A well-equipped shop will have a buffing station. OK, maybe not every garage but every hot rod has plenty of brightwork that needs polishing and some of this polishing is reoccurring as it is a maintenance issue. With the availability of powerful buffing motors (1/2 and 1 hp) and with variable speed control, these buffers can be used over a wide array of components.
The Eastwood Company offers these two models (PN 13542, 1/2 hp; PN 51460, 1 hp) that are ideally suited for home shop use. (Eastwood also offers PN 13007, which has 1-1/2 hp, and is intended for commercial use.) Some of the basic differences between the two, aside from the horsepower rating: the 1 hp has a dual-speed function while the 1/2 hp is one speed, additionally the 1hp buffer is slightly wider at 26-1/4 inches while the 1/2 hp is narrower at 22-3/4 inches, and the larger motor uses a 3/4-inch power shaft while the small motor uses a 5/8-inch power shaft. The dual-speed motor is also well suited to working with various types of metals and plastics.
Both motors function in the same fashion; it is more about heavy-duty use cycles and use 110V household current. Should you find yourself constantly using a buffer motor or polishing particularly rough castings then the 1 hp might be better suited for your needs. Both buffers come with warranties but the 1 hp is noticeably longer in duration. Both of the buffers feature extended length and balanced shafts to offer additional work space around the wheel, which proves especially nice when working with long pieces of trim. (A word on safety: be extremely careful so that the buffing pad doesn't grab the part being buffed. The result is never good!)
A Couple of Things to Keep in Mind
Ideally you will want to mount your buffer on a tool stand (PN 13162) that is anchored to the floor. If you do mount it to the workbench make sure that it is securely bolted down. The drawback to a workbench is the available workspace. By having the tool stand anchored to the floor there is more available space to move around the buffer with the piece to be polished.
A buffing kit (PN 13016) is an ideal accessory to purchase at the same time as your buffing motor. It comes with eight buffing wheels in a 10-inch diameter (two each: sisal, spiral, loose, cotton flannel) and six compounds (emery, stainless, Tripoli, plastic, jeweler's rouge, white rouge). Also included are a buffing rake, a face shield, dust mask, gloves, an instruction booklet, and a DVD on The Art of Buffing.
Lastly, make sure to have all safety equipment (goggles and gloves) kept handy near the buffer so that you get into the habit of using the gear.
Eastwood Tech Tip:
If you're not soldering wire terminals use di-electric grease on the wire before crimping terminals to eliminate future corrosion.