The 'black stuff' on the jewelry you are buffing is excess rouge or
tripoli being redeposited on the work surfaces by dirty wheels.
If you are hand fabricating, tripoli may be unnecessary. It is very
greasy, and unless completely cleaned off, will linger and foul up
your rouge step causing it to be ineffective.
The following technique is unorthodox, but extremely effective, and
once you get the hang of it, fast!
Try using Zam for both scratch removal, and for polishing. Use two
wheels - one on your left spindle, and one on the right. If you only
have one spindle, you can change wheels as needed.
Use 6" yellow treated 'razor edge' wheels, load one up with Zam, and
keep it loaded (this works best when you let the compound do the work
and maintain a firm but sensitive hold on your work). This wheel will
be your cutting and polishing wheel.
The second wheel is your cleaning wheel, and will remove excess
compound and keep your workpieces clean.
Split the stitching on the second wheel almost down to the core
(where the wheel goes on to the spindle). this is done by taking a
sharp knife like a box cutter, separating the layers at the center,
and cutting through the first three of the four or five layers of
thread that hold the layers of treated muslin together.
Just pull the thread out with your fingers after it has been cut
through to avoid having it fly in your face when you put the wheel on
REMEMBER TO ALWAYS WEAR SAFETY GLASSES WHEN YOUR ARE WORKING!
Fluff the second wheel by holding an old file against it and fraying
the muslin (best wear a dust mask for this because fibers will be
flying everywhere unless you have a very good vacuum going).
Use the first wheel to polish the piece, and the second to removes
excess compound from the surface. Remember to keep the first wheel
loaded with compound, and to dress the second with an old file when
it starts to collect compound. This system works like a charm, and is
the easiest way to buff I have yet encountered.
Any remaining residue can be gently cleaned off with a soft boars
bristle brush (or a soft bristle tooth brush) and Dawn dishwashing
liquid. Be sure to wear rubber gloves to keep your hands from drying
out, and rinse your pieces thoroughly under running water! Use an old
t-shirt (clean & soft) to gently dry the work pieces.
M. M. Rogers Design
Albuquerque NM, USA