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[again] Polishing Amber


#1

I would like to refinish an amber cab that has some scratches. What
is the safest way to polish amber?

Thanks
AnastasiA


#2

AnastasiA, Amber is very soft as you know. Gentle pressure is needed
to polish it. I use a clean cooton buff and Zam. Low speed, light
pressure, on a foredom flexshaft. Gerry Galarneau


#3

Hi, I have had excellent success polishing out scratches with Zam (a
commercial silver polish sold in stick) on a muslin buff.

Regards,
Barbara W. Smigel, Ph.D
Colored Stone Graduate, GIA
Artistic Colored Stones
850 S. Rancho Dr. #2387
Las Vegas, Nevada 89106
(702) 382-0694
Web site: http://www.allweb.com/acs/


#4

I bought a pound of rough amber at a rock show a couple of months
ago. The fellow who sold it to me said that he used a leather lap with
water only for the final polish. Haven’t had time to experiment yet. Geo.


#5

You can polish it the same way you polish silver but you must not
never put it in hot water because it breaks.I am from Greece and my
english are not so good so amber is polished on the polished machine(i
dont know how you call it)with round brushes.First you work it with
the brush that has plastic hair and with some kind of soap.This is
stealing also amber so you have to be careful and after you polish it
with cotton brush and polishing cream.You clean it with a piece of
soft cloth.You can take also rough amber shape it
with sand paper and after polish it and you have special results


#6

Zam is a great way to polish the “softer” materials, but make sure
you use a dust mask . Zam can cause an allergic reaction for some
individuals.( I think it is the CrO agent). Will Estavillo


#7

Hello AnastasiA, Polish amber on a buff with tripoli or bobbing
compound. Don’t buff hard. Just do it lightly to avoid heat. Amber
doesn’t like heat or pressure. So few of us do. Tom Arnold


#8

Anastasia, one thing I have stumbled across works very well for
fitting replacemnt stones to their settings, light trimming, or
erasing scratches in amber, particularly the clear kind where a high
polish to the repair is needed. To make dimensional changes, a file
or mounted slip with sandpaper on it does a good job. Once the shape
is right and the heavy scratches removed, try very lightly using a
"gold flash" silicone wheel w/a flat edge in your flex shaft. Be
careful to keep your speed down and use a very light touch for short
passes. Above all else do allow more heat to build up than is
comfortable against the more sensitive skin of your neck, or inside
forearm-for instance. You’ll get a nice high luster again w/out
having to the to the polishing room or spend a lot of time hand
polishing. Good luck,

Lawrence


#9

I have tried finishing Amber 2/3 times… with sand paper, wheels,
etc… maybe I am burning it … but how do you start the shaping
of amber Zam, tripoli, finishing… but can’t seem to get a decient
start… Thanks, jim


#10

Years ago, I put a large, white scratch in an amber ring. Used a
rouge cloth and polished it by hand. Worked great and didn’t take
off too much. Still wear the ring and still occasionally use the
rouge cloth to remove scratches.

Good luck,
Kitti on the Olympic Peninsula


#11

Jim- For rough shaping use a file or small rasp, then medium grit
sandpaper-by hand, on a stick, then you can use a silicone wheel(soft
white flexie)that has coarse silicone carbide grit in it, then
medium(green), then the special part is the high flash final
polishing wheel for a high gloss. The wheels are tricky-keep it
slow, light and very short passes. The amber will burn, even crack,
or melt, if you aren’t gentle. Test the amber with your figers or
cheek-use water-from the sandpaper stage on down-above all keep it
cool, man…hehe. Hope it helps.

Donal


#12

I’ve read a lot of messages about how people are saying don’t use
this or don’t use that. I use a Genie. Yes, a Diamond Pacific Genie!
Just don’t go any finer than 1200! And make sure to use lots of water.
I haven’t had to use Zap or tripoli to get a nice polish, either. I
have used cerium oxide with positive results on a soft leather wheel.

To shape the piece, I use the most aggressive wheel on the Genie.
Sorry, I can’t remember what the grit is, but it’s enough to shape
agate, marble, jasper, quartz, just about everything. Once the rough
shape is ground, I move to the 600 wheel, and no coarser. If you have
access to a Genie, it’s reliable, it’s safe, and it’s quick.


#13
    For rough shaping use a file or small rasp, then medium grit
sandpaper-by hand, on a stick, then you can use a silicone
wheel(soft white flexie)that has coarse silicone carbide grit in it,
then medium(green), then the special part is the high flash final
polishing wheel for a high gloss.   

Donal, What do you mean by… high flash… and what is the 'green’
wheel. . . I have tried silicone wheels …guess I was too impatient…
to fast … thanks, jimc