Need advice on tumbling media

Hi, I have had a tumbler for a short while now and acting on advice
from a friend I have been using ceramic media. After finding that
it gives a frosted looking finish rather than a bright polish I
started trying to find out what is best to use… this is what I
understand from my research, can someone please confirm or deny that
this is correct:

First, use ceramic media as an abrasive media to clean up casts etc
and also (?) to work on firescale.

Second, use steel shot as a burnishing medium for a bright polish.

Third, use rouge impregnated walnut shells for a high brigh finish.

Also, can someone please explain how the rouge and walnut shells
should be used? Is this meant to be used dry with the walnut shells
and powdered rouge? I read in a catalogue that is should be used
dry with steel shot - is this correct?


Porcelain burnishing media (2mm + 4mm balls from Rio Grande) works
very well for burnishing, but only if you break-in the media by
running it day and night for a week (mix in distilled water,
burnishing compound and some scrap metal). Until that time it acts
as a mild abrasive and will produce a frosted effect. Instead, use
a fine cut plastic media (distilled water, deburring compound),
followed by distilled water, burnishing compound and either
stainless steel shot or porcelain media for a final finish. I use
porcelain media for a piece with a bezel so that the bezel strip is
not as work hardened as it is with steel shot. Hope this helps.

The rouge impregnated walnut shells will drive you crazy. It’s tiny
bits of shell that get impacted in every crack and crevice of your
pieces. You spend much time digging it out with fine end tweezers.
The end result isn’t worth it. I find that stainless steel shot
gives a fabulous finish. The secret is, Keep your shot clean. If
its muddy it doesn’t work as well. I have learned that “Simple
Green” that you can buy in your grocery store is the absolute best
for cleaning.