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Confused about the polishing order


#1

Hi,

I’m confused about the order I should be using some compounds, (or
some not at all) when polishing sterling. I’ve been using (in this
order, after sanding to 600 grit) Tripoli, then red rouge. But then
I’ve also got Fabulusture and Zam, and sometimes get get good
results with them. When do I use them, if at all?

To confuse things ever further, I just bought a set of 3M Radial
Discs, and, starting at 400 Grit, worked my way down to 1 micron,
only to find swirl marks still in my piece, which I removed with red
rouge. (though I do think this was because I used 3M 9/16 wheels, vrs
4" wheel with red rouge on a flat surface.) I do like them, though,
and they’re a lot cleaner to use.

My goal is to get as bright, mirror-like surface on silver that I can
get. Anyone want to share what works for them?

Thanks for your help
Angelo Giaimo


#2

Angelo- I go from very fine emery to tripoli, zam, then blue rouge.

Have fun and make lots of jewelry.
Jo Haemer
www.tmothywgreen.com


#3
My goal is to get as bright, mirror-like surface on silver that I
can get. Anyone want to share what works for them? 

Angelo - think outside the box. You can do this far more predictably
with mass finishing.

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.

Work smarter.
Judy Hoch


#4

Hi, Judy.

Could you please explain that process a little more in depth. Sounds
like it will cut loads of time off my typical laborious
hand-polishing. Hand-polishing is killing me time-wise.

You say “work harden your pieces in stainless”. What is the process
for this? And how long do you do it? And what machine would I have
to buy?

Fine abrasive vibe? How long? Again, please explain the process and
the machine I’d have to buy.

And, finally, if you could give the same info for the final step of
the vibratory tumbler that would be great.

Thank you very much!


#5

Judy can you be more specific and explain each step and what is
exactly used.

Thanks
Cal


#6
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
and firescale.

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
"crystals."

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.

Ray Brown


#7

Hello John and Cal,

Please understand that I am not the Judy who responded to the
original polishing question - although it would be a huge compliment
to be mistaken for her. ANYway, to answer your questions and many
others that will come up, order the little book, “Tumble-Finishing
for Handmade Jewelry,” by Judy Hoch. It very clearly explains the
procedures and discusses equipment. It’s a great addition to your
library. I believe that Rio carries it and the price is very
reasonable.

Not the author, but a satisfied user,

Judy in Kansas, who is now waiting for those April showers to bring
seeds to life.


#8

order the little book, “Tumble-Finishing
for Handmade Jewelry,” by Judy Hoch. It very clearly explains the
procedures and discusses equipment.

Thanks, Judy. But I don’t really have the time or inclination for
another book. I was hoping to get a solid explanation on here
without having to buy another book and try to find time to read it.
LOL.


#9

John

I missed your original post, here’s my stab

I used Triploi a brush attached to the polishing machine to remove
scratches, then used a 6" or smaller STICTHCED buff with tripoli on
it to get a “baby’s butt smooth” surface.

I liked “yellow” glow" over rouge to give a polish with an
UNSTICTHED buff. I then had Oakite in boiling water to loosen up
stuff, then ultrasonic, I had 2 ultrasonics, one for compound removal
and then a final ultrasonic cleaning before steaming.

David Geller
www.jewelerprofit.com


#10

John & Cal, I will second the advice from Judy W. about Judy H. about
Judy H.s book. I was just a tad unsure about ordering said book…
what kind of comes in a book with so few pages
(generally) SO SO glad I kicked it up. And SO) SO happy with the
… sorry ALL the in this little book. I just
don’t see anything but smiles after follow through with the
instructions from her book… no affiliation just happy
customer… duh can you tell… just reread my spout… still happy


#11
I used Triploi a brush attached to the polishing machine to remove
scratches, then used a 6" or smaller STICTHCED buff with tripoli
on it to get a "baby's butt smooth" surface. 

Thanks David, I did forget to mention that it’s not just the
compound but ALSO what you put it on that gives it the working
properties you wind up with.

Ray Brown


#12
I don't really have the time or inclination for another book. I
was hoping to get a solid explanation on here without having to buy
another book and try to find time to read it. 

Short cuts give short results, and there really is no
one-size-fits-all answer or there’d be no need for a book! Judy
already wrote down everything you need to know. I can understand not
wanting to spend money, but it is a small book at a small price with
a LOT of Absorbing that is something no one
can do for you, so I’d say, bite the bullet, buy the book-- and if
you’re like me, read it several times.

Noel


#13
Short cuts give short results, and there really is no
one-size-fits-all answer or there'd be no need for a book! Judy
already wrote down everything you need to know. I can understand
not wanting to spend money, but it is a small book at a small price
with a LOT of Absorbing that is something
no one can do for you, so I'd say, bite the bullet, buy the book--
and if you're like me, read it several times. 

Thanks for your advice. This is an exchange forum, so I
thought the poster could give more details as to what she posted.

I appreciate that you like her book, but, like I said, I have neither
the time nor inclination to read another book right now. I’d rather
just get a response to my specific questions instead of a pitch for a
book purchase. I’m not looking for a “one-size-fits-all” answer. I’m
looking for specific answers to the specific questions I asked. If
she doesn’t feel like answering, then that’s up to her.


#14
Short cuts give short results, and there really is no
one-size-fits-all answer or there'd be no need for a book! Judy
already wrote down everything you need to know. I can understand
not wanting to spend money, but it is a small book at a small price
with a LOT of Absorbing that is something
no one can do for you, so I'd say, bite the bullet, buy the book--
and if you're like me, read it several times. 

Read it several times. Sometimes a short sentence have all the wisdom
in the world. Am I making too much of it - I do not think so.

Have you noticed how politicians, when they making speeches,
repeating the same thing over, and over. Lawyers do the same, while
addressing juries. Ever wondered about that?

Human attention is not perfect. Experiments tells us that even the
brightest among us can only retain about 43% of reading
only once. And that means reading with complete concentration,
having trained mind, and been in good physical shape. Where does it
leaves the rest of us - it leaves us reading over and over again,
until eyes getting blurry - then taking a break and back to reading.

No matter how much you think you know, every new exposure to
will teach you something new. Mind acts like a
photographic plate. With every new exposure, the image gets more
contrast. In my school day we had a mantra.

REPETITION IS A MOTHER OF KNOWLEDGE

Leonid Surpin
www.studioarete.com


#15

Exactly, Noel. You make the point well. You said,

...there really is no one-size-fits-all answer or there'd be no
need for a book! Judy already wrote down everything you need to
know. 

There are enough variations in equipment and jewelry designs, that
this modest investment in the book will become a resource for the
future.

Judy in Kansas, who has recently replaced 18 incandescent bulbs with
CFLs.

Lighting is actually better! There are now several options for the
whiteness of light emitted. Check it out!


#16
There are enough variations in equipment and jewelry designs, that
this modest investment in the book will become a resource for the
future. 

Listen please. I DON’T WANT TO BUY THE BOOK before I get some sort
of explanation as to the machines she mentioned in her post. If the
mirror finish requires me purchasing a few more expensive machines,
then it will be USELESS for me to get the book because I will not be
able to buy those expensive machines.

So please save the pitches for the book. I asked a couple simple
questions and hopefully she’ll respond. Then, at that point, if I
don’t need a bunch of expensive machines in addition to the Lortone
tumbler that I already have then I might buy the book. Is that cool
with you guys?


#17

No, you cannot get a mirror finish from a Lortone tumbler.
There ya go.

Elaine
http://www.CreativeTextureTools.com


#18
So please save the pitches for the book. I asked a couple simple
questions and hopefully she'll respond. Then, at that point, if I
don't need a bunch of expensive machines in addition to the
Lortone tumbler that I already have then I might buy the book. Is
that cool with you guys? 

You actually asked quite a few, rather complex questions, to which
she responded retroactively by having already written a book on the
subject.

“What machines would I need to get started in mass finishing?” or
"How much money should I expect to spend setting up a small scale
mass finishing workshop" would be an example of “a couple simple
questions.”

I know jack and less than jack about mass finishing, otherwise I’d
at least try to help with the equipment question, but please
understand that even though this site is supposed to be a free
exchange of “summarize your entire book for me, I don’t
want to buy it” is an unreasonable expectation.

That being said, if you want free summaries of mass finishing
techniques, please go to http://www.ganoksin.com. Look at the side
bar, click on “Browse by Category” under “Articles” --> Click on
"Surface Manipulation" --> Click on “Polishing” --> Click on
"Tumbling."

Willis


#19

To one and all: sorry not to respond immediately. Sometimes I must
leave my studio to sell what I make. 2500 miles later after driving
thru a storm that caused semi trucks (lorries to the Brits among us)
to roll over, I’m back safely, mostly with thanks to the superior
driving of my spouse. We counted 7 trucks and more than 40 autos off
the highway.

Now to answer the questions:

Elaine - Yes you can get a perfect shine with mass finishing. How do
you suppose that all the commercial manufacturers do it? It is not
done by hand for millions of pieces.

John - The introductory that you refuse to pay for is
available from Orchid. Search all the archives - that’s one search -
for “mass finishing”. That’s the real name for tumbling.

Here in order are the links to the first few. They should give you
some idea of the process. Mass finishing is like many things,
superficially easy, and the more you know, the more it becomes an
art.

Links:

[Orchid] Mass finishing techniques
https://orchid.ganoksin.com/t/mass-finishing-techniques

[Orchid] Suitable tumbler
https://orchid.ganoksin.com/t/suitable-tumbler

[Orchid] Tumble finishing - a healthy choice
https://orchid.ganoksin.com/t/tumble-finishing-a-healthy-choice

[Orchid] Polishing Sequence & Gold recovery
https://orchid.ganoksin.com/t/polishing-sequence-gold-recovery

That’s the first few of 122 found.

What I have tried to do is adopt the commercial techniques requiring
huge expensive equipment to the needs of small studios and individual
jewelers. I am interested in superior results, produced economically,
and respecting my health, that are predictable and repeatable. It’s
not a 1,2,3 answer. If you are a hobby jeweler, you are probably not
interested in the fine points. If you are trying to make a living, it
is the best investment you can make.

Judy Hoch


#20
Yes you can get a perfect shine with mass finishing. How do you
suppose that all the commercial manufacturers do it? It is not done
by hand for millions of pieces. 

I know. I said the questioner couldn’t get a mirror finish from a
Lortone.

Elaine
http://www.CreativeTextureTools.com