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Guide to Common Buffing Wheel and Compound Combinations

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Using this guide to help you determine which buffing wheels and buffing compounds would serve you best for the various stages of buffing and polishing, organized by the types of materials you may be working with.

 


Working with Gold and Silver

If you are working with regular or plated gold and silver, including very thin plating, you will want to use a cotton flannel wheel with either water-soluble red rouge or regular red rouge buffing compounds for final or finishing polish work.
 


Working with Nickel and Chrome Plate

If you are working on a piece with either nickel or chrome plating, you will want to use stitched muslin wheel with a white rouge or buffing compound for the final cutting and initial polishing stage of the process. For the finish polishing stage, you will want to use a canton flannel wheel with either a water-soluble red rouge or regular red buffing compound.
 


Working with Copper, Brass, Aluminum, Pot Metal and other Soft Metals

If you are working with any of these softer metals, we recommend that you use an uncombed cotton buff wheel with a black emery buffing compound for your initial rough cutting of the metal to remove scratches and other surface damages. For the final cutting and initial polishing stage of the process, it would be best to use a stitched muslin wheel combined with a brown Tripoli buffing compound. And finally, you will want to use a loose wheel with a white rouge buffing compound for the final polishing stage.
 


Working with Steel and Iron

When you are working with stronger and tougher metals like steel and iron, we recommend that for your initial rough cutting to remove scratches you use an uncombed cotton buff wheel combined with a black emery buffing compound. As you move to the next stage of the process and begin the final cutting and initial polishing, you should use a stitched muslin wheel combined with a white rouge buffing compound to continue your work. And for that final polishing stage, we recommend that you use a loose wheel with either a water-soluble red rouge or regular red polishing compound.
 


Working with Stainless Steel

If you are working with stainless steel, you’ll want to approach it a little differently than you would with traditional steel. To start, you’ll want to use an uncombed cotton buff wheel with a black emery buffing compound for the initial rough cutting used to remove scratches and other imperfections. For the mid stage, you’ll want to use a stitched muslin wheel with a green rouge buffing compound to finish cutting and begin polishing the metal. And finish it off with a loose wheel and a green rouge buffing compound for your final polishing stage.


 

Working with Plastics

If you are working with Plastics, you will want to use a water-soluble red rouge or plastic buffing compound with an unstitched or loose uncombed cotton buff wheel for all three stages of polishing from rough cutting to the final polish.
 


 


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