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Posted: 6/30/2003 8:53:48 PM EDT
How is the best way to polish blades without power tools? I'm trying to polish a 10'bowie blade on my first knife build.
Link Posted: 7/1/2003 3:37:42 PM EDT
without a buffer wheel and polish compound it is a lot of work.
Link Posted: 7/1/2003 11:16:15 PM EDT
Some options:

Buy a used dremel and get at it.

Home Depot has Grinders for $40, and a buffing wheel and compound for another $10.

Find a friend with a buffing machine.

Send it out and have someone else do it.

Start polishing by hand to see how long it takes before you do one of the above.



I cheated and used my buffing wheel on my grinder.
Link Posted: 7/9/2003 6:45:34 AM EDT
Stoner, you can do it by hand, but it is a long involved process and pre-supposes that you have very fine polishing paper available. For a detailed explanation, go here to Bob's Bookcase and select the hand sanding option.
Link Posted: 7/9/2003 8:07:38 AM EDT
Thanks for the advice guys,I tried the hand polishing thing this last weekend.And I will be getting a power polisher very soon.What is the best way to go? ie grinder,?
Link Posted: 7/9/2003 11:09:11 AM EDT

Originally Posted By StonerStudent:
What is the best way to go? ie grinder,?



Grinder can be used to do buffing. But if you have the space or money or need, get a seperate grinder and buffer. Otherwise, you can do like me and use one side of your grinder with buffing wheels. I had to make a small bushing to center the wheels, though. You'll need several different buffing wheels for each compound you'll use (get the spiral sewn ones, they seem to be easier to work with and less likely to rip parts out of your hands). Compounds as well. Hit google and you can find lots of info on the various compounds. A coarse compound and finishing compound would probably be the minimal ones.

Home depot has all the gear if you want to get it locally. Otherwise HF or Grizzly or enco or smoe place has the stuff. HF does sell a 6" grinder for <$50.

The dremel, while a workable solution, will take about 4x-6x as long as a buffer to get anything done, and is not nearly as practical as you'd think. Especially on big blades.

Link Posted: 7/10/2003 6:20:11 AM EDT
I will add just a couple of things. A grinder is probably your best bet and will make a valuable addition to your tool collection. You can keep a stone on one end and a buffing wheel on the other, at least that is how I do it. I keep a number of buffs on hand for different purposes. ALWAYS use the spiral sewn buffs. The buffer is the most dangerous tool you are likely to use. BE CAREFUL!

You will need to use separate buffs for each type of compound to avoid contamination. Keep them in plastic bags when not in use. Zip-lock freezer bags work great. For cutting, which means getting out the scratches, you will need a green rouge. I prefer Osborne Stainless compound. It is the most agressive and fastest I have used. For a light cut get a white rouge, such as Foredom, handled by most hardware stores. For final polishing you will need a red. I use separate buffs for things like carnauba wax or beeswax, which are nice for finishing handles.

You must get all of the scratches out of the blade before buffing to get a quality finish, hence, Bob's Bookcase. I rarely mirror polish anymore, but when I do, I find that I can do it from 600 grit as long as I have done a good job on the hand finish stage. The blade must be carefully cleaned between each compound.
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