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Buffing Tracks and Metal Stamping


#1

This is a question regarding buffing. I’m presently regaining the
expertise in jewelry making that I held 20 years ago, while in
graduate school. Regarding buffing, my problem is that my finished
pieces (silver) have, for want of a better word, “buffer tracks” on
the metal. In other words, rather than a fine, mirror shine surface, I
can see where the buffing wheel went.

I buff with tripoli first, then for the final buffs, I use rouge. I
use the hard felt wheel (about 1/2" wide)rather than the soft layered
wheel because the softer wheel buffs away the areas I want to remain
oxidized with liver of sulphur. Any suggestions?

Secondly, I am looking for a metal that is thin enough to stamp
easily with decorative stampings.

  1. Which gauge would be thick enough to hold shape, yet thin enough
    to be curved with the hands if one really tried?

  2. What type of metal would be recommended?

I was considering nickel.

Thank you very much for any suggestions that you might have in mind.
Best Regards, Sara Colburn


#2
I use the hard felt wheel (about 1/2" wide)rather than the soft
layered wheel because the softer wheel buffs away the areas I want
to remain oxidized with liver of sulphur. 

Sara, I don’t know the best way to preserve your patina, but I do
know that felt wheels will put scratches in sterling silver. To get a
mirror finish, you’ll have to switch to soft buffs.

Beth


#3

Sara, is it work which you can rotate around and polish in different
directions? if so, then

  1. while buffing turn the piece 90 degrees both to left and right,
    and buff there while looking for signs of track mark erasure. buffit
    from different directions.

  2. use a smaller or softer wheel.

  3. use slower rpm setting on buff motor if possible

  4. keep the buff combed. a fluffy buff with fresh compound couldnt be
    overstated-look at the buff, is there much shinyness on the face? if
    there is, its metal buildup, it will effectivly track mark your
    jewelry if you let it, particularly when the wheel is worn down to the
    thread. time to cut the thread or get rid of the buff.

    theres alot more I’d probably like to learn about it, & I think
    these are important basic disciplines, but what know is allways the
    most important skill of anything is to notice any changes that occur.
    anything. look at the metal and tools alot & continue to ask yourself
    (hopefully) ‘what is happening here’ about anything. you can find ways
    to make it do what you want. *by the way are there many people out
    there doing buffing with a decelerated motor? takes a little longer but
    its very nondestructive…


#4
  I use the hard felt wheel (about 1/2" wide)rather than the soft 
layered wheel because the softer wheel buffs away the areas I want 
to remain oxidized with liver of sulphur.

I have always polished my piece to its final polishing stage first
and then oxidized. After oxidizing, you can usually repolish the area
you want to highlight fairly easily either by hand (I use an old
fashioned fingernail buffer made of Chamois) or using a soft wheel
without removing much of the oxidation. But, of course, I guess it
depends on the intricacy of the design and where the oxidation occurs
and how big the piece is. I guess you’ll just have to try all kinds
of things Good luck.

Kay


#5

Hey all, To eliminate compounds from caking up on my pieces, I first
regularly rake the buff, and after applying my compound to the wheel,
I apply a dash of kerosene with an acid brush. Works like a charm…

Also, thanks to all for your inquiries and especially your orders!
More satisfied customers wanted :slight_smile:

Mark Moretti Personalized casting services for designers,
metalsmiths and small jewelers. Fredericksburg, VA

www.auagcast.com