Jim, I always use the yellow tripoli before using the red jeweler's rouge.
I found I get the best bright polish when I use the sand paper up to 400,
then use a blue, then a green, silicon wheel (I believe the brand name is
silicon softies) then use the tripoli, finally the red, the finish is
flawless (except when I get those #$%^&%#@&*! tiny pits). Its important to
make sure ALL of the tripoli is off of the jewelry before putting on the red
rouge wheel or you'll contaminate it and never get it scratch free.
The first time that I responded to this thread I didn't notice that
there was mention of pits. The question seemed to me to be about the
annoying properties that allow gold solder to be pulled from seams when
rouged in the direction of the seam.
Pitting is an altogether different problem. There are two solutions
to pitting that I was taught. First, make sure that the seam it clean. A
little rouge or tripoli in the seam will cause nothing but problems. Rouge
is even used as an anti-solder. Watch for contamination. Second, don't heat
the solder. Heat the metal you are trying to solder. Get the metal hot
enough to accept the solder. Heating the solder has a tendency to force gas
into it, much like carbonating water.
If one has done the best one can do at the two above suggestions,
and one still has pits, run a sawblade through it and try again. If you are
too lazy to do this, (bare in mind that a seam with pits is not of optimal
strength), burnish the pits during finishing. A hand burnisher or an old bur
ground to rounded, and high polished surfaces like a ball peen hammer and
run on the flexible shaft.
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