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High shine on silver


#1

Hi folks,

What do you find the best way to get a high shine on silver,
especially larger flat surfaces. Thank you!


#2

pretty basically I use yellow bobbing compound (no affiliation Rio
Sunsheen Bobbing Compound) and finish with Zam keep all buff wheels
marked and use separate ones for each compound and don’t overload
them and clean the piece between each compound step is how I was
taught. Then for intricate pieces I finish the polishing with my
Foredom using 3M Radial Bristle Disc


#3

I make flat sterling silver bracelets up to 1.5 inches in width.
Getting a high polish on them is hard. Start with stock that is as
flat as possible. A light pass thru the roller may enhance this. Do
all of your stamping first. I then sand with progressive grits
starting with 220 if there are imperfections to be leveled, then
400, then 600. I do this on a 6" expandable lapidary wheel with wide
sanding belts and enough coolant to keep it cool. You can collect
the swarth and recycle it. These steps can also be done by hand.
Polish on a big buff with tripoli. This is where you will spend most
of your time. Take your time, but don’t stop until it is evenly
polished. Be sure to look at it in day light at different angles.
Scratches and fire scale hide on you. If you find an area that needs
more work, mark it with a sharpie so that you don’t forget where it
is. Then give it a quick buff with rouge or some other coloring
polish. Don’t forget the edges. They should get the same sequence of
events. I also do the bracelet back as if it were the front. In the
case of bracelets, they then get bent to shape. This may cause the
need to go back and touch up some spots with tripoli. Another final
rouge step and you are ready to wash. I use a solution of hot water,
ammonia, and a little dish detergent, scrubbing with a soft used
toothbrush. When I make a piece, I figure at least half of my time
will be spent polishing. It is also the first job and test that I had
working with my father forty two years ago. He wouldn’tlet me sit at
the bench until I could polish. I use the same basic set of steps for
any piece I make regardless of size with the possible exception of
all of the sanding. Finally, even if the piece is going to be
textured in some way, I still do a high polish first and then make
sure that my texturing hammers and anvil are as smooth and clean as
they can be. Keep in mind that texturing will work harden the metal.
This may be good or bad and you have to factor any annealing step and
the resulting possible fire scale into your plan. That’s about it.
Have fun. Rob

Rob Meixner


#4

Polish. Follow the program through coarse to finer compounds. Make
sure your wheels are not cross contaminated with grit. But ultimately
you decide when the goal is achieved.


#5

I was having a real challenge, even after carefully preparing the
piece for final polish - still had fine scratches when finished. I
had a very experienced jeweler recommend I go by the auto store and
pick up chrome polish paste. Works wonderfully! I get a beautiful
mirror finish!

Cheers!
Donna W.
Huntsville, AL, USA


#6

Hi Donna,

I was having a real challenge, even after carefully preparing the
piece for final polish - still had fine scratches when finished. I
had a very experienced jeweler  recommend I go by the auto store
and pick up chrome polish paste. Works wonderfully! I get a
beautiful mirror finish! 

Did you use the polish machine with the chrome polish paste?, if so
what kind of wheel you used, linen, cotton or wool?

Any one else has thoughts on this creative use of chrome paste?

Peter
Spain


#7

Years ago, I was working for a trucking company in Leesburg, VA
prior to getting a CDL. Clarence had 8 KW tractors with aluminum
wheels. My job was to clean them. He handed me a large bag of flour
and a tea towel. It worked but it was a ton of work. After that we
used a tin of wadding for metal, infused with polish and then buffed
with a large hand held buffer. I landed on my kiester several times
just trying to hold on to the buffer but those tires were like
glass.

When I was given some large silver plate trays a few years ago I
used this method to clean and polish them because trying to fit them
under my Arbe didn’t work. The key is not to use too much and burn
everything into the surface. I still use this method carefully on
some pieces, and am always amazed at the results. Particularly good
on brass, copper and sterling.

Dinah


#8

Donna,

That chrome polish paste may have wax or some other brightener as an
ingredient. Any polish that brightens chrome is probably too harsh on
silver. I use Mother’s Mag and Aluminum Polish to remove rust from my
steel tools, and I can guarantee it has no rouge in it even though
it leaves a high gloss finish.

Those fine scratches may be due to a dirty buff or the type of buff
you’re using. I use fine muslin.

On the rare occasions I use rouge or the higher finish of pure
chrome green, I vacuum my polishing enclosure first. That way I know
that coarser particulate won’t land on the piece I’m polishing.

Also, I keep my rouge and pure chrome greed buffs and compounds in
separate plastic covered containers.

I hope this helps.

Jeff Herman
Hermansilver.com


#9

Good to know! I was just fretting over a similar issue myself.
Thanks for the tip.

Cheers!
Becky


#10

Dear Peter,

I will always defer to Jeffrey Herman, especially regarding anything
silver as he is the expert. I do use an untreated tight muslin buff.

I have a friend spending the holidays in Barcelona this year. Are
you anywhere near there?

Mr. Herman,

I use Blue Magic brand for chrome, aluminum, and mag wheels. It
states it is for use on stainless steel, fiberglass, brass, copper,
gold, and silver, but it also states it leaves a silicone film for
protection - is that okay? I never noticed that detail before.

I learn something every time I read this forum!

Happy holidays!
Donna W.
Huntsville, AL, USA


#11

Wadding is made for chrome and aluminum, not silver, and especially
not silver-plate! Once again, if you visit my Silver Polish Abrasion
Ratings at http://www.ganoksin.com/gnkurl/ep8090

you’ll find exactly where your polish rates. I’m not looking for
polishing jobs, folks, I’m only trying to offer my 30-years of
knowledge in the conservation field. Do NOT listen to someone who
polishes aluminum wheels!

Please stop passing on bogus

Jeff Herman


#12

meant to say RIMS-not tires LOL this is what happens when you have an
early day at work. :). I think you get the idea.

Dinah


#13

Hello Donna,

Please call me Jeff (my father was Mr. Herman).

I know about Blue Magic, but I haven’t tried it. Regarding the
silicone, it should be fine for protecting silver, but I would
hesitate using it on anything that would come in contact with food,
such as flatware, since there may be toxic ingredients also left
behind. But here again, regardless of the protectant, any polish
that states it can polish aluminum, copper, and brass is going to be
WAY too abrasive for silver. Always consult my Silver Polish Abrasion
Ratings page, and especially what polishes not to use which can
found here: http://www.ganoksin.com/gnkurl/ep81ph

Happy Holiday’s to you, too!

Jeff Herman
Hermansilver.com


#14
Regarding the silicone, it should be fine for protecting silver,
but I would hesitate using it on anything that would come in
contact with food, such as flatware, since there may be toxic
ingredients also left behind. 

There is food grade silicone spray.
Most of us eat it every day. Used in “manufactured” “food”.


#15

Not to mention that there’s a lot of silicone baking cookware
other there- cookie sheets, cupcake pans, specialty cake molds, etc.,
not to mention candy molds & such. It’s the go-to nonstick surface du
jour at the moment. I’d bet it’s at least less toxic than whatever
nonstick coating they used in my old pots & pans.

Sharon,
Metalsmith, Artist, Chaos Magnet


#16
Wadding is made for chrome and aluminum, not silver, and
especially not silver-plate! 

Silvo and Brasso for silver and brass come in wadding form as well
as liquid form. Janet in Jerusalem


#17
Silvo and Brasso for silver and brass come in wadding form as well
as liquid form.

They’re ALL bad for precious metals unless you’re a restorer who
needs to reproduce an antique look on an object.

Jeff Herman
Hermansilver.com