Buffing wheel / machine / bench grinder

This is another big ticket item that will set you back more than £100.


However, despite looking like a ‘one trick pony’, a buffing machine also doubles as a sanding machine. As virtually everyone hates sanding that’s a definite plus.

It took me a long time to decide to buy one of these. I already had a Dremel so buying a buffing machine seemed like a big extravagance for something which does basically the same job – they both spin a shaft, and you attach different things to that shaft.


In the end I went for a Foredom, and I’m really glad I did. My version has two threads, one on either side of the motor body. The rpm goes from quite slow to very fast indeed. Both threads spin at the same speed but you can have two different attachments which means less changing of wheels.


'Wheels' just means the bits that attach to the spindles on either side. These can be sanding wheels or massive cotton or wool buffing 'mops'. You just spin them onto the spindle so changing wheels is very quick and easy.


I use it a huge amount and it’s very versatile. It’s much, much quieter and more pleasant to use than a Dremel, plus it’s fairly big and can be fixed in place with screws (into the worksurface) so you can press your piece against it with impunity.


The only downside is that it’s designed for jewellers and hobbyists and so most of the wheels and attachments are for wood and metal. If you tell people you want to use it for polymer clay you will be regarded as a dangerous subversive!

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 Email: ruth@doodlepippin.co.uk