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How can I get a matte finish on gold


#1

Hi again. I made my first 18K gold cast ring. Soldered on a
bezel for a rhodolite. It’s a very simple design, with faux
granules/beads surrounding the bezel. I have prefinished the
piece with a 6 cut file and 2/0 sandpaper. Before I set the
stone, I was hoping to get the group’s advice on finishing.

Ideally, I would like to get a matte finish, the way it looked
when it came back from casting. If any of you are familiar with
Barry Kieselstein-Cord’s 18K jewelry (very pricey), I like that
finish. Actually, it’s a very popular finish in commercial
jewelry. Some examples of what I am looking for from past LJ’s
– Nov 96 p.28 pin, Revere’s earrings in April 97 p. 50, earring
drops in June 96 p. 8.

I tried out satin brushes (the brass ones) in my flex shaft on
silver and wasn’t too thrilled with the look. I also tried out
the mandrels which feel like scotchbrite but found they just gave
a scratched look. Is my technique wrong – just putting the
mandrels in the flex shart and whirring around. Do I need
different wheels (if so please advise from Rio’s catalog). Is
what I’m looking for a sandblasted finish? If it is, since I
don’t have access to a sandblaster are there professional
finishing houses in NYC? And how would I protect details such as
faux granules which I would like to leave shiny. Or am I just
looking for an enriched surface and if so how would I go about
achieving that (heat/pickles as in depletion guilding of
silver?).

I wish someone would write a book about finishing techniques!!!

Thanks in advance, rd


#2

Hi RD, what you are looking for is indeed a sandblast finish.
You can protect the areas you do not wish to be blasted by
masking them off with tape or something like that. Good luck,
Mike


#3

Hi rd

You might try enriching (heat & pickle x 3). How about glass
brushing. That’s what I use. I also wear thin surgical rubber
gloves when using a glass brush. Learned the hard way what those
little slivers of glass can do!

Hope this helps.

Linda


#4

Linda,

Time to show off my ignorance again. What’s a “glass brush”?

Sharon Ziemek


#5

Time to show off my ignorance again. What’s a “glass brush”?

Tightly bundled glass fibers- useful not only for scratch
brushing metals, but also on carving wax to smooth surfaces.
there are pen sized ones with a knob for extending the refill of
glass fibers. Do wear gloves. Richard D. Hamilton

Fabricated 14k, 18k, and platinum Jewelry
wax carving, modelmaking, jewelry photography

http://www.rick-hamilton.com
@rick_hamilton


#6

How about glass brushing.

Hi Linda,

Of course, I ran to look through my tool catalogs to see what a
glass brush was. Never even heard of it before. I found 2 types
in the Frei and Borel catalog: a fiberglass one and a glass
bristle scratch brush. Both are described as removing rust and
dirt from metal as well as polishing.

I have a few questions about them.

  1. Are you talking about glass or fiberglass?
  2. Looks like they’re handheld rather than flex shaft. Is that
    true?
  3. Do they leave a scratched finish like brass mandrels or a
    matte finish. Someone else here noted that I am looking for a
    sandblasted finish. Since glass is made from sand, are the
    results comparable?

You also mentioned enriching. Do you brush with the glass brush
or brass brush along the way? Does the surface finish wear away
from wear and tear on a ring, unlike a brooch?

Sorry for all the questions. It should be obvious that I’ve got
tons to learn. Thanks for all your help, as usual.

RD


#7

I might also add here these little glass brushes are used by
architects and artists to erase ink lines off vellum, so you can
find them at a good art supply store…Dave

www.opendoor.com/stephensdesign/crystalguy.html
Crystalguy Art Jewelry, Magical Art Jewelry for the Enlightened Mind


#8

You don’t need a big sand blaster. You can buy a Passche
Airbrush (Brand Name) and use fine aluminous oxide sand. Cover
the granules with wax.

                                  Skip Meister
                                NRA Endowment and
                                   Instructor
                                @Skip_Meister
                                06/22/9700:52:33

#9

If you are constructing the ring from sheet, you could try a
sandpaper texture. You can get this by running the annealed
metal through the rolling mill with sandpaper. If you do not
have access to a rolling mill, lay the metal on a hard suface.
place the sandpaper rough side facing the metal, and hammer
enough to impress the texture.

