• The Building Of A Buffing Station

    My workshop is in the garage of the house which is detached. It is a concrete block built and tiled roof. Inside is the bare concrete block, a concrete floor, and it is open to the roof. Not a very pleasant place to be in the winter! Last winter the cold was unbearable, and even though I had a gas heater on full set beside me, it could not warm the garage. The buffing polish blocks were rock hard and virtually unusable, as were my hands at the buffing wheels! So this year I had to make some changes and install some insulation. Here is a picture before the work started:



    The workbench was secured to the wall plate and the rafters, to provide storage shelves above. The vertical uprights were a bit of a nuisance, so the plan was to extend the workbench space down the entire side towards the washer and dryer. On each side of the old workbench below the lights, I had set up 2 bench grinders with tapered pigtail adapters for the buffing wheels. While the work was being completed, I wanted to install a custom buffing station driven by a motor.

    The first task was the insulation of the garage and installation of the workbenches. Having spoken with a local handyman, he advised the easiest method was to use thermal insulated backed plasterboard. Next is a picture after the insulation work was completed. The plasterboard has 2 inches of special thermal insulation attached to the back, and this was able to be attached directly to the concrete blocks. The same material was used to block in the roof cavity. The floor has been laid with interlocking rubber foam tiles and the benches have been started to be put in place.



    The idea for my buffing station was to drive 4 buffing wheels from a single motor. I picked up a second hand motor from eBay for 30. It is a 1hp single phase motor running at 1400rpm. I wanted the area around the buffing wheels to be boxed in to catch and reduce the dust created with the idea of eventually installing dust extraction. The buffing wheels were to be mounted on 12mm threaded steel rod. The wheels would be 8 inch by 1/2 inch. I had been using 1 inch wheels before, but whilst this can speed up the process, they are not good for buffing into the bend of bent pipes. The 1/2 inch wheels make this area much more accessible. I had a motor arbor made locally which would attach to the shaft of the motor with a 12mm tapped hole. The drive shaft would screw into this providing a direct link to the motor. It was going to take a 1m length of drive shaft for the 4 buffing wheels. I decided to get 4 lengths of 250mm rod, so that it would be easier to dismantle and change a buffing wheel. The buffing wheels come with thick leather washers, which when drilled to 12 mm will thread unto the rod. They are then clamped each side with the large cup washers that came with the angle grinders holding on the grinding wheels. The sections would be joined together with 12mm threaded bushes with a 25mm outer diameter. Each of these bushes would be supported in a block bearing. Everything would be locked in place using locking nuts at each side of the bushes and each side of the buffing wheels.

    Now whilst this idea was all in my head, it was a work in progress to see how it would work, as I have no particular engineering background. The handyman got to work under my instructions. The motor was mounted to the correct height to leave plenty of working space, and also the block bearings were mounted to the same height from the workbench. The motor itself was also boxed off from the buffing wheels to reduce dust contamination. The lower central section of the workbench is a place where I can sit while working on pipes. The far end is for my future work. I would like to move on to start making pipes and this area will be for the additional machinery. Here is Mark I of the buffing station.



    Before even using the new buffing station, I knew there would be a problem. The blocks on which the bearings were mounted were going to be an obstacle when buffing the pipes. We put our heads together to think of a solution. We then decided to install vertical mounts which would be secured to the back of the boxed area and the bearings would be attached to these, leaving the front of the buffing wheels unfettered.

    Here is the result after the rearrangement. The wiring has been completed and the lights installed with daylight bulbs for good vision.



    The whole thing runs like a dream. I have since installed a machine switch below the motor and will also install an emergency stop button. After getting the feel of buffing at a slower speed, the only further change I will make is to upgrade to 10 inch wheels when the current ones need replaced. I can now run the heater on 1 bar from the far side of the garage and it heats up the room beautifully and retains the heat. This year I will be able to work in comfort.

    This article was originally published in forum thread: The Building Of A Buffing Station started by Reborn Briar View original post
    Comments 19 Comments
    1. Gunsmoke's Avatar
      Gunsmoke -
      Nice job Allen. I am a Mason by trade & I know how cold & depressing concrete floors & block walls are. Looks like a pleasant place to work.
    1. dmcmtk's Avatar
      dmcmtk -
      Nice setup Alan, It looks like you will be a lot more comfortable working in there!
    1. ol gto's Avatar
      ol gto -
      Congrats that is a nice playhouse! Life is too short to fight the hot/cold elements trying to enjoy your hobby, enjoy
      John
    1. HCraven's Avatar
      HCraven -
      Great job, Alan, and well written and illustrated, too! I'm copying this to our article section for our members' future reference.
    1. Harbinger's Avatar
      Harbinger -
      Very nice job Alan!!
    1. BillyPM's Avatar
      BillyPM -
      Just excellent. Congrats on a great space!
    1. jimbo44's Avatar
      jimbo44 -
      Looking good Alan.
    1. Brooklin Bill's Avatar
      Brooklin Bill -
      It's amazing how those rubber interlock flooring covers make a difference on your feet. I use them in my garage over the cement floor. You will certainly notice the difference over the long jobs. I also have a radiant heater in there but still can't use the garage from about mid November until March - no insul yet and unfortunately don't know if I can squeak that into the budget.

