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More hand damage questions


#1

I’m doing something thats not good for my hands and wonder if
what you guys do. When I polish my pieces I bring them into the
bathroom and put it into ammonia straight from the bottle and
wash the polish residue off with a toothbrush and rag. I end up
breathing the stuff and its really rough on my hands. Trouble is
its real quick to clean the piece up that way especially when
going through three or four polish compounds. Do you guys use
ultrasonics to get the residue off or do you wear gloves or
what? Any suggestions? Dave

Art Jewelry for Conscious People
http://www.opendoor.com/stephensdesign/crystalguy.html


#2

Hi Dave, This does sound a bit extreme. You could seriously
damagae your health! How big are the pieces you are cleaning.
Have you thought of buying an ultrasonic cleaner, very effective.
You could try washing up liquid in hot water.

Richard
UK


#3

Try using white vinegar instead of the ammonia, sure it won’t
cut the compounds as fast but, it won’t do the same to your
fingers. T Goodwin @tmn8tr


#4

Dave:

For years we used a crock pot with water, ammonia, and lemon joy
to clean jewelry with a brush. I think some rather substantial
rubber gloves were in order here as the water is hot. We used a
plastic bucket with holes drilled into it to submerse the pieces
and to get them heated to facilitate removal of the polishing
compounds. We now use an ultrasonic to clean our jewelry. I could
never find a brush that would not scratch highly polished
surfaces and many of the brushes on the market would literally
fall apart. They just don’t make things like they used to.

Keep up the good work and take care of your hands.

P.S I just read somewhere that a dermatologist has declared
Crisco to be a good skin cream. I haven’t tried that one yet.

Kenneth Gastineau
@Kenneth_Gastineau1


#5

Dave,

While you still have hands left to write out a check, buy an
ultrasonic with a heater ( or you can make one - check the
archives for details). Plan your work so that you can leave
pieces in the cleaner while you work on something else. You will
find it much more productive. I used to waste way too much of my
time at the kitchen sink removing polishing compound. Now I
have the luxury of a nice new ultrasonic and a steam cleaner that
I was able to pick up used. It’s amazing how much better life
becomes with the right tools. If you find a used ultrasonic
check it out carefully. Most people keep them until they are
essentialy useless. The mechanism that creates the vibration
does wear out. I think you can get them refurbished, but I have
no idea where or how much it costs. When I opened our store,
that was the only piece of equipment I purchased new.

Good luck, and remember, without full use of your hands, you
can’t make jewelry. Protect them.

Sharon Ziemek


#6

I use liquid Ivory and a soft toothbrush. It seems to get off
tripoli and rouge without residue and is a little easier on my
lungs and my hands than ammonia

Larry Hammons
Cheyenne Wy


#7

Dave, Try this, have a stainless steel pot with a lid on low. In
the pot have water, some dishwashing liquid and some household
ammonia. About one tablespoon per cup of water in the pot in the
morning (ammonia breaks down to water with time).

Put your objects in the pot after polishing, then dip a
toothbrush into the warm mixture and clean the polish residue off
your hands. While you are doing this (1-2 minutes) the grease
(lard0 in the compound is softened and released by the mixture
and the heat, then scrub off your object, dipping it in the
solution. You can use gloves if you like while doing this. This
is less intense than what you are doing. Also, try different
compounds, some production work is best done with only one,
perhaps Zam or Fabuluster, but you should be able to change your
working procedure to only have two, a cutting one (tripoli,
bobbing, fabuluster etc) and a polishing one (an appropriate
rouge). If you are having to remove damage from your object by
polishing change your working procedure-remember don’t put a
mark in the work unless you want it there. Sometimes people spend
time removing damage they themselves have done to the work. For
isntance when emerying take the fine emery, try it-if it doesn’t
do the job, then try the medium, if not then the coarse-if you
start with coarse you put more damage in than you started with.

