If ever there were a Hall of Fame for jeweler’s tools the vibratory
tumbler would be a prime candidate for inclusion…I have been
using vibratory tumblers of various types for thirty years and they
are absolutely indispensable.
Your problem of maintaining the appearance of silver inventory is
easily solved by using the simple method of burnishing your stock
with ceramic media using any vibratory tumbler ! The only catch to
this method is that of BREAKING IN the media.I have never found any
ceramic media which had been prepolished and have always had to
accomplish this by using a ROTARY tumbler. You can skip the first
coarse grit and go directly to 220 grit and, thence, through the
whole regimen of successive stages. Once polished, these media will
last indefinitely when used to burnish jewelry in the vibratory. It
is a simple matter of combining a small amount of water charged with
liquid detergent and allowing the jewelry to stay in the tumbler for
about a half hour. It is best not to combine dis-similar metals. (
The method is very effective for gold as well ) The number of items
which you can do simultaneously depends on the size of the
tumbler…the smaller tumblers can usually do about twenty five
rings at a time. Do not use an excessive amount of liquid as this
seems to impair the action of the tumbler. Usually about a cup full
of liquid will suffice. The method is oustandingly effective for
chains but some types reguire that you connect the chain end to end
and drape it around the centerpost so that it does not kink or knot.
The aforementioned procedure is also very effective for freshly
produced jewelry…it is especially effective for doing the insides
of rings. In this regard you will find that more operating time may
be required. It is also critical that your choice of media be the
SMALLER size BIAS cut cylinders. Cleaning of the media is usually not
required very often unless you are doing continuous large batches.
Cleaning is a simple matter of placing the media in a large seive and
allowing running water to circulate through them while agitating them
with your hand.
When you get this procedure down “pat” you will be embarrassed that
you have wasted so much of your past time on futile efforts and, if
you place a value on your time, you will be richer…or maybe I
should say, more profitable ! Ron at Mills Gem, Los Osos, CA.
P.S. I wrote to you awhile back about your vintage pill boxes and
never got an answer…Que pasa ?