Hello, I have two big finishing dilemmas right now. I apologize if these are repeats, but I’ve done weeks of reading and haven’t found answers. While I have found a ton of useful info, my questions are extremely granular and get glossed over in what I’ve seen so far.
- White post-pickle residue.
I broke down and got a magnetic pin polisher and it does a great job of getting the white pure silver layer out of the nooks and crannies… most of them. I have spent dozens of hours experimenting with various felt, bristle, and 3M radial bits and attachments on my Dremel flexshaft. I still can’t manage to get it all out and it’s driving me nuts. Check out my bee ring: https://i.imgur.com/z7dA8d6.jpg
I’m proud of it and I really want to show it off, but after dropping it in the liver of sulphur, the leftover white layer becomes visible as a white to light orange color in the wing veins of the bee, a ring around the base of the stone settings, and on the baseplate where the bee legs connect. I did so much polishing on the amber setting that I have lost much of the scrollwork detail, and I’m afraid of losing detail on the bee as well.
How do I deal with this? Is there a minimum grit that’s known to eat up pure silver while being as kind as possible to the sterling? Am I leaving my pieces in the pickle too long?
- Smooth, flat texture and excess solder
I have been branching out from rings to big pendants, which means large flat areas. I cannot afford a buffing wheel until I make some sales.
Here is an example of what I’m up against now: https://i.imgur.com/ZIBDWoV.jpg
This is what it looks like after 2 rounds of 3M radials after the pin polisher (220 red, then 400 blue). It’s done a good job of removing that pin polisher texture, but I’m left with these swirls. Will these patchy swirls work themselves out as I progress through the grits? What if I don’t want a mirror finish? Should I switch to felt or fluffy bits after using the radials to go around the settings/balls/skull?
My more recent soldering work is more restrained in terms of solder placement and quantity (like the bee ring), but how can I remove the excess solder around the bezel and balls on this?
If you’re still here, thanks for reading all that. I have never taken a class, I have learned everything from blogs and youtube.