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Power-Buffing without Making a Mess

  • 1.  Power-Buffing without Making a Mess

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 07-13-2022 22:57
    I've been struggling with finding a clean way of buffing pianos in nicer environments (i.e. customer 's homes or storefront showrooms) without making a mess. I've been using drop cloths, but I'm thinking maybe something like stand-alone curtain rods might make the situation easier. Any first-hand solutions to this particular problem?


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    Peter Stevenson RPT
    P.S. Piano Service
    Prince George BC
    (250) 562-5358
    ps@pspianos.com
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  • 2.  RE: Power-Buffing without Making a Mess

    Posted 07-14-2022 11:17
    Poles and curtains will be heavy as the base needs to have weight to hold the curtains unless you use rods. That will get expensive.
    I have thought of this as I have done remodel work and it is soooo difficult to stop the dust.
    For a piano,, you might try an easy up, 10 x 10 shade tent. One that the legs are adjustable for low ceilings. Cheaper is probably better as there will be no wind inside a house.
    Then with some clear plastic wrap drop cloths to let in light, you should be able to contain the dust. Some tapes don't stick well to the plastic. If it works you might consider a better plastic wrap cut to size.

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    Keith Roberts
    owner
    Hathaway Pines CA
    (209) 770-4312
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  • 3.  RE: Power-Buffing without Making a Mess

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 07-14-2022 11:21
    Are we talking about buffing out polyester finishes?

    Peter Grey Piano Doctor

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    Peter Grey
    Stratham NH
    (603) 686-2395
    pianodoctor57@gmail.com
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  • 4.  RE: Power-Buffing without Making a Mess

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 07-14-2022 11:44
    Yes, power-buffing polyester finishes. I have been using the paste compounds, which tend to splatter. I am open to using the dusty bar compounds if people have had more success with dust containment than splatter containment.

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    Peter Stevenson RPT
    P.S. Piano Service
    Prince George BC
    (250) 562-5358
    ps@pspianos.com
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  • 5.  RE: Power-Buffing without Making a Mess

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 07-14-2022 11:59
    I have used both bars and liquid compounds.  If you smear the liquid around with the pad before turning on the machine, it won't throw the compound much if at all.  Use a slower speed if your machine can do that.  Most of the time I use the bar compounds with a buffing wheel.  Then all you have is dust.  Usually not a problem if you tell the client there will be some dust.  I lay drop cloths around to try to contain it on the floor.  No matter which way, it's kinda messy.  If I can buff out a small area, I'll try to do it by hand.

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    Paul McCloud, RPT
    Accutone Piano Service
    www.AccutonePianoService.com
    pavadasa@gmail.com
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  • 6.  RE: Power-Buffing without Making a Mess

    Posted 07-15-2022 08:52
    For small areas I have used a palm sander, attaching a micro cloth to the base, holding it on with a rubber band. Apply the compound to the cloth and smear it around as mentioned previously.

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    Les Koltvedt
    Marietta GA
    (404) 631-7177
    lkpianos@gmail.com
    https://www.lkpianos.com
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  • 7.  RE: Power-Buffing without Making a Mess

    Member
    Posted 07-15-2022 14:31
    look into getting a small spray paint tent. I think you can get them from Rockler, Woodcraft and a few other woodworking and finish supply houses. Basically it is like a tent with a frame designed to prevent mists from spraying from migrating all over.  I once thought I could save time by loading the buffer pads up on a poly repair job of a Yamaha Grand. Should have paid attention to the voices in my head. All done and I turn around and the wall looked like a pokka dotted dress.
    I fessed up and told the owner I would pay a painter to fix it . He laughed and said he was changing the paint color anyway.....

    Moral of the story : there are no shortcuts especially in Mrs Smiths house. Also be sure to protect furniture, rugs, floors, windows

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    James Kelly
    Owner- Fur Elise Piano Service
    Pawleys Island SC
    (843) 325-4357
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  • 8.  RE: Power-Buffing without Making a Mess

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 07-15-2022 21:07
    I cannot imagine doing that kind of job in the home. But that's just me.

    Peter Grey Piano Doctor

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    Peter Grey
    Stratham NH
    (603) 686-2395
    pianodoctor57@gmail.com
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  • 9.  RE: Power-Buffing without Making a Mess

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 07-15-2022 21:53
    To be honest, I haven't actually tried doing it in the home. The main issue is in a store where there is no proper shop space.

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    Peter Stevenson RPT
    P.S. Piano Service
    Prince George BC
    (250) 562-5358
    ps@pspianos.com
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  • 10.  RE: Power-Buffing without Making a Mess

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 07-15-2022 21:58
    Have you tried these tents, James? They all look too small, even for a small grand

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    Peter Stevenson RPT
    P.S. Piano Service
    Prince George BC
    (250) 562-5358
    ps@pspianos.com
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  • 11.  RE: Power-Buffing without Making a Mess

    Posted 07-16-2022 06:54
    I purchased a "welding screen" which is a translucent plastic tarp-like material that mounts on a steel frame. They are often used in body shops to keep the glare from onlookers. 
    It's only a straight section, so you must orient the buffer to shoot the compound at the shield rather than the wall.





  • 12.  RE: Power-Buffing without Making a Mess

    Member
    Posted 07-16-2022 17:32
    There are two models in the Rockler wood working catalog that should work fine if propped up on a table or saw horses , I have not used them but they look like they could do what you need. They idea is to contain what polish gets thrown off protecting the walls and floor . When I peppered the customers wall I was doing a repair on the tail end of the rim. The buffer would have been vertical so you will have to figure out in what direction material will get thrown from the buffer pads

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    James Kelly
    Owner- Fur Elise Piano Service
    Pawleys Island SC
    (843) 325-4357
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  • 13.  RE: Power-Buffing without Making a Mess

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 29 days ago
    I'm only seeing the large HomeRight Spray Shelter on the Rockler web site which is only 6' in depth, too small for a grand.

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    Peter Stevenson RPT
    P.S. Piano Service
    Prince George BC
    (250) 562-5358
    ps@pspianos.com
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  • 14.  RE: Power-Buffing without Making a Mess

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 29 days ago
    Hi Paul,

    So do you apply the compounds to the piano instead of the pads? And do you use the 3M "dimpled" pads from Allied or the flat ones like Maguiar's?

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    Peter Stevenson RPT
    P.S. Piano Service
    Prince George BC
    (250) 562-5358
    ps@pspianos.com
    ------------------------------



  • 15.  RE: Power-Buffing without Making a Mess

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 29 days ago
    Hi Peter:
    Mostly I used the bars, but when I use the liquid compounds, I'll put some on the surface, then (power off) use the pad to smear it around very thin.  Then using a slow speed start buffing.  Years ago, I faced the same problems with splattering, and over time started doing this.  Will it guarantee you'll have no splatter?  No, you just have to be careful to minimize it.  It's a big reason I went with the bars.  Also, I went to the Samick factory years ago, and they used the bars.  You might look on Youtube for car buffing videos to see how they do it.
    I was using the Meguiar's pads, flat.  I've also tried putting the compound on the wheel, which also works, but more likely to throw the compound around if it starts at a fast speed.  You might also talk to Ruth Ziener at Allied to get her take on all of this stuff.  She's been teaching poly repair for decades and may have some good advice.

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    Paul McCloud, RPT
    Accutone Piano Service
    www.AccutonePianoService.com
    pavadasa@gmail.com
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  • 16.  RE: Power-Buffing without Making a Mess

    Registered Piano Technician
    Posted 28 days ago
    Power Buffing a finish is a messy process by its very nature. Using solid buffing compounds and a wheel sends wax & compound flying around, and some wheel speed is needed to polish the finish-but one can also overheat the finish while buffing and create new problems (such as when polishing plastic keytops-easy to create irregularities in the surface-and don't ask me why I know about this!). Liquid compounds are done better with a slower speed buffer than a high speed one, but compound still gets flung off the pad. I am visioning a portable framework that holds some material (removable for easier cleaning) above and below the casework to capture the "flung stuff" before it reaches the walls, ceiling, etc. Of the client's room. Maybe make it of PVC pipe fittings so you can assemble it, and move it from space to space as you go around the case. Could be (should be?) very lightweight as it is mostly just holding the capture cloth in place.
    It has been some time since I repaired a polyester finish, one was a front corner of the case with a large chip out of it. Fortunately I lucked out with a matching resin. Created a dam with tape and then wet sanded the repair down to the existing finish following up with 2000 grit wet paper so I could hand polish it. The customer was well pleased. I was much younger then and didn't understand the many variables that could have led to failure (mostly bad color match)!!! Lacquer is in many ways so much more forgiving!  Mequires #7 Magic finishing swirl remover (I hope I have the name right, I know the number is) can really hide the small polishing swirls. (and it has no silicones in it!)
    David D.