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Hand polished fine silver


#1

Hello all,

I’m getting to know the properties of.999 silver as best I can.

I would like to know the hand way of achieving the highest possible
polish to the surface of the metal.

with O-1 blades I use progressions of finer and finer grit sand and
finishing papers on a hard block. I understand and am familiar with
the workings of the polishing wheel, and have sworn it off.

so, now I need to fill in some blanks.

note: I’m not stupid about not using machines. it’s just a different
process I’m not interested in at present. I use a tumbler to work
harden parts sometimes… my intent is to produce a hand signature. and
so far, machines are not a sizable part of that. if I can’t go to the
beach and work, I’ll probably just go to the beach and not get
anything done, haha, so it’s hand power for now…

thanks,
Jim


#2
I'm getting to know the properties of .999 silver as best I can. I
would like to know the hand way of achieving the highest possible
polish to the surface of the metal. 

Burnishing’s a favourite of mine on fine sil. Rub a polished steel
burnisher hard into the surface.

Easiest for edges, and for making ‘lines of shine’ in contrast to a
nearby satin surface. But I’ve had kids sit there and burnish the
whole fruit.

Brian
Auckland
New Zealand
www.adam.co.nz


#3

Jim,

Nothing wrong with all hand work especially when sitting on the
beach. Unless you have strong reasons for 999 use 925 sterling. It is
much easier and more forgiving. Work hardening 999 with a tumbler is
more an illusion in the eyes of the be holder, even with 925 it is
only skin deep.

Polishing with sweat or electricity is pretty much the same
procedure. Don’t put bad assed marks in the metal in the first place.
Files are your friends, especially really fine ones after the coarse
ones. By hand you might want to use an extra grit of emery paper but
all those dozens of ever finer grits are over kill. Tripoli or
bobbing followed by a slightly cutting rouge.

jefffD
Demand Designs
Analog/Digital Modelling & Goldsmithing
http://www.gmavt.net/~jdemand


#4
I'm getting to know the properties of.999 silver as best I can. I
would like to know the hand way of achieving the highest possible
polish to the surface of the metal. 

There was a time in my life when I worked at a tool maker in the
facility which produced tiny switches used in aero-space industry. The
shop was asked to participate in industrial exhibition. I was not
directly involved in the project, but I could observe. The team
selected for the project made a cube 10 centimeter per side ( 4
inches ), composed of 1000 smaller cubes of 1 centimeter per side.
When those 1000 cubes were put together, they formed larger cube of
precisely 10 centimeters per side and the precision was such that it
was impossible to take it apart by regular means. The cubes were held
together by atmospheric pressure.

The method of achieving such a precision was quite ingenious. Two
cast iron plates were hand ground against each other with diamond
abrasive until fit was airtight. Abrasive was retrieved and metal
particles were removed by magnet. The abrasive and the plates were
used to achieve final polish on cubes.

What is interesting about this method is how simple hand techniques
can achieve results that would challenge the most sophisticated
machine shop.

Leonid Surpin
www.studioarete.com


#5

Hi Jim,

Any reason why you’re using such a soft metal? I didn’t realise how
soft the metal was until I started to play with it too.

You’re using O-1 which is a good material for a working knife, so
I’m thinking that the polish that you put on your fine silver
fittings will get marked really quickly, on a working blade.

So if you could fill in the blanks that would be helpful.

Regards Charles A.


#6

I use 320 grit paper followed by 1500 grit, and tumble in a rotary
tumbler with steel shot.


#7

I have used fine silver inlay and cast silver bronze in art knives,
but there’s not much place for it on a serious working knife. on a
knife that will be used in the field, one must accept scaring of any
softer metals used in the design. my survival knives are O-1, no
bolster, and bolted or para-cord handles. not much to fail.

my current fascination with .999 silver revolves around fusing. so
I’m accepting fine Silver’s butter soft properties as compared to
tool-steel. other than as needed tool building, I’m not working with
steel at the moment. I’m concentrating on fusing chain ring, and
discovering the design environment that fusing presents.

already, I’m finding a need for silver solder, to join some
surfaces, which I was hoping to avoid.

copper thermite doesn’t seem to be much of an alternative. : )

Jim


#8

Copper thermite would leave you with a puddle of silver, and if not
cautious a hole in your floor.

Do you have nay pictures of your work you’d care to share?

Regards Charles A.
P.S. My arm aches at the moment, I’ve been playing with 52100 :frowning:


#9

Jim,

my current fascination with .999 silver revolves around fusing. so
I'm accepting fine Silver's butter soft properties 

Consider using Argentium silver instead of.999 silver. You’ll gain
hardness and even easier fusing capabilities than fine silver.
Argentium fuses very easily to itself and many other metals with a
little flux (I use Firescoff).

Good Luck,
Jamie


#10
Consider using Argentium silver instead of .999 silver. You'll
gain hardness and even easier fusing capabilities than fine silver.
Argentium fuses very easily to itself and many other metals with a
little flux (I use Firescoff). 

There’s no licensee in Australia at the moment, but as soon as there
is I’ll be buying Argentium.

Regards Charles A.


#11

Jim,

already, I'm finding a need for silver solder, to join some
surfaces, which I was hoping to avoid. copper thermite doesn't
seem to be much of an alternative. : ) 

I’ve had very good results with using PMC silver as a gap filler
prior to fusing with my butane torch, then hammering the joint to
spring hardness.

Andrew Jonathan Fine