Thread Number: 35930  /  Tag: 50s/60s/70s Vacuum Cleaners
Machine buffing Kirby Omega Issues?
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Post# 385350   2/3/2018 at 19:41 (257 days old) by reo580 (Holland, Michigan)        

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Hi Everybody.
Does anyone else have issues with clouding when machine buffing?
I am so frustrated with my latest project. I have sanded it, wet sanded it, and gone all the way up to 7000 grit, ultra fine. After that I cut it with black emery on a sisal wheel. My cut turns out OK but when I polish it on a hard sewn buff with Tripoli Brown, I get clouds and a gummy mess. So I cleaned off the piece and put on a different hard sewn wheel and used white compound. It is a little better, but still cloudy! If I use light pressure, I have clouds, medium pressure clouds and compound smears and heavy pressure gives me burns and I'm right back to wet sanding again.

This Omega project is testing the limits of my patience.

I bought a buff kit from Caswell Plating- I bought a kit in the past and had no issues- I gave that kit away unfortunately. This time around I am having nothing but issues. What I want is mirror polished perfection and what I am getting is a cloudy, sloppy, mess!The machine I am using is a 1HP, dual arbor, long shaft, 14 amp buffer. I have a buff rake and I use that to keep my wheels clean. One of my hard sewn wheels gives me "wheel slap" when I am polishing out a piece I have raked it, I am not sure if it is out of round or what?

I am wondering if I am missing something or if I got a bad batch of compounds. IDK! When I worked at a vacuum store back in the day (circa 2005) I don't remember having all these issues, with buffing or maybe I was just crap at it and thought I was better.

I wonder how they get it so shiny and cloudfree at the Kirby plant? Except for the fancase front- I would NEVER let a fancase look all unfinished around the nozzle/attachment/ hose "bar". Many Kirby rebuilds I have seen have that area unfinished and I think it looks sloppy. I understand the buffing risk, but sandpaper (wet,fine) gives a better look and finish than an unfinished "triangle" under the hose. my $0.2

Below are some photos of my fan case I am working on. I tried to capture the clouds and the burn in the pics.

  Photos...       <              >      Photo 1 of 4         View Full Size

Post# 385356 , Reply# 1   2/4/2018 at 01:45 (257 days old) by Lesinutah (Utah)        

lesinutah's profile picture

By where the it could be electrical burn mimig nonot  able to fix it.  If all else fails you could fine a donor part.

Post# 385411 , Reply# 2   2/4/2018 at 19:54 (256 days old) by texaskirbyguy (Plano, TX)        

Looks like you are experienced the same thing I did with all 4 resto jobs I did. All were slightly cloudy and some had a mottled, woodgrain look to them.
I finally chalked it up to the grade of aluminum that was used and what actually went into making the alloy.
I hope they is a real answer to this as I am very curious...

Post# 385416 , Reply# 3   2/4/2018 at 21:08 (256 days old) by kirby519 (Wisconsin)        

Maybe a chemical bath to etch the surface/remove what ever it is that is causing the clouding. I believe that when Kirby rebuilds machines not only are they "sand" blast cleaned I think they also do a chemical dip to prepare the part for buffing.

There are several products to clean Aluminum available at local hardware stores. They are a mild acid to remove tarnish and brighten dull aluminum. Maybe worth a try on a test part you don't care what happens to or on a test area that is concealed when the vacuum is assembled.

Post# 385483 , Reply# 4   2/5/2018 at 20:22 (255 days old) by Lesinutah (Utah)        

lesinutah's profile picture
I think sandblasting whole piece and polish off would work. A metal shop would do it for maybe 10 bucks.

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