      Very nice place to hide out you have there now.
    1. Peter Piper's Avatar
      Peter Piper -
      What an excellent project Alan, from planning to execution.
    1. morty58's Avatar
      morty58 -
      Well done Allan.!!
    1. St. Bernhardt's Avatar
      St. Bernhardt -
      Superb looking and very secure looking working area! Well done!
    1. Reborn Briar's Avatar
      Reborn Briar -
      Thanks guys. I certainly look forward to my work a lot more these days!

      Quote Originally Posted by Brooklin Bill View Post
      It's amazing how those rubber interlock flooring covers make a difference on your feet. I use them in my garage over the cement floor. You will certainly notice the difference over the long jobs.
      I was amazed at how much the flooring helped and it was very easy to do. I am not the best at cutting flooring so it was good that I only needed to trim a 60cm tile at a time. As an aside, someone on Facebook noticed the picture of the dryer and suggested venting it internally. It had been pumping out the hot air through the wall to the outside. So I bought a condensing unit and now when the dryer is on, it helps to heat the room too. So a source of "free heat" that was otherwise disappearing.

      Attachment 4242
    1. strongirish's Avatar
      strongirish -
      I had my shop in the garage for a long time but then I bought and restored a sports car and now it occupies that space. I was going to build a shop but my wife came upp with a great idea. I bought a used RV, a large one and converted it into a shop. Now I have air conditioning and heat, a bathroom, a sink, a TV, a bed, a stereo, and tons of storage space. And if I am in the dog house, I have my own kitchen and everything.
    1. T-Bear's Avatar
      T-Bear -
      Nice! If I may make a suggestion, line the cubicles with 1" foam. When the wheel grabs a pipe...and it will...the pipe will bounce off the foam instead of shattering on the back/side walls. Voice of experience here............
    1. UtahBob's Avatar
      UtahBob -
      Really well thought out and installed, Alan. Enjoy your new workspace!!
    1. Reborn Briar's Avatar
      Reborn Briar -
      Quote Originally Posted by T-Bear View Post
      Nice! If I may make a suggestion, line the cubicles with 1" foam. When the wheel grabs a pipe...and it will...the pipe will bounce off the foam instead of shattering on the back/side walls. Voice of experience here............
      Steve Laug said the same thing I have lost one pipe to a broken stem in the last 700 or so I have done, but what you suggest might well have saved it as it hit the concrete wall behind the wheels. I do have some of the foam flooring tiles left, so I will use these and line the box. Thanks for the advice.
    1. Reborn Briar's Avatar
      Reborn Briar -
      Quote Originally Posted by strongirish View Post
      I had my shop in the garage for a long time but then I bought and restored a sports car and now it occupies that space. I was going to build a shop but my wife came upp with a great idea. I bought a used RV, a large one and converted it into a shop. Now I have air conditioning and heat, a bathroom, a sink, a TV, a bed, a stereo, and tons of storage space. And if I am in the dog house, I have my own kitchen and everything.
      Haha my wife suggested that now the garage is insulated that I could put a bed in there too.
    1. Reborn Briar's Avatar
      Reborn Briar -
      Steve Laug had asked me to provide further information following some questions received on his blog about the buffing station. I will provide links to the items I bought in the UK to put this together. The items were purchased from eBay, so should be easy to pick up in any country.

      I had the arbor to connect the motor to the drive shaft machined locally in an engineering shop. There was already an extension shaft fitted to this motor which could not be removed. The drive shaft was wider than normal at 20mm and had a key way cut into it for the addition of a drive key. A normal motor drive shaft will look like the one below. If there is a drive key fitted in the shaft, it will pull out to leave the key way slot as shown.

      Attachment 4578

      The arbor was machined from 30mm steel bar. Half the length of the arbor was drilled to 20mm to allow it to be tapped over the existing shaft. Two grub screws were fitted which screw down into the key way slot for an effective connection.

      Attachment 4579

      Each buffing wheel is screwed on to the centre of a 250mm length of stainless steel bar threaded with a 12mm metric thread. The buffing wheels are held in place on each side with a lock nut and the large cup washers which came with my bench grinder to hold on the grinding wheels before I stripped them down to convert them to buffers. I had these available, but any large washer with a 12mm centre hole would have done the trick. I bought the threaded rod from this link. http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/300813988264

      The second half of the arbor has a 12mm threaded hole. This allowed the first section of rod to be screwed fully into the arbor until it met the drive shaft of the motor, and it was then locked in place with a nut.

      Each 250mm section of the threaded rod is joined together by screwing them into a 12mm threaded bush and then locked in place each side with a lock nut. http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/181149210581



      Each bush is then supported by a pillow block bearing as shown below. The external diameter of the bush matches the internal diameter of the bearing. Two grub screws on the bearing lock the bush in place to provide a smooth rotating shaft. http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/320695884156

      Attachment 4580 Attachment 4581

      The end piece rod simply has the bush screwed on to it, secured with a lock nut and again supported by a block bearing.

      Attachment 4582

      Each piece connects together to form the completed unit as shown below. The upright supports for the bearings also provided the ideal platform to secure 2 batten light fixings fitted with strong daylight bulbs for good working visibility.

      Attachment 4583 Attachment 4584

      I opted for four separate sections of threaded rod as opposed to one long section to make it easier if I have to change an individual buffing wheel. I can easily isolate and detach the section required and attach the new buffing wheel. Fitting of a machine switch to the front allows me to easily switch the motor on and off. http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/360736015048

      Attachment 4585
    1. Steve Laug's Avatar
      Steve Laug -
      Thanks Alan, I posted the update on the blog. Much appreciated.