Marilyn Smith


#10

Just goes to show you learn something new every day. I never
thought of or heard of using a glass brush on wax to smooth
finishes. Thanks Richard can’t wait to try it.

Frank


#11
You don't need a big sand blaster.  You can buy a Passche
Airbrush (Brand Name) and use fine aluminous oxide sand.  Cover
the granules with wax.

Skip: I believe the Paasche tool is called the Air Eraser if I
remember. Isn’t there a difference between a sand blaster, and a
bead blaster? Dave

www.opendoor.com/stephensdesign/crystalguy.html
Crystalguy Art Jewelry, Magical Art Jewelry for the Enlightened Mind


#12

RD, Try using a small round burr and “bouncing” it off the
surface. I use this method alot. I have some examples in the
Orchid gallery. This works really well for me when I want to
combine texture with a high polish. Wendy Newman


#13

Skip, this sounds as if it would be bad to breath and messy to
boot.

Marilyn Smith


#14

I am currently looking into a sand blaster, saw your post on
the airbrush idea. Sounds interesting tho what do you meam
cover the granules with wax?

Thanks
Deb


#15

Hi Sharron,

Tightly bundled glass fibers
pen sized ones with a knob for extending the refill of
glass fibers. Do wear gloves.

This is the kind I use. I might also add that I dip the brush in
warm soapy water with a drop of ammonia added. I use a very light
touch and sort of a circular motion on the gold. This finish is
semi-matte. If it is rubbed I’m pretty sure that it will wear to
a shine over time. It’s a really nice finish though. Very ancient
looking on 22Kt.

Linda
Red1Eagle


#16

Thanks, Linda.

Sounds like it would be good on earrings where there is little chance for
wear. Of course most of my customers seem to just throw their jewelry
around when they are not wearing it, so the finish might not last long. It
seems to be a New England thing to beat up your jewelry. No respect…

Have a great day.

Sharon


#17

Do I need
different wheels (if so please advise from Rio’s catalog). Is
what I’m looking for a sandblasted finish? If it is, since I
don’t have access to a sandblaster are there professional
finishing houses in NYC? And how would I protect details such as
faux granules which I would like to leave shiny. Or am I just
looking for an enriched surface and if so how would I go about
achieving that (heat/pickles as in depletion guilding of
silver?).

Before I bought a sandblasting cabinet and compressor, I used to
take my work to a machine shop. Most machine shops are so
equipped around here. Masking can be done with tape or bee’s
wax. It’s also possible to do some careful controled polishing
after blasting but a slip can make for an extra trip or two. In
my shop, I use glass beads instead of sand. They provide a
softer finish and won’t be so inclined to uncover porosity.

Bruce D. Holmgrain
e-mail: @Bruce_Holmgrain
http:\www.knight-hub.com\manmtndense\bhh3.htm
snail mail: pob 7972, McLean, VA 22106-7972
phone:: 703-593-4652


#18

For texturing metal I have a great home made invention. It is
like a miniture “paint stripper” thing that spins. Mine is made
with a screw type mandrel two round pieces of brass with three
"pins" sticking up about a 1/4" from the edges of the brass disk.
Guitar strings can be cut and a loop made at each end and put
over the pins - guitar strings cut about 1 1/2". A small rubber
disk is used as a spacer on the mandrel and the next disk is put
on. The whole thing fits in my Fordem shaft and spins.

My customers like the texture better than sand blasting.

Creole


#19

WOW this sounds cool, I’m going to make one tonite, what gauge
of guitar string do you usually use in this? Dave

www.opendoor.com/stephensdesign/crystalguy.html
Crystalguy Art Jewelry, Magical Art Jewelry for the Enlightened Mind


#20

Hey, I tried this tonite and yes, it does make a really cool
consistent texture on metal but want to warn people to wear eye
protection with this wheel. I tried a lighter gauge guitar
string first and the strings almost immediately disentegrated . I
tried the heaviest gauge guitar string and got even better
results but even then some of it flew off into space. I know Frei
& Borel sell a large texturing wheel like this and they stress
wearing eye protection with it. I wonder if something more sturdy
like cotter pins would work better. Or maybe coat hanger wire or
something more sturdy…Worth a try…Dave

www.opendoor.com/stephensdesign/crystalguy.html
Crystalguy Art Jewelry, Magical Art Jewelry for the Enlightened Mind