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Polishing Cabinet


#1

Hopefully the collective intelligence at Orchid can enlighten me.

For the past eight years, I have used a Shop-Vac attached to a
polishing hood to collect the dust and debris from my polishing
motor. This has worked really well, but noisier than I would prefer.
When I recently moved my studio, I decided to “upgrade” to a nice,
quiet polishing cabinet. I had seen one at Rio’s Catalog in Motion
and thought it would be perfect. You can see it on page 315 of the
most recent Rio Grande catalog, item B.

After I hooked it up and had been polishing for a few days, I
noticed that my studio was very dirty with polishing compound and I
had to keep cleaning it away from the front of the filter. It was
then I realized, duh, the debris wasn’t going anywhere! It was just
being drawn towards the filter and needed to constantly be removed.
Nothing was behind the filter to collect the debris! This was
definitely not going to work!

So, my question is… what exactly is the point of these polishing
cabinets? They don’t seem to work well, except for the very smallest
amount of polishing. Does anyone use one of these and is happy with
it? I now feel as if I’m stuck with a $200 piece of useless
equipment. Aaargh! Any suggestions?

Thanks,
Linda Blumel
Scottsdale, AZ


#2

I have a suggestion: Call Rio Grande. Or have you tried them? Since
you bought it from them it would seem logical to call Rio with your
question. Or have I missed something?

K Kelly


#3

Hmmm… my dad is one of these guys that goes to the flea market oin
Sundays and puts togother various things to make himself tools he
likes to use. When I was down in Florida for a visit (too long ago…)
he had a buff machine setup that was amazing. He took an old motor
with either one or two squirel cages (can’t remember) and set it up
to work like a Rainbow vacuum. There is a plastic container filled
with water under the polishing wheel (seperated by a metal screen)
which draws all of the dust into the water and then the air goes out
of it. I can’t rememebr the exact setup but basically the dirty air
with all of the polishing dust gets dumped into the water where the
polishing dust stays. He dumps the dirt once a week or month or
whatever and doesn’t have to breathe the paste. Next time I go for a
visit, I’ll draw a schematic and see if I can put one together out of
standard parts. By the way, this whole setup is only about 20 inches
wide, 10 inches deep and about 3 feet high. It hangs on a wall so
when you sit to polish, your knees go under it.

It’s clean enough to be right next to his bench. He swivels his
chair to polish. Nice huh? All he needs is a computer on the other
side to be able to pull up Orchid right?

Stanley Bright
A&M Jewelers
Baltimore, MD


#4

Linda

I too am of the shop-vac group of