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Buying a polishing machine


#1

Hello,

I’m new to Orchid and have been enjoying all the recent posts - what
a nice group and what a wealth of I’m a beginning
silversmith and am enjoying it immensely. I have been making beaded
jewelry for several years and turned to silversmithing because I
wanted to make my own findings - and I’m hooked with a passion.

I’ve been assembling a studio, a few tools at a time and am now in
need of a polishing motor. I haven’t a clue about what to buy - and
as I haven’t won the lottery price is a factor. I have catalogs
from Rio Grande, Otto Frei and Gesswein and the more I read them the
more questions I have. I hope some of you will indulge me with your
advice.

I like the 1/6 horsepower Foredom Bench Motor - the price is right
-and the variable speed and double spindles are appealing - because
I wouldn’t have to change wheels as often as with a single spindle.
But I wonder if the Compact Bench top dust collector models (Both
Rio and Otto Frei offer a similar model) would be a better choice as
it has a 1/2 hp and is about the same price. It’s a single spindle

  • but has replaceable filters which aren’t free! Although the
    Foredom doesn’t seem to have any dust collection at all - just
    hoods.

So what do you all advise in this price range? I make small pieces,
mostly pendants and earrings , rings - although I might be tempted
to try cuff bracelets at some point. I’m not a full-time jewelry
maker (yet) still keeping my day job for the present! Also I
noticed that there are differences in spindles - some are tapered
and some are straight. What’s the difference,
advantage/disadvantage? What kind should I get and why - or is it
that they are for different applications and the straight spindle
doesn’t apply for a polisher - I did warn you that I don’t have a
clue!

Advance thanks for any and all advice.

Louisa

Louisa Jones
Summer Kitchen Studio
www.summerkitchenstudio.com


#2

Louisa,

Whatever you do, get a dust collector. The single, tapered mandrel
is fine.(you get very fast at changing wheels) I would even
reccomend hooking a shop-vac to the back of the dust collector and
sucking the air and dust away in a stronger manner. Do not breathe
rouge. I have had the single one for 30 years. I now have it in my
home workshop and a baldor lathe plus a one horsepower dust
collector in my workshop at store.

Michael
www.kelseysasyoulikeit.com


#3

Hi Michael,

Thanks very much for the advise. It’s welcome and I think it makes
sense - both for me and because my studio is in our house - and I’d
rather make jewelry than clean! And a shop vac sounds good too.
Thanks for writing

Louisa
in New Hampshire where it’s snowing - again!
www.summerkitchenstudio.com


#4

Louisa,

I do not recommend the Foredom Bench Motor. That little 1/6th hp
motor has no torque power at all. It runs fast but if you are
buffing any piece of any size at all, the motor just bogs down.

I definately recommend a 1/3 to 1/2 hp motor, preferably with
slow/high and off speeds. It should have a dust collector though you
should not depend on it completely. It will trap the larger particles
but the fine stuff will just be blown around. Therefore, a dust mask
is a good idea no matter what you buy. There is nothing wrong with
the single spindle machines…just a little bothersome thats all.
But you learn to live with it.

Cheers from Don at The Charles Belle Studio in SOFL where simple
elegance IS fine jewelry! dcdeietz@comcast.net


#5

Hi Don,

Thanks very much for the recommendation not to buy the Foredom -
it’s helpful to know the downside of things, and it’s now been
crossed off my list of potentials and dust collection has definitely
been added as a result of the responses I’ve had from folks on
Orchid - which may be named for a flower, but is in fact a gold
mine! Thanks again.

Louisa
in New Hampshire where we have sun!
www.summerkitchenstudio.com