I am just an amateur working out of the garage on weekends. I have a
few questions I was hoping you could help with. Since this all applies
to one pair of “simple” earrings, I will tell the story that way.
I had decided to make these simple sterling earrings, sort of sail
shaped, with cutouts and three 18K gold balls placed strategically on
the sail. I soldered the earwire to the point of one of the sails. The
earrings are to be slightly bowed backwards, suggesting a full sail,
if you get what I mean.
I cut out everything and prepolished up to about 600 grit sand paper,
then punched little divits for the gold balls to sit in, then soldered
on the ear wires, hammered the wind into the sail, then soldered on
the gold balls. Everything was fine til I put them in the pickle for
the last time.
I fished them out and ewwwwwwwww what is this horrid gray stain? I
rinsed them in baking soda and water and then had to scrub off the
hideous gray stuff with a brass brush. There goes my "prepolishing!"
Anyone know what the gray stuff is? It is the usual Sparex #2, in a
canning jar set into an old crock pot filled with water - on “low.” It
is a pretty well-used batch of pickle - is it bad? I even tried to
leach out some of the copper with a piece of brass and binding wire.
This did not help at all.
As for polishing, I wanted shiny surfaces… instead I have a
scratched ugly silver base with gold balls on it- how do I polish it?
Alternately I wouldn’t mind a nice matte surface to contrast with the
gold balls, but how do I make that with no lines without a bead
blaster? I am never satified with the finish. If I use my foredom
tool, even a super slow speeds, it ends up leaving little bumps that
scream “overpolishing!” Worse I end up flattening my perfect little
gold balls. What are your suggestions?
So much for a simple weekend project! Thanks for your help.
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