If you have to wait a minute or so and let things soak (whether
in the above system or in an ultrasonic) then stagger your
working sequences so you can keep on working on another part or
component while your objects are soaking.

good luck

Charles

Brain Press
Box 1624, Ste M, Calgary, Alberta, T2P 2L7, Canada
Tel: 403-263-3955 Fax: 403-283-9053 Email: @Charles_Lewton-Brain

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Links list hosted at the Metal Web News:
http://tbr.state.tn.us/~wgray/jewelry/jewelry-link.html


#8

Dear Dave Good gosh man buy an ultrasonic. A 1 quart heated unit
will cost around 150.00 or less if you can find a special. There
areven smaller unheated units that cost around 59.00 and will get
fairly hot if left on for a while. The higher the wattage on a
unit the more vigorus the cleaning action. I use dish washing
detergent and ammonia mixed with water. It will when hot clean
most pieces within seconds. They are worth the money and will
save you time and brain cells if you are using pure ammonia in
the sink to clean with. Do not put your hands into an ultrasonic
though. Repeated exposure to bare skin while it is in operation
can cause bone marrow problems later in life one of which is
cancer. Also do not put anything on the bottom of the tank in
the center. This is where the ultrasonic resonator is located. An
object on the bottom of the tank will reflect the wave cavatation
back down into the resonator and cause the ceramic wafers to
seperate. Then you have no more ultrasonic action. It can be
fixed though by someone who knows how, such as the manufacturer.
I tried it once and failed. Anyway I digress, get an ultrasonic
they are worth it. once you use one you will never go back.
RED


#9

Dave, buy one of those little jewelry cleaners (ultrasonic) at
your local discount drug store. I got one for about $8.00 . . .
I put the ammonia on one side of it, and clear water in the other
side (it has two basins) and use the little plastic basket for
easy pick-up. It works for me!


#10

When my hands and nails are completely blackened, and even with
a brush and any kind of soap, (even Wisk or Tide) and I still
can’t show my hands in public, I hop in our spa, that has
bromine in it, and my hands come out fairly clean! Once, when
the ph was way off on the acidic side, (I didn’t know it then) my
hands came out really clean! So I would assume that if you
drop your work in a mildly acidic solution with maybe a hint of
bromine or chlorine, you might have a good cleanser. PLEASE
check with a person who has a chemistry-oriented mind, before you
mix anything. As for me, my skin didn’t dissolve, and I was able
to work at my other job without embarrassment the next day!

Ruth


#11

Does it really power off gobs of tripoli in recessed areas
quicklly or do you have to brush it too? Dave

Art Jewelry for Conscious People
http://www.opendoor.com/stephensdesign/crystalguy.html


#12

Sharon:

I was told GIA did not recommend ultrasonic because of possible
flaws in stones, expecially diamonds. Can you clarify?

For general …two separate studies over the past 10
years have found that plain petroleum jelly is the best skin
conditioner. Unfortunately does leave a coating so one of the
products containing it might be next best. I use Vasoline
Intensive Care.

Thanks,
Gayle

Gayle


#13

F> I would assume that if you
F> drop your work in a mildly acidic solution with maybe a hint of
F> bromine or chlorine, you might have a good cleanser.

G’day; Household bleach, and/or swimming-pool bleach is made
commercially by dissolving chlorine gas in a solution of caustic
soda. If you make an alkaline chlorine solution even mildly
acidic you will lose most of the chlorine. Another bleaching
agent is Hydrogen Peroxide - but that too needs to be alkaline
Thus cleaning one’s hands in a bleach isn’t a terribly good
thing as alkalis will certainly roughen them. HOWEVER! my wife
finds her hands get very ingrained with dirt from working in the
garden and in the kitchen. (she is Head Gardener as well as
Senior Cook and Chief Accountant…) So she washes them in
dilute household bleach when they get really bad, but applies
Vaseline Intensive Care at very frequent intervals during the
day. Me? Well, I happily suffer grimy hands for a while, but find
that the goop which car mechanics use works extremely well, but I
then have to use the hand cream too, and that reallyworks as they
say on TV. Grimy hands are (one) sign you’ve been doing
something, aint it? Cheers (wiv mooky 'ands)

        /\
       / /    John Burgess, 
      / /
     / //\    @John_Burgess2
    / / \ \
   / (___) \
  (_________)

#14

Does it really power off gobs of tripoli in recessed areas
quicklly or do you have to brush it too?

