I am relatively new to silversmithing and will be producing Argentium sterling silver chains. I’ve been doing a bunch of research and have found different information so I thought it’d be a good idea to ask on here what the best methods for mass finishing the chains would be. I have a rotary tumbler so I’ve formulated the following steps from a series of resources.
- (Finishing chain) File and sand
- Tumble with steel shot
- Tumble with plastic media, a mix of cones and pyramids ***I am unsure for this step as to whether I should do so with medium cut or fine if anyone can offer insight
- Tumble with dry media and rouge, I’ll likely be using walnut shells
- Since it is Argentium I will be oven hardening it to get the most benefit out of the germanium this will be followed by a pickle to remove any extra copper or discoloration
- Final tumble in steel shot
- Final polish with Goddard’s Silver polish and cloth
Now i am unsure as to whether this is overkill as far as polishing is concerned but this is essentially a combination of mass finishing recommendations I found from research and recommendations made by Cynthia Eid made both on this website and in her publications. I am also unsure as to whether a simple hand wash will suffice between steps 4. and 5. to remove any excess polish before oven hardening or if I should invest in an ultrasonic cleaner to do that.
If you could please comment your advise, approvals or changes it would be greatly appreciated.