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Polishing around tube settings


#1

I am trying to do step-wise polishing during my fabrication process
to remove every scratch and imperfection that I can remove before the
next step. However, there is still often need to polish near a tube
setting for a faceted stone. I use the 3M radial discs. It is so easy
to damage them accidentally when polishing nearby. I have started
protecting them some with adhesive tape while polishing close to
them. Anyone else have any good suggestions?

J. Sue Ellington
http://www.jseenameljewelry.com


#2
I use the 3M radial discs. It is so easy to damage them
accidentally when polishing nearby. I have started protecting them
some with adhesive tape while polishing close to them. Anyone else
have any good suggestions? 

While the 3M radial discs are wonderful tools, they are not a gentle
abrasive when it comes to most stones other than diamonds. So use the
radial disks as you wish before setting, but switch to the older,
tried and true materials after setting. White diamond tripoli if
needed, and then plain red rouge. You’d be surprised, if you’ve not
used them for a while, how quickly even red rouge can cut out fine
scratches when used on the right tools. Small bristle brushes run at
fairly high speed work wonders. If you’ve properly prepared the work
before setting, and don’t mess it all up during setting, you
shouldn’t need to polish out too much afterwards, so you shouldn’t
miss the unique qualties of the bristle disks for polishing just the
settings. Neither white diamond tripoli or red rouge will affect any
but the softest stones, and those are usually materials cut as
cabochons, so a little buffing of the stone then doesn’t hurt. If
you need to do more substantial trimming and adjusting of the metal
after setting, too close to the stone to be safe with all tools, use
a good quality pumice rubber wheel. These are also safe around most
stones.

And for when you still just want to use the bristle disks (they ARE
cleaner to use, after all), the edge of a fingernail, I find, is a
quick and easy way to cover an exposed stone’s table while brushing
nearby. Not so useful with the buffing motor sizes, but adequate with
the flex shaft sizes.

Peter


#3

Gesswein sells pink silicon polishing discs. Fabulous and won’t harm
stones

Carol


#4
to damage them accidentally when polishing nearby. I have started
protecting them some with adhesive tape while polishing close to
them. Anyone else have any good suggestions? 

Sue - you don’t really say WHAT damage is being done, but I would
assume you mean the edges of the settings as that would be the most
common. To say be more careful is true but not very useful. Maybe a
softer wheel or a different grit, too - those 3m wheels can be like
sawblades. Two things that are useful, hopefully: One is to leave the
tubing longer, polish it, and then file down the top after so it’s
squared off. The other is that I don’t even polish bezels like that
until after setting them. Clean, yes, polish, no. I’m going to make a
mess anyway in setting, so why polish twice? That’s not lazy, it
addresses the problem you ask about. Once the stone is in you still
need to be careful of the setting polishing, but you no longer have
that “snag the edge” thing happening.

http://www.donivanandmaggiora.com


#5

Small bristle brushes used in the flexshaft, there are ones that are
hard for Tripoli, and softer ones for polish, fabulustre is my
choice.

Richard Hart


#6

Try using the standard knife edge small pumice wheel to clean the
solder seam were the wire is attached. Then Polish w/fabulustre.
Hope this helps.

Johneric


#7

I haven’t tried those discs so I looked them up in the Rio book.
They describe the abrasive as “cubitron mineral abrasive much harder
than most metals”. Dunno for sure but that sounds pretty aggressive.

If the damage you note is to the stones, then I would say the discs
are the problem. Use pumice if you have to have a firmish wheel. Use
china bristle brush with compound if you need to get into crevices.

A word about polishing with any kind of brush(some cloth wheels
too)…you must keep the wheel in sideways motion as relates to
object or you will most likely cut grooves into the metal. And if
feasible alter your angle of attack frequently. Drag lines. hrumph!

It would be nice if tools suppliers listed the hardness of abrasives
and suitability for various stones.

Prepolishing is fine when its appropriate. I don’t know that I’d get
too fanatical about removing every imperfection at each step. Your
surface is going to be affected by subsequent handing anyway.

Yes, I agree with…umm now I forgot who said it…only light
polishing after setting. If for some reason you absolutely HAD TO
heavy polish around set stones with an aggressive abrasive, you
might try crazy gluing small domed discs over the stones but you’d
want to cover the bezel edge too I should think.


#8

I wasn’t quite clear in my original post: I am talking about
polishing around tube settings after they are soldered on but before
stones are set. I very often file a notch in the edge of a wire or
piece of metal to accept the tube setting. The polishing is on the
wire or metal that the tube setting is soldered to. The 3M radial
discs do a good job getting a smooth, shiny, scratch-free surface on
the metal near the tube, but it is easy to damage the tube if not
careful. I think my tape idea will help. I do also use the edge of a
fingernail to protect, but the times I have damaged a setting were
because I was polishing near the setting and didn’t realize I was
also touching the setting with the wheel. I usually can file the top
level again.

J. Sue Ellington
http://www.jseenameljewelry.com