knows where with nicks and blemishes? What techniques have you developed to use the Beall system in a way that keeps it from grabbing items? Do you have special handholds or do you just make sure you have a good grip on the work? (Thanks Emiliano for inspiring this thread topic...)
     
  2. Tom Albrecht

    Tom Albrecht

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2014
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    797
    Location (City & State):
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    I use the rounded bowl buffs instead of the wheels as much as possible. When I do use the wheels I just use the death grip.
     
  3. hockenbery

    hockenbery AAW Advisor Staff Member

    Joined:
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    The wheels grab pieces much like a catch.
    I hold the pieces so that edges face down and no edge faces up to “catch”

    I had a couple of catches the first few times I used the wheels.
    The past 20 years have been uneventful with regard to catches.
    I even buff three sided pieces - sans twist

    Some pieces can be more challenging and soft pressure will not grab a corner.

    :) now I will feel jinxed :)
     
    Ed Davidson likes this.
  4. Damon McLaughlin

    Damon McLaughlin

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    Jan 16, 2017
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    Location (City & State):
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    Like hockenbery I had a few catches when I started buffing but haven't had any in quite some time. If you stand at the tailstock end of the lathe and look at your wheel, I find that contacting the wheel between 6 and 8 o'clock works best for me. I don't use heavy pressure, a light to moderate pressure against the wheel is much less grabby. When holding the piece, especially if a platter or bowl, I keep my forefingers on the bottom edge of the piece, it helps to ensure the piece stays in my hands. For smaller pieces I just use a very light pressure. I don't buff pieces that are thin/fragile or have inclusions where the wheel can either catch the piece or compound can get embedded.
     
    Ed Davidson likes this.
  5. Dwight R Rutherford

    Dwight R Rutherford

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    Sep 19, 2010
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    Location (City & State):
    Roseville, CA
    Nitrile gloves help to give a better grip.
     
    Ed Davidson likes this.
  6. Tom Gall

    Tom Gall

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    Location (City & State):
    Hillsborough, NJ
  7. Gerald Lawrence

    Gerald Lawrence

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    Like Al and Damon I try to keep edges down and use the 8 to 6 position. If you do on lathe and do not have a swivel head place a pad on the ways for protection just in case. As to speed 800 works well on lacquer and maybe 1200 is sufficient for most finishes. If you hold the piece in the proper attitude to the buff grip is not significant. That said there are some pieces you just have to hold on tight and hope it works. Oh never ever try to buff near anyirregularities or sharp areas in the turned piece.
     
    Ed Davidson likes this.
  8. Doug Freeman

    Doug Freeman

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    Feb 26, 2019
    Messages:
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    Location (City & State):
    Lebanon, Missouri
    I use the same method Tom linked to - 4” buffs, use both wheel and ball or mushroom shaped in a hi speed drill, with project mounted on lathe, sometimes turning sometimes not (like the ears on a NE bowl). Dont like the idea of having to mount the beal shaft in the lathe and 8” buffs are too big for a lot of projects. I feel far more secure with the piece lathe mounted and the drill in my hands vs the opposite.
     
  9. Robert D Evans

    Robert D Evans

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2020
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    Location (City & State):
    Hoschton, GA
    I use the buffing wheels on the outside of the bowl and always keep any edges pointed down. The buffing balls work good on the inside and lip of the bowl. You are much less likely to get a catch with the buffing balls. I run the buffing wheels about 1200 rpm and the buffing balls about 2000 rpm. A light touch is all that is needed and keep the bowl moving. I grip the bowl with both hands and do about 1/4 of the bowl before changing grip. The nitrile gloves help with the grip but I usually don't bother with them.
     
  10. Rick Crawford

    Rick Crawford

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    Sep 24, 2009
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    Location (City & State):
    Astoria, Oregon
    Wearing gloves in close proximity to moving machinery is a recipe for disaster.
     
  11. Doug Freeman

    Doug Freeman

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2019
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    227
    Location (City & State):
    Lebanon, Missouri
    Cloth or leather yes, thin nitrile finishing gloves, no. The nitrile will tear and not pull a hand into the machine.
     
    Glenn Lefley likes this.
  12. GRJensen

    GRJensen

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2011
    Messages:
    169
    Location (City & State):
    Bay Settlement, WI
    I do as Al Hockenbery describes, plus I put a kneeling pad (found in the garden section of my local home center) on the lathe pad. If the piece does get away from me, the 3/4" thick rubber kneeling pad keeps it from slamming into the lathe bed.
     

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