Small Projects #44: Buffer storage box (in process -- no pics yet but stay tuned)

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Blog entry by Madmark2 posted 04-22-2021 06:03 AM 929 reads 0 times favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 43: Kitchen drawer replacement Part 44 of Small Projects series Part 45: Cat proof screen porch »

For those following this blog you know that I make smoking pipes. Toward that end I’ve been looking for a way to put a really high polish on them, esp. the mouthpiece area. Grizzly just came out with a ($110 + S&H) 4”/6” mini buffer that looked just the thing.

It came and is a very nice little unit. Its a surprisingly heavy casting and motor:

Grizzly T32004 mini buffer

One of the nice features is you have both a “rpm to zero” off switch, but there is a separate, environmentally sealed rocker switch. This way you can leave the speed knob dialed in and control the motor without changing speed. A nice little touch.

Setup was trivial, just install the drive cones (L & R) and tighten each down with two setscrews using the supplied 2mm allen wrench. Spin the two supplied 4” wheels on and you’re ready to roll.

I had also bought a stick of polishing compound and left one cotton wheel clean and put the compound on the other. I then proceeded to run a few scraps of different species thru both with and without compound or paste wax.

The speed control is smooth and varies from 2000 to 7000 rpm. Its fun to watch the cotton wheels narrow and firm up as the rpm’s peak. The motor spins easily and relatively quiet throughout the speed range.

Besides doing a nice job on the mouth pieces I noticed that the wheels slung polishing compound and lint everywhere near the wheel.

Not having surplus bench space for this little gem and not wanting to strew polish and crap everywhere I decided what was needed was a BOX! And not just any box, but a carry box! Oh the glorious visions that danced in my head, and soon after landed on paper.

The thought was (is) to use piano hinges to connect the front to the top and the top to the back. This should give a fold up door effect (think Snapon toolbox lid) allowing full access when opened and a reasonably dust tight storage box when closed, all the while containing the debris and allowing easy storage. Like I said “oh what a box!” LOL

The box is made from 1/2” ply and is screwed and glued along the bottom/back seam. The rest of the construction is 1” #6 flat head Phillips wood screws. This means all of the carry weight is borne by horizontal screws for strength as the buffer is a heavy little sucker.

One problem with the documentation is that there is no mounting hole diagram. The location of the holes in the curves of the casting make measuring from the top more of a guesstimate than a measurement. On the bottom the factory rubber feet obscured the mounting holes so again exact measurements were impossible. I didn’t want to remove the feet as they will reduce transmitting vibration.

Griz did mention that the mounting holes were #10 and I ordered 4 ea 2” #10-32 allen head SS cap screws with washers and nyloc nuts. I like to use nyloc nuts over regular nuts and lockwashers esp. in vibrating environments.

So the mounting of the buffer to the base was a little “fuzzy”. Naturally the first screw went right in and tightened enough to act as a 3rd hand for the remaing ones. After a little wallowing I got all four allen cap screws in and tight.

I had originally drilled the cord hole in the center of the back, but after mounting this became problematic and there was just no way for the plug to fit thru the original hole given the limited space. So I drilled a 2nd hole up and to the right so the plug and cord can be fed in and out when needed.

The sides are screwed to both the bottom and back in 5 places. This is so the storage box can be lifted by folding handles on the side without the bottom wanting to drop out. I can’t mount a lifting handle on the top as the top would just open and 1/2” ply is too thin to support a latch. For general closure I bought a couple of extra strength magnetic door catches that are going in the lower inside front corners to keep the front from flapping open and spilling any accessories in the process.

Because the mounting bolt ends and nuts come out the bottom I added four corner rubber feet. There are secured with 1” 6-32 SS allen cap screws mounted in drilled & tapped holes. Since the 1/2” of thread only has to carry the weight of the rubber feet I figured I could safely tap plywood.

Its almost complete with just the piano hinges and handles left to go.

Pics in a bit …

-- The hump with the stump and the pump!

3 comments so far

View LittleBlackDuck's profile


7076 posts in 1901 days

#1 posted 04-22-2021 07:44 AM

Agree that these small buffs are great for little pieces…

Shame you didn’t post this 6 months ago, before I bought my Foredom,

at 2x the cost…
It’s a pleasant step down from my single speed, 1450 RPM grinder, 8” buffer.

At least if HF are short on spares and consumable, Foredom may provide a “costlier” solution (if desperate).

Did I hear you volunteer in doing a formal review?... for those a little more frugal than me (with our limited Aussie availability).

-- If your first cut is too short... Take the second cut from the longer end... LBD

View Madmark2's profile


2648 posts in 1669 days

#2 posted 04-22-2021 03:13 PM

I’m planning on writing a review here and on the Grizzly site …

-- The hump with the stump and the pump!

View splintergroup's profile


5111 posts in 2303 days

#3 posted 04-22-2021 04:15 PM

I see it is a universal motor (brush caps). You mention “relatively” quiet. Is this compact router quiet or shop vac quiet (hope for the former 8^)?

Looks much nicer than using a 6” grinder platform which takes up a lot of space.

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