Buffing compounds are used with buffing and polishing wheels to increase the effectiveness of the wheel and to help you accomplish your tasks more quickly. They come in all different types and colors, each uniquely suited to a different aspect of the buffing, cutting, and polishing process. Some are rougher and allow you to quickly remove scratches from various metal surfaces, and others are gentler and designed to provide a beautiful and shining finish to your work. One big difference that you’ll notice is the contrast between rouge compounds and tripoli compounds: rouges are typically used for polishing and finishing work whereas the tripoli compounds are used for cutting and buffing to remove scratches from the metal. Below we have compiled a list of our most common buffing compounds to help you tell the difference and choose the one that is right for you.
Black Emery Compound
This compound is filled with emery minerals to give it top notch cutting qualities making it the perfect compound for removing scratches, small pits, plating, paint, antiquing, lacquer and more from metallic surfaces. For big jobs and work that requires a lot of work to remove rough surfaces or deep scratches, you should always start with this compound because it will save you hours of work and effort. It even starts the polishing process for you, typically leaving metals with a fair shine on the surface when you are done.
This tripoli compound is designed for its general purpose use for both buffing and polishing work. The compound can easily cut and remove scratches while leaving a smooth finish. It is the best compound to use on softer metals like brass, copper, aluminum and various pot metals. It can also be safely used on things like stainless steel and wood surfaces, giving the wood a lustrous finish when you are done.
White rouge compounds are a great finishing compound, particularly for harder metals like chrome and things that have been nickel plated. It will provide a light level of cutting edge to your buffing wheel giving those harder metals a brilliant shine when you are finished. Also known as a blizzard compound, it can be used provide a final finish to harder metals, or lighter cutting action on softer ones.
Water Soluble Red Rouge
This compound works in the same way that regular red rouge will: it gives a superb high quality polished finish to the metals that you use it with, and it is especially effective for use on gold, silver and other precious metals. What makes this compound unique from typical red rouge, is that it is also water soluble so breaks down much more easily and can be cleaned away just with the help of water.
Red Rouge/Jeweler’s Rouge
The red rouge compound is commonly referred to as jeweler’s rouge because it is used extensively by jewelers and because of the unsurpassed level of high quality polishing it provides to gold, silver and many other precious metals. In very little time, this rouge will reveal the true colors of each metal, and they will shine like new. It is also safe to use on pieces that have thin layers of plating.
This green rouge is a compound that is designed to provide a high luster finish on hard and soft metals. While this compound can easily and safely be used on hard and soft metals, it works best on things like chrome, stainless steel, and platinum, which is the reason that sometimes this compound is known as Stainless Steel compound. It will leave a brighter and better finish than you will get with a white rouge compound.
Tan Bobbing Compound
The tan bobbing compound is known for its fast cutting action, making quick work of removing light scratches and things like fire-scale from metal. It is an ideal pre-polishing compound, easily smoothing the surface of the precious metals like gold and silver to ready the surface for polishing. It works best when it is used with a buffing wheel, brush and lap work machine.
Polinum is a rouge that is commonly known as Orange-Glow. This is a specialty compound was designed to allow you to polish platinum, white gold, yellow gold, and stainless steel. It provides a powerful polishing action that produces an unbelievable sparkling gloss to your metals. Originally designed to be used on watch cases and watch bands, Polinum is great for watchmakers and is frequently used by Rolex repairmen to bring a watch back up to its original luster.
This compound was engineered just for working on platinum. It provides an unmatched polishing shine to platinum jewelry and metals, as well as giving other precious metals like gold a beautiful glimmer.
Fabulustre is a unique and specialty one step buffing and polishing compound. It was designed to provide a high luster finish to all kinds of precious metals from gold to silver, as well as other decorative metals. The compound easily removes light scratches to produce a mirror-bright final finish to your work piece in no time at all without discoloring while you work.
Zam is another specialty compound designed uniquely for working on silver and turquoise jewelry. The special formulation is gentle and will not scratch the delicate stones, making it ideal to use on jewelry that you need to polish but could not easily remove the stones to protect them from harsher polishing compounds. It leaves a high luster finish without a residue making it a versatile polishing compound.