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Burnishers for kum-boo


#1

Hi everyone, I am looking for a source for Korean stainless steel
burnishers used for kum-boo. Suggestions, anyone? I have been
looking for quite some time without any success.

Thanks,
Marguerite Chiang
@guerite57


#2
    Hi everyone, I am looking for a source for Korean stainless
steel burnishers used for kum-boo. Suggestions, anyone? I have been
looking for quite some time without any success. 

Hello Marguerite; I’ve not seen any such thing on the market, perhaps
others have. If you don’t find them, why not try making your own out
of old stainless steel table utensils? (I’ve made small ones using
the tines of old forks). You can saw stainless with a 2/0 jewelers
saw blade, and it’s easier if you use a lubricant like beeswax or bur
lube. Finishing and polishing stainless is similar to working with
platinum. You need to go through several consecutively finer grades
of sandpaper, 280, 320, 400, 600, 2/0, then tripoli then rouge. I
imagine you could trim a small spoon and soften the edges of the cut
with a file, then sand and polish and you’d probably get a pretty
useful configuration. Good luck.

David L. Huffman


#3

Hello Marguerite - Any stainless steel burnisher will do. When I
took the kum-boo workshop with Komelia Okim - as I recall, she used
the standard jewelery burnishers that are available through all
suppliers. I don’t have a memory of her using burnishers
specifically from Korea.

Through trial and error, one of my favorite burnishers is a
stainless wax tool - the one with a small oval spoon shape on one end

  • with a bulge of steel just to the back of the spoon shape for the
    purpose of holding heat to keep wax melted. I polished and rounded
    any sharpness in the edges of the bowl of the spoon - to make it very
    smooth for the kum-boo process. (I no longer use this particular
    tool for wax.) When I dunk this tool in the water (as is necessary
    throughout the burnishing process) I will carry water in the bowl of
    the tiny spoon to the piece and let it bubble off while burnishing.
    The great theory here is that perhaps it keeps the steel a bit cooler
    for a little longer! At any rate, the tool works well for
    burnishing small pieces of gold.

Another of my currently favorite kum-boo tools is a broken stainless
dental tool that I rounded off by sanding and polishing the broken
end. It works great as a holding tool - by stabilizing the gold
while burnishing with the other hand. It also works well for final
touch burnishing of small bubbles. This one is just a straight tool
with a tapered end - so, the polished end is really very small.

If I am burnishing larger pieces of gold foil then I would use a
standard jeweler’s burnisher with the wooden handles. And, through
experience, I have found that keeping the burnishing tool nicely
polished makes a difference.

So, I would look just check through your tools and see what might
work and give it a try! Just clean and polish the burnishing surface
nicely. Perhaps the Korean burnishers have longer handles to keep
your hands a little further from the heat source - that would be
helpful. But, these others have worked well for me.

Cynthia


#4

Hi Marguerite, I am using stainless steel dental wax "shaper"
which has a good “barely rounded” surface… works quite well,
however has anyone used an agate burnisher? Cheers

Felicity in wintry West Oz.


#5

To Marguerite and all Although I do not do kum-boo right now, I have
noticed the letters on the subject.

Just for additional there is a wonderful article in the
July edition of the Lapidary Journal Magazine about making agate
burnishers for bezels and kum-boo. In that article they mentioned
also that the foils do not stick to agate no matter how hot they get
which means you do not have to continually dip them in water to cool
them. Also stated is that they are even less likely to tear or
scratch anything that the metal (even polished) ones can.

Karen Bahr “the Rocklady”


#6

Hi Marguerite,

      Hi everyone, I am looking for a source for Korean stainless
steel burnishers used for kum-boo. Suggestions, anyone? I have
been looking for quite some time without any success. 

Have you considered using an agate or other stone burnisher? Stone
burnishers typically don’t heat up as fast as stainless or other
metal burnishers when burnishing kum-boo. This increases the time the
burnisher can be used between cooling times.

Dave


#7
    Hi everyone, I am looking for a source for Korean stainless
steel burnishers used for kum-boo. Suggestions, anyone? I have been
looking for quite some time without any success. 

I, like several other people, prefer the wax ‘spoon’ shape the best.
Also, a good burnisher is a straight awl needle generally used in
basket weaving, with one end stuck into a dowel rod. It has a small
rounded end that allows you to get into tiny valleys of reticulation.
I’ve found wearing a leather glove on the working hand helps to keep
it from getting too toasty.


#8

Marguerite I don’t have an answer to your question, but I do have a
question for you. I have been doing kum-boo for several years and
have been using a standard burnisher i.e. about $5.00 available at
all jewellery suppliers. I have been getting really good results
with it. Could you please explain what the advantage a Korean
stainless steel burnisher is?

Thanks
Milt Fischbein
Calgary Alberta
(Where the G8 is being held next week)