First slightly work harden your pieces in stainless steel, then
fine abrasive vibe, then steel again, then finish in a vibratory
tumbler with dry media and Simichrome for 36 hours. Voila! A
stunning, flawless mirror finish. And it works every time.
If you want the best finish possible avoid the tumbler. If you want
a Passable, shiny finish without excessive work, then tumble away.
Angelo, A short lesson on compounds:
Bobbing compound; an aggressive and fast cutting pre-polish compound
good for removing faint scars and scratches as well as firescale, as
long as it is minor, otherwise go back to emery.
Tripoli; a less aggressive pre-polish compound often used just
before final buffing with rouge. takes longer to remove scratches
White diamond; a finer cutting compound than tripoli that leaves a
finer surface but not as good as rouge.
Zam; a crocus compound with a result between rouge and an actual
cutting compound. Used around harder stones after setting to remove
the last of the tool marks or scratches, but will cut/damage soft
stones. Some people use it as a final step instead of rouge but it
leaves a somewhat hazy polish on the metal.
Fabulustre; similar to Zam. Handy for polishing plastic watch
Rouge; the final polish for most jewelers looking for the best
finish. Red rouge is traditional and leaves a good color on gold.
Green is better for white metals, especially harder metals like
chrome or steel. Black is used for harder metals as well and some
people like the color it imparts to silver better than the color red
rouge imparts to it. Blue is popular for gold finishing in Europe.
Empty muslin buff; Some people take this last step and run a clean
buff over the metal for extra gleam on the surface.