The second you turn the unit on, you can watch the compound
floating away from your piece. It’s a little bit of heaven on
earth for those of us who have previously had to scrub our
pieces.

Sharon


#15

I was told GIA did not recommend ultrasonic because of possible
flaws in stones, expecially diamonds. Can you clarify?

The first place I ever used an ultrasonic was at the GIA
workshops that I took. It is true that they are not good for
every stone, for example, opals and emeralds and ultrasonic don’t
work. Highly flawed stones, i.e. stones which by nature have a
fractured structure, like emeralds, will tend to break in the
ultrasonic. If I understand correctly, diamonds are only a
concern if they are severly fractured (I2 or I3 clarity)and the
feathers break the surface, especially if they break both the
crown and pavilion surface (top & bottom). Another problem
arises in fracture filled diamonds, in which the filling may be
effected by the heat and the ultrasonic, if left in for a long
time. I personally wish someone would compile a list of stones
which can and cannot be placed in an ultrasonic safely. If I am
ever in doubt, I just dip the piece into the cleaner with it
turned off and use a toothbrush. The heated cleaner still seems
to work well at loosening polishing compound.

Hope I haven’t added to the confusion. If we have any GIA
instructors lurking about, maybe they could add some advise.

Sharon


#16

Does it really power off gobs of tripoli in recessed areas
quicklly or do you have to brush it too?

Dave, if you can afford it, I would recommend either an L & R or
an Elma ultrasonic. I have used both and they are very good
units. The Elma unit is the best investment I have ever
purchased. Manufactured in Germany, it operates on a lower
frequency, which causes a greater cavitation and cleans very
dirty items in seconds. It also has a thicker tank with welded
seams so it should last for many years. I would also recommend
that you get a heated unit - which will greatly speed up the
process and there is no need for brushing.

Ken


#17

< Does it really power off gobs of tripoli in recessed areas
< quicklly or do you have to brush it too? Dave

My little $8.00 “Ultrasonic” does remove most of the ZAM. I do
wipe with a soft towel after the rinsing step. The cleaner I
have has two little bowls and a basket type thingie . … first
you put the items in the side which says, “clean” and then
transfer into the part which says “rinse.” I use HOT water and a
good jewelry cleaner and let it go for about a half hour.

I have used a brush afterwards, but nothing else ever came off .
. .


#18

Well, that may be fine for just cleaning up your jewelry but I
need something FAST, like almost instantaneously to power off
bobbing compound, and tripoli. I work on pieces one at a time
usually and have no time to wait. I’ve looked at the recommended
ultrasonics and they are just too expensive for me right now, I
wonder if those little 80 dollar jobs are worth even messing
with? Dave

Art Jewelry for Conscious People
http://www.opendoor.com/stephensdesign/crystalguy.html


#19

Dave,

A new ultrasonic with heater will do the job in a matter of
seconds. I don’t know what you can work with for a budget, but
JS Ritter in Portland, Maine has a 1/2 gal Grobet with heater for
$268.50. I don’t know if that price is current or not but you
could give them a call if you are interested. Their number is:
800-962-1468. If you can swing the money, it is well worth the
investment.

Sharon Ziemek


#20

Well, that may be fine for just cleaning up your jewelry but I
need something FAST, like almost instantaneously to power off
bobbing compound, and tripoli. I work on pieces one at a time
usually and have no time to wait. I’ve looked at the recommended
ultrasonics and they are just too expensive for me right now, I
wonder if those little 80 dollar jobs are worth even messing
with? Dave

This is just my 2 bits. I have always used an ultrasonic
cleaner. My last purchase was a Gemoro(synonymous with cheap)
about 5 years ago. I think that ot cost me $240. Ran strong when
I got it and it’s still running strong. When I started in this
business, I think an ultrasonic cleaner was about a thousand
bucks. They were worth it then. Take the plunge. It’s worth it.

Bruce D. Holmgrain E-mail: Manmountaindense@Knight-Hub.com WWW:
http://www.knight-hub.com/manmtndense/bhh3.htm Snail Mail: POB 7972,
McLean, VA 22106