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Old Metabo Buffer Polisher

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Hello. My name is Al and this is my first post here. I've been lurking for a few months while getting my smithy ready. I just got an old Metabo buffer/polisher that I need some help identifying. Metabo told me that they sold that product line to another company and I'm waiting for them to tell me the name of it. I'm new to this kind of machines and don't know where to start as I haven found a model number or anything similar online. Hopefully you guys can point me in the right direction. Thanks

metabo buffer 4.jpg

metabo buffer 3.jpg

metabo buffer 1.jpg

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Welcome aboard Al, glad to have you. Man, that's a beast is it 3 phase? I'd think there's a model, serial, etc. badge on it somewhere but it may be covered by 30 years of thick paint. Wish I could be  more help.

Frosty The Lucky.

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Thanks for the welcome Frosty. Yes it is 3 phase and I'll have to figure out what to do about that. Maybe a phase converter? At first inspection I haven't found any badges or anything on it but you're right there are multiple layers of paint on it.

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If you are going to run it just be extremely careful.   An industrial machine like that is bound to have enough torque and speed to grab and throw a piece of stock pretty hard.

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Yes thanks, the guy turned it on when I got it and it was something else. It'll be a while before I get it running as I will need a Phase converter and with all this coronavirus going on I have more time than hobby money right now.

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Ditto Latticino's warning about that being one grabby machine. It won't just throw work across the shop maybe embedding it a wall but it'll grab YOU and probably successfully wrap you around the wheel. It happens faster than you can react, we're talking blink of an eye is too slow.

One of the guys in our club lost his life to a knife and wire wheel. He was brushing it out in his garage in Utah, chatted briefly with a neighbor on an errand. When the neighbor came back by he could hear the motor running but Gordon was nowhere to be seen and didn't respond when called. The neighbor found him dead on the floor with the blade in his chest. The wire wheel had grabbed the blade and thrown it piercing his heart. The coroner said he was dead before he hit the floor. 

Wire wheels and buffs are some of the MOST dangerous power tools you're likely to ever use.

Frosty The Lucky.

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Jesus, I heard some horror stories but nothing that bad. I will make sure to practice with less dangerous parts until I get comfortable with it. There's nothing wrong with a little fear/respect for the machine your working with. Thank you both for the warning.

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I didn't mean to SCARE you, fear is a bad thing around dangerous machinery but respect and knowledge is a must. Gordon had a reputation as a reckless and careless whatever he did. Nobody who knew him a little better than I did was surprised. 

There are some written in stone rules for buffs and wire wheels: NO loose clothing!! No loose long hair:o! NO gloves EVER! Always stand to one side of the wheel, if you are NOT in the plane of rotation things thrown by the wheel are much less likely to hit YOU. Your arms and hands are in the line of fire though. Nothing is perfect. 

NEVER allow the wheel to contact on a leading edge! Don't put grabby shapes on the wheel. 

On and on. Old school shop class text books used to cover things like this in the safety/ use section of using tools. 

Frosty The Lucky.

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You're correct. I shouldn't used fear,  just respect. I'm used to using tools, I cut and modify bathtubs for a living.

This kind of buffers are new to me and I will be extra careful with it.  I appreciate the safety tips and will ensure to follow them.

I heard horror stories about them, not like the one you shared.

Thanks again.

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Don't mean to discourage you, but depending on what you intend to make in your blacksmith shop it is highly likely that you will not need that buffer at all. 

Get yourself a bandsaw instead. 

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Not discouraging at all, I said a lot more than that while I was getting it out of the trailer into my garage.

I figure that is better to have more tool than you need, than down the line needing something bigger and not finding this deal.

I do have a bandsaw. I'm gathering tools as I'm learning and forging small things such as hooks and small knives etc

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Ok so I removed the Metabo plate on the front and found a 7444-9 stamped on the back of it. Did a search and found this one under a German ebay. 

Looks very similar to mine, perhaps an earlier model.

metabo 7444 5.jpeg

metabo 7444 3.jpeg

metabo 7444 1.jpeg

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Prime candidate for a variable frequency drive.  Being able to slow the RPM improves the danger level but they are still dangerous machines.  Not a great machine for smithing but one thing that can be done with it is to use the nylon bristle brushes that have a bit of carbide grit en them--one brand is "Nylox".  Those can do some nice finish work on some items.  Polishing head is what it's designed for--things like polishing out bumpers before plating.  I'd personally pass it on to someone who needs that kind of thing...or start your own polishing  business :-) 

The MUCH smaller buffer (2 HP)  I use regularly will grab a part, rip it out of your hands, and slam it on the floor faster than  you can blink.  I have to be super careful to work on the right segment of the wheel so that if it does grab, it goes down rather than across the shop--so you NEVER work on the bottom (with smaller parts) because it'll fly horizontally and NEVER NEVER NEVER NEVER work on the top of the wheel where the part can be thrown at you.

You also have to be super careful to develop the habit of a light touch.  You do not want to cram the parts into the wheels--the surface does the work and cramming it against the wheels with high pressure is a recipe for disaster.  

I deburr complex machined parts using 12" Nylox bristle wheels. 

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Hey Kozzy,

Thank you for your input.

It seems I might've done a little overkill with this...I'll have to make the best of it and try to find good use for it.

if it proves too much I can always sell it I guess.

I'll look into the variable frequency drive and the 12" Nylox bristle wheels.

Thanks again.

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Commercial operators of grinding/buffing machines at this scale wear - chain mail aprons, full face shields, etc.. I have to try to instill in students that the most dangerous machine in a welding shop is the little hand grinder. It accounts for most of the eye and upper body damage in any shop. 

My friend, the uptown jeweler turned suburban knifemaker, once had a bench buffer snatch a heavy silver chain out of his hands, throw it ***past his right shoulder***, thru the back bench area, thru the sales area, thru the plate glass window, and out into traffic. A brown pants moment for anyone, but ***because he had been trained where to stand when working at one***, it was just an insurance claim for the window. 

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I spent a year working with a professional swordmaker and even though he was polishing D2 blades over 30 inches long to a mirror finish he used an UNDER POWERED buffer.  If something went wrong and he locked up on a piece he could stall out the motor rather than have it rip and throw a large blade through his body.

I can understand the thrill of owning equipment like that; but I'm too chicken to use it...

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Yes, my buffer/wirewheel is on a 1/4 HP motor and a belt drive, kept deliberately a little loose.  It still works with a light touch, but will stall or slip the belt pretty easily.

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This is definitely gonna have a learning curve to it and will be extra cautious/careful as well.  I do like the idea of a chain mail apron.

I might find it to be too much once I start using it or get used to it. We'll see. I do appreciate all your tips and words of caution. Thanks.

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