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Alternative polishing methods

I would like to hear of alternative polishing methods also. I have
been using a tumbler for my chains and it works like a charm.
However, with pieces of jewelry that need to have both matte and
polished sections, what do you do? In my home shop I really do not
want a big polishing lathe.

So far I have used the 3M radial discs in inches and after the pale
green one, the finest, I burnish with an agate burnisher. This works
very well but not compared to the tumble polishing which is just
dazzling glitter.

Thanks in advance, this list is incomparable for education.

Connie Langan

Hi Connie,

Would you mind sharing what it is you use in your tumbler? At home I
use a rotary tumbler with stainless steel shot and Dawn dishwashing
liquid. Just can’t get the same shine as when using the classroom
tumbler with Rio’s burnishing liquid. Just wondering if there was a
household chemical that would do the trick before ordering the
official stuff.

Cyndy Wolf

Hi Cyndy,

I also use stainless steel shot, water (enough to cover the shot
plus 1 inch) and blue Dawn. I get an amazing shine. I use it mostly
for chainmail jewelry: chains. For smoothness and shine it’s


Cyndy - the reason that the Rio stuff works is because it is
designed for the job. It has surficants and cleaning agents and is
the right pH for using with steel. The dishwashing liquid has the
cleaning stuff, but not the others.

IMHO just use the stuff designed for the process. It’s relatively
cheap, and as you have discovered, works noticeably better than soap.

Judy Hoch