Back to Ganoksin | FAQ | Contact

Orange peel finish problems in tumbling


I am having issues with my sterling silver pieces come out with
orange peel and haze even after the following processes in a
vibratory tumbler:

  1. Green pyramid
  2. Blue cone
  3. Yellow fine pyramid
  4. Mixed steel shot burnish (no steel pins)

My questions:

  1. Can I fix it by not starting from scratch i.e. running it through
    the 4 processes?

  2. Is my burnishing liquid dirty? I wash the media with soap after
    each use… When do I have to change the solution?

Any suggestions and pointers greatly appreciated.

Hello Jeanette,

Pickup a copy of

Tumble Finishing For Handmade Jewelry-Mass Finishing On A Small
Scale By Judy Hoch. It’s good book on the subject. You should be
changing your tumbler surfactant (soap) with each different abrasive
to eliminate small metal and abrasive particles from re embedding in
the work piece surfaces. I mix new surfactant for each charge and
change my burnishing soap each time I reload the tumbler. A flow
through bowl might help your problem assuming your using a heavy duty
bowl style tumbler, you might also try dry polishing with walnut
shell charged with rouge or chrome oxide after burnishing. Large high
polished flat areas may still require a quick hit on a loose rouge
buff after tumbling though. Results vary depending on tumbler type,
work piece shape, media shape and size etcetera. There is a right
combination out there. Finding it will pay big dividends it saved
time in a production situation. Check out the book: I’m a satisfied

Michael Edwards