Introduction: Deburring and Polishing

Abrasive wheels ease an edge by removing small amounts of material.

Safety for Abrasive Wheels

  • Never wear gloves.
  • Always wear a full face shield.
  • Pieces must be held with both hands.
    • Pieces under 4 inches must be held with locking pliers, like VISE-GRIPS.
  • Only work in the safe portion of the wheel.
  • Hold material so that it is angled down.
    • Do not push material horizontally into the wheel.

Deburring and Wire Wheel


The deburring wheel is a soft wheel made for easing an edge; it is not for removing lots of material like a grinding wheel does. For heavy stock removal, use the disc/belt sander.

A sharp edge will destroy the deburring wheel; be aware of the contact angle between the material and wheel.


The wire wheel is for smoothing a rough surface, like rust or welding slag.

Buffing Wheel

The buffing wheels are for putting a high polish on plastic.

  • The wheel on the right is coarse, and will remove more material; use this first.
  • The wheel on the left is finer and will polish to a higher sheen.

Before polishing plastic, press the compound block against the rotating wheel to load it with a compound.

  • Do not apply compound directly to the workpiece.

Note: Using the polishing wheel is messy. Coveralls and a hat are recommended.

  • Roll up your sleeves.

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