Karen from the Flex Shaft book here!
With regard to your Mizzy wheel, unless you are really grinding off
some serious imperfections, it is an aggressive abrasive. I wouldn’t
consider this as a “polishing” step, as its intended use is for a
hump left over on a sprue, or a very nasty deep gash, and even the
latter, I don’t think I would use a Mizzy for this.
There are several alternatives you can explore. However, what
exactly are you polishing? Datapoint for all of you in Orchid land in
asking questions. Describe in the best detail you can on your
problem. I have an silver ring, which is highly detailed, has three 1
carat diamonds in a channel setting and I need to polish this puppy.
Now you have informed the readership to give you more accurate
assistance. I only say this, because you should have seen my
questions when I started here. LOL
Rio Grande sells the blue AdvantEdge blue silicon wheel, which is
a good first step in polishing, as it is loaded with grit (don’t know
the grit content, as I don’t have my book in front of me!), but I’m
guessing aluminum carbide, to give you the first round of polishing
on a small surface. However, there are alternatives to begin
polishing besides rubber wheels.
Depending on the complexity of your design, the amount of
crevices, hills and valleys, you might look at the 3M Radial Bristle
discs as your beginning point for polishing. Even in the heavier
sized, the 3/4 inch yellow, brown or green, when brought up to speed,
(depress your flexshaft pedal 3/4 the way down), and a light touch,
gently “abrades” the metal reducing scratches. Work your way through
the colors with the bristles in grit until you reach the minty green
one which is very gentle and will bring your piece to a near perfect
Remember those safety glasses and dust mask!
Important operation protocol. The bristles like and need to be
stacked. A minimum of 3 on the heavy larger bristles and a minimum of
5 on the tiny ones. They like to party and be part of a collective,
so let them.
Direction is crucial. When you look at the bristle, the little
bristles should be pointing to the LEFT. This picture has them going
in both directions and that is counter productive to your polishing
If your piece has wider surface areas, like rolling hills and
flat portions, 3M wet and dry sandpaper in a split mandrel with a
touch of water will do a very nice job for the pre-polish. Start with
320 and work your way to 600.
final polish can also be done with the Advantedge wheels in the
finer grit. These are very good wheels available from Rio Grande and
I recommend them highly.
Polishing compounds. There is nothing so frustrating than
purchasing your lovely stitched cotton buff flexshaft accessory,
loading it up with either Tripoli, rouge or the polishing compound of
your choice and having tiny bits of cotton shrapnel go flying across
the room at mach speed.
Buffing wheel prep (large and small).
With a butane lighter, hold your mounted buff accessory in one hand
and the lighter in the other and lick the flame onto the buff. The
intention is for it to catch fire, and burn off the little stringy
bits. It is not to meant completely incinerate your buff. When it
burns slightly, extinguish the burning buff on a hard flame retardant
surface. If you still find stringy bits, re-ignite. If not, you are
done. It will look a bit charred and dismayed, but don’t worry, it is
ready for loading your compound.
Here’s a little tip. Go find an empty Altoids box, clean and dry
thoroughly. Cut off some chunks of rouge and place them in the
bottom of the box. Put the canister in a tray in your regular oven
set at 100 degrees or “warm”, or in your toaster oven. The tallow in
the compound will begin to slowly melt. Once it is soft, take an
offset pallet knife (plastic is fine) or even the back of a spoon,
and spread it out evenly in the Altoids can. Allow it to cool. Now
you have a nifty container to dunk your buff without getting your
hands dirty with the added feature of it being portable and
No crossing buffs! Like the movie Ghostbusters, crossing the
streams of energy is bad. This relates to buffs too. Imagine brushing
your teeth with kitchen cleanser. Same idea.
Hope this helps.