Beall Polishing System #1: Beall System, Versatile.

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Blog entry by PASs posted 12-03-2013 02:05 AM 2723 reads 0 times favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Beall Polishing System series Part 2: Sanding mops »

I got a Beall system a few years ago.
I started with the 3 circular pads.
I liked it so much I also got the 3 polishing balls to do inside bowls.
I also got an old motor for $2.00 at a garage sale so I could have a dedicated polishing setup.
The motor is plugged in to an outlet box under the end of the bench. The receptacle it’s plugged into is controlled by a switch also under the end of the bench. The other receptacle is unswitched for plugging the other equipment in when needed. The outlet box is on a 20 foot cord so I can power up on in the driveway (less dust in the shop.)
I also got several buffing pads, just generic stitched cloth for a dollar at a yard sale.
After I got the system set up I realized the shaft mount was a 3/8 thread.
So I went to the hardware store and got a handful of 3/8 bolts, washers, and nuts.
That let me mount each buffing wheel on it’s own bolt.
I also bought a few yards of sanding belt from Woodcraft and made my own sanding mops in different grits and configurations.

I didn’t get the mandrel set to run on the lathe because when I polish long pieces the wheels get in the way of each other.

Here’s my mobile sand and polish bench.

Here’s the dedicated motor. Not the best but well worth the $2.00.

The original buffing pad in the box, the 3 buffing balls for bowls, the 3 polishing and waxing compounds, 3 sanding mops (180, 220, and 320 grit), 1 metal buffing pad.

Before I got the Beall system I had a small set of sandpaper in increasing fine grit (to 24,000 I think). First time I used the Beall system I put the sandpaper set away. Now I sand pieces to be polished to 320 grit and then go straight to the polisher.

One nice thing about the motor mandrel with the extra buffing pads is that I can polish metal.
Here’s a pen holder made from a 5” shell with 20mm CIWS rounds fastened around it. Nothing polished.

Here’s the 5” shell after 2 minutes with just the fine polishing compound then some old turtle wax.

And here’s a 20mm shell after 2 minutes…no prep or prior cleaning…just 2 minutes on the pad and then a little turtle wax.

Here they are put back together for comparison.

If you want to see what it does on wood just check my projects…

Hope this was helpful

-- Pete, "It isn't broken, you just aren't using it right."

10 comments so far

View PASs's profile


596 posts in 3635 days

#1 posted 12-03-2013 02:10 AM

Here’s the metal pad….not pretty if you put that on wood, the black goes right into the grain.

-- Pete, "It isn't broken, you just aren't using it right."

View AlBCuttnWud's profile


714 posts in 3226 days

#2 posted 12-03-2013 03:01 AM

Nicely done. I may need to look into setting up something like this for myself. Thanks for sharing Pete.

-- -Al, Oak Harbor, WA

View robscastle's profile


6465 posts in 2740 days

#3 posted 12-05-2013 09:59 AM

Well that’s a very neat setup.

I have a polishing kit but its all in a box under the bench, No room for it as I only use it occasionally.

It cost me much more than two bucks as well!!

There must be something about Brass and military people, when I bought mine I polished just about everything in sight, and like yourself I was very impressed with the results.

I even polished a brass garden tap and then clear lacquered it just to see how it survived.

My son spotted it one visit and remarked “too much time on your hands Dad”

I agree the pads for wood and metal need marking clearly !!

-- Regards Rob

View Roger's profile


21013 posts in 3340 days

#4 posted 12-08-2013 01:38 PM

Oh yes, Pete. Now that’s a super nice pen holder. :)

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed. [email protected]

View PASs's profile


596 posts in 3635 days

#5 posted 12-08-2013 11:21 PM

Thanks Roger,
Backstory; The large silver casing is from the last 5” gun salvo fired by the USS TICONDEROGA (GG 47) before it started the decommissioning process in 2004. The smaller linked brass casings are from the 20mm Close In Weapons System (CIWS) also on the TICONDEROGA. I was part of the decommissioning crew and snagged them for mementos. I’ve been using it on my desk for years and pulled it out to the shop to polish it up and turn a base for it.

-- Pete, "It isn't broken, you just aren't using it right."

View BTimmons's profile


2303 posts in 3021 days

#6 posted 12-18-2013 09:53 PM


Question time. The Beall system looks good, and I've seen that it also works really great on wood, of course. But is there any fundamental difference between the Beall system and a cheap set like this? I’ve read that silicone is bad for anything that touches wood and I don’t see whether or not the compounds in this set use silicone or not. Naturally, the product description says it works fine on metals but it doesn’t explicitly say not to use it on wood. So I’m not sure what to make of it.

-- Brian Timmons -

View PASs's profile


596 posts in 3635 days

#7 posted 12-18-2013 10:09 PM

The HF is definitely cheaper!
I’m going to make a guess that it is more for polishing metal.
There may be oils or waxes in the polishing compounds that would not be good of a wood finish.
Also, the Beall system uses three different types of wheels; the web site explains it I think. And the Beall wheels are much bigger. That would surely make a difference in how long it would take to polish something.

-- Pete, "It isn't broken, you just aren't using it right."

View BTimmons's profile


2303 posts in 3021 days

#8 posted 12-18-2013 10:22 PM

Thanks for your help. Looks like I’ll save for the Beall.

-- Brian Timmons -

View PaulLL's profile


163 posts in 2512 days

#9 posted 01-02-2014 06:07 AM

Hey Pete, I’ve been looking at that Beal system, but didn’t want to spend the money on it without doing some more research and talking to someone who uses one. I just got into turning and seems like polishing bowls is the ticket. Are the waxes that come with that kit still food safe? I was thinking of getting the mandrel attachment so I could use my lathe to spin the wheels (not the multi bar, but each individually), I do have a bench grinder that I could use. Are there any pains this system brings or anything you’d tell someone looking to buy one? Thanks!


View PASs's profile


596 posts in 3635 days

#10 posted 01-03-2014 05:25 AM

The kit contains carnauba wax which is food safe.
If you are only polishing the outside of the bowls then the wheels would work, but if you want to polish the inside you would need the balls.
The wheels work at 1800 rpm, but the balls really need to spin faster (3600) to work as fast as the wheels.
The only pain is that if you catch an edge of something like a bowl, or a corner on a flat piece it will jerk it out of your hands and throw it down at a very high velocity, guaranteed to put a scratch or crack, or even break the piece. I’d recommend putting a pad under your work area or a trash can with sawdust, shavings or something else capable of catching it if you’re working on a motor mount like my new setup.

I get 3/8 inch bolts to make my extra sanding mops…so you can just use them chucked into the lathe if you have a set of long jaws that can hold the bolt. I’d probably drill and tap a wood insert and screw the bolt into that so I could get some standoff.

-- Pete, "It isn't broken, you just aren't using it right."

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