As for favorite polishing compounds, I work with base metals and only
use White Diamond. No need for rouge, etc. It works really well on
brass and nickel-silver. (Sometimes, however, the surface of copper
is "blurred" -- does anyone have a suggestion for getting a mirror
finish on copper?)
Around 1980, when I was in southern California and (I think) Rio
Grande had an outlet there, some gentleman working there recommended
White Diamond and thereby saved me an enormous amount of time. I
still remember his kindness.
As for cleaning after polishing, I use the same system described by
For cleaning after polishing I use sudsy ammonia. It is excellent
for cutting through the waxy base in rouge and tripole. I buy my
sudsy ammonia in the grocery store for about $2 for 4 litres.
Much less expensive than any jewellers cleaning solution. I keep
the cleaner warm by placing a small amount in a baby food jar. The
jar goes into an old pot that has a few inches of water in it,
which I keep on a hot plate set on low. I use old tooth brushes to
lightly brush off the rouge without marring the polish.
I also use Simple Green, for the same purpose (a suggestion from
someone on the Orchid List, some time ago). It works well.
But nowadays I do very little wheel polishing because I use
tumblers. They're wonderful!