I have been metalsmithing for a few years now, but I’m still trying to find the right process for obtaining a mirror finish without any seen scratches on larger pieces. I work mostly with sterling silver. With pieces that have a flat surface area about 1 square inch and bigger i.e. a pendant, I cannot seem to get all the scratches out, and I’m not sure what I am doing wrong. I of course do not see the scratches until the very end when I apply the red rouge.
These are my normal steps to finishing
I use the radial colored sunburst sanding discs on my flex shaft
I start with 80 grit, 120, 220, 400 and then 6 micron
from here I use Tripoli- with my flex shaft I apply it using a stoddard soft bristle brush
I then clean the piece in my ultrasonic and then finish with rouge
if I’m not using my flex shaft, I do have a durabull polishing cabinet that I use for the last two steps, but I still cannot get out the scratches, and when I keep going back, the problem just seems to get worse
am I missing a step? and I not not sanding enough or too much? any advice would be so helpful. thank you!