Metalsmiths--How do I build a polishing machine from a washing machine motor?

I am trying, as a beginner metalsmith, to set up a work shop(on a limited budget). I have googled and know it is possible to make a buffing machine from a washing machine motor, but I have not been able to find detailed instructions. I would be greatful for any input anyone can offer. In addition, I would love any information regarding “tricks of the trade” dealing with jewery making and workshop creation. Thanks.

It’s relatively easy, though with the price of cheap import bench grinders these days, you’re not saving a bunch.

The main thing you’ll need is an arbor, like this one. (Not a recommendation for that site, just the first listing Google pulled up as an example.) This slips onto the shaft of the washing machine motor and locks on with a couple of set screws.

Then a buffing wheel attaches to the threaded nose using the two washers and a nut.

Mounting the motor to a bench is a pure Do-It-Yourself proposition, you’ll have to finagle some sort of strap iron, angle iron, wood or even sheetmetal bracketry to hold it down. washer motors also tend to be “open frame” motors, meaning the innards are pretty well exposed, allowing in dust, grit, fingers and other dangly bits.

You’ll also need to get a metal electrical box and a lightswitch to wire up the power. Again, it’s a DIY- there’s no “one right way” to do it, the only requirements are safety and proper wiring techniques.

Then again, you can call up places like Harbor Freight or the local K-Mart and get a decent (though not great) for $35 to $45.