Rouge polishes not by abrasion but by burnishing the metal. A 6"
wheel would be more effective than a 1" wheel, only because the
surface speed of the wheel is greater on the larger wheel. Sure, I
also use a 1" wheel because it will allow me to polish small areas,
but I always finish with a 6" wheel for luster. Since I’m polishing
twice, this may not be the fastest production method, but I like the
final result better than just using the small wheel alone.
Of course, I guess it would also depend on the size of the pieces
that you work on. If you only work on tiny granulated pieces, you
will probably never have the need to use a large wheel. If you work
on silver tea pots, a 10" wheel is a good final choice.
A 1" wheel will also throw less dust into the air than a 6" wheel, so
if you are working in a confined area and your dust collection system
is less that perfect, I think I would go with smaller wheels solely
for health reasons. You should also use a smaller dust collection
hood or a “fish-mouth” hood for maximum efficiency.
If you are having problems with things being pulled from your fingers
by the speed of the wheel, there are several things you can do. I
often use a ring stick to hold rings, or a piece of leather, even a
bent paper clip to hold small “charms.” I have also lined the bottom
and back of my polishing hood with styrofoam. That way, if things do
go flying, they don’t go very far. Often, they just stick to the
foam. The white surface also makes it easier to see the surface that