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Bombing - alternative


#1

With all the postings re. cyanide bombing, here’s an alternative
that works pretty well, though not giving the dramatic results of
bombing. Get some of those brass brushes that are mounted on
small mandrils for flexshaft use and brush the piece with
pressure from all possible angles using a soapy water solution to
wet it. You’d be surprised how well this penetrates crevices. If
you use the soap you don’t get a brass deposit on the surface. I
do some final touches by brightcutting with a very fine knife
edge graver in those spots that I was unable to reach with the
brush.

It’s a little bit messy with the soapy water, but I don’t use
cyanides and get great results. The guy who apprenticed me lost
part of his vision in one eye from a minute splatter of cyanide
during the bombing process. I do however understand the careful
use of poisons in our profession. Just treat them with respect
and avoid them when you can.

Tom Tietze- Artisan Workshop
Jewelry School & Creations
Fresno, California


#2

I really prefer my magnetic tumbler. I have bombed in the past
but can’t get past the image of the guy tied up in a chair with
the gas rising slowly to kill him. Yikes.

Mark P.


#3
      I really prefer my magnetic tumbler. I have bombed in
the past but can't get past the image of the guy tied up in a
chair with  the gas rising slowly to kill him. Yikes. 

Just remember the rest of the image. First, he’s there for some
very very good reasons, one would hope. Don’t duplicate those
reasons. Second, remember that under the seat is a whole bucket
of Hydrochloric acid, into which have been dropped a whole bunch
of sodium cyanide eggs. They’re not using small amounts, and
they’re kinda breaking the biggest cardinal rule of cyanide use:
Don’t mix the stuff with acids. So long as you don’t break this
rule as well, then bombing will not resemble your image…

And here’s hoping all those intensely strong magnets with their
rapidly spinning magnetic fields aren’t someday found to cause
cancer in users… (big grin. I’m kidding here folks. REALLY.)
You’re right about the mag tumblers being really cool tools. On
the other hand, the bombing produces a result that can be better
on some items, actively removes fire scale (such as on white
golds, especially, where they can be quite nasty to get off), and
will polish into areas that even the magnetic pins cannot reach,
such as the interior surfaces of the finest chains. And should
you have , say, a hollow rope chain with open seamed links,
you’ll have a lot less trouble with the gaps filling up with the
damned little steel pins… And most important, You can bomb
your jewelry at a cost that’s got significantly fewer zeros in it
than the rather impressive cost of those tumblers.

Peter Rowe
Seattle