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Caking of Polish


#1

Evening All, Why does the polish cake up on the workpiece? Why does
adding more polish remove the caked-up stuff ? Am doing a large, three
inch diameter brass and copper, piece and have a lot of caked up,
fingernail removed Zam.

Is there an advantage in heavy pressure when polishing?

Should the workpiece be allowed to get hot or does the polishing
action work better on a cooler piece?

Is there a better cleanup technique than a nylon brush,soap and hot
water? Not to forget the wooden toothpicks for the crevasse?

Does anyone have the thread on the 'air eraser"?

Thanks.

Bill in Vista
Sweltering in 75 degrees


#2

To William Eisenberg

The best solution that I have found for removing caked polishing
compound is to put baby oil on the work piece where ever you have
spots of compound. The polishing compound comes off right away, it
has no ill effect on the wheel and its great for your fingers. I like
the cream baby oil. You can buy any cheap brand at your grocery
store. If your work piece is hard to hold put the baby oil on very
small sections at a time.

Happy Smithing

Cathy Wheless
www.cathywheless.com
@Cathy_Wheless


#3

I can’t answer all of your questions, but my opinion is that
relatively heavy pressure (short of the point where your bench
grinder stops rotating!) on your pieces will probably help in the
polishing process. I don’t think that the piece being hot or cold
makes much difference. I trust you are wearing leather gloves while
holding the piece for polishing. As for cleaning off caked polish
afterwards, I use a pyrex dish on a little hotplate, filled with
water (the dish, not the hotplate), dish detergent, and ammonia. I
drop my (base metal) pieces into the warm solution after polishing,
and then (wearing rubber gloves) I use an old toothbrush, fingernail
brush, and/or an old nylon scrubber pad to scrub all the caked polish
off. If it doesn’t seem to be working well, add more detergent
and/or ammonia. I rarely have to resort to toothpicks or fingernails
to get the remainder of the polishing medium off. Rinse and dry
immediately. Hope this helps. Judy Bjorkman 3/17/00
@JLBjorkman


#4

william - i keep a squirt can of lighter fluid out of harm’s way &
drop a dab on flat surfaces with black polish residue & for complex
surfaces i spray on a household cleaner & scrub lightly with an old
toothbrush. (my partner’s if he’s ‘goosed’ me lately while i am
soldering) ive


#5

I have been able to eliminate caked polish using my Sonicare
toothbrush. This is a magnetic ultrasonic device which does a great
job on plaque and even better on jewelry. It also removes polishes,
such as cerium oxide, stuck in stones after polishing. The brushes
should be replaced every six months for dental use, so I have a lot of
old brushes for cleaning. It works on soft materials in settings,
such as opal and pearls, which would normally be off limits to
ultrasonic cleaning.

It’s pretty cheap as a toothbrush and available at most discount
warehouses. I imagine if a company relabled it as a jewelry tool the
price would go way up.

John McLaughlin
Glendale, Arizona
@John_McLaughlin


#6

Evening All, Why does the polish cake up on the workpiece? Why does
adding more polish remove the caked-up stuff ? Am doing a large,
three inch diameter brass and copper, piece and have a lot of caked
up, fingernail removed Zam.

I think you are using too much. You might try raking your buffing
wheel.

Is there an advantage in heavy pressure when polishing?

Actually, using more pressure can make the wheel more likely to
’grab’ the piece you are trying to polish.

Should the workpiece be allowed to get hot or does the polishing
action work better on a cooler piece?

I dont think the heat affects the polishing. However, it can make
the piece difficult to hold onto.

Is there a better cleanup technique than a nylon brush,soap and hot
water? Not to forget the wooden toothpicks for the crevasse?

have you tried an ultrasonic?

Michael / QuestFox


#7

In answer to Bill’s question about cleanup - adding ammonia to the
soap and water works wonders.


#8

Hello - Am catching up on earlier posts here. When doing larger
pieces - ie: forged spoons or any raised work - I will first clean off
the buff with an old large used file. While the buff is on
(spinning), hold the file securely in two hands and angle the side
edge back and forth applying a good amount of pressure - rotating the
file edge slightly to clean off the compound over the complete
polishing surface of the buff. Be careful and conscious when doing
this process. Cleaning the buff with the file also helps to remove
excess compound buildup and also any small metal particles that are
imbedded in the buffing wheel. Those particles can create havoc on a
clean surface - look like little comets. And then add just enough
compound on the wheel to do the job. A drop of kerosene directly
placed on the piece to be polished works well in dispersing the
compound on the work - preventing the caking. I keep an old
eyedropper bottle next to the polishing machine. Just a drop -
directly on the piece - helps to smooth the compound beautifully and
do a very even job of polishing. Then go to the ultrasonic.
Personally, I do still use the dishsoap/ammonia/water ultrasonic
solution. Have tried a more ecologically sound one on the market -
but found the old standby solution more effective. For larger pieces

  • I would recommend picking up a larger jewelers brush rather than
    using a toothbrush for washing off compound. I have not worked with
    Zam- my steps are bobbing, white diamond and then rouge - if a higher
    polish is needed. Works beautifully with the final polish. I would
    imagine this technique would work with the different compounds. Hope
    the info is useful. Cynthia

#9

Hello Cynthia

Allow me a little addition to your cleaning solution.The use of
ammonia in cleaning solution is a real good thing and cleans very
well,but… you DO NOT want to use this cleaning solution with
oil-treated stones like emeralds nor with pearl or opals.Same rule
for ultrasonic use on those type of gems.Ionic cleaners are much
better.

Regards Pedro
Palonso@t-online.de


#10

I’ve also found that ammonia bath is detrimental to sterling that has
been antiqued with liver of sulpher. The blacking tends to get
eliminated. For patinated siover, I just use very hot soapy water to
clean off the buffing compound.

Cheers
Virginia Lyons


#11
 I just use very hot soapy water to clean off the buffing compound. 

I have found that WD40 works really well (suggesting that the binder
is oil soluble). The piece can then be wash in warm soapy water.


#12
I've also found that ammonia bath is detrimental to sterling that has
been antiqued with liver of sulpher. 

G’day; Ammonia is an excellent solvent for many silver compounds,
including the silver sulphide from ‘antiquing’ with ‘liver of
sulphur’. Use normal cleaning agents. (soap, detergents, etc.) –

John Burgess; @John_Burgess2 of Mapua Nelson NZ


#13

Hi Virginia and Pedro - Yes, it is good to mention the cautions of
using an ammonia sudsy cleaning solution. By mistake, I once gave a
piece of amber a beautiful matte finish - was actually a pretty nice
finish, but I don’t recommend it - unless it is a desired affect!
There are several occasions to be careful with stones and ammonia.
There have been previous in depth threads on Orchid on ultrasonic
solutions. You know, I don’t have trouble with the solution removing
liver of sulphur from my pieces. Hmmm. Perhaps it is determined by
the thickness of application of the oxidation. I generally do not
leave the pieces in very long. Using hot sudsy water is certainly
safer. Thanks for adding the complexities of a solution to the response

  • it is always better to be extremely thorough when writing to Orchid.
    Cynthia

#14

Ammonia also doesn’t work on copper or brass. Try Simple Green. Works
with green rouge, anyway. Rene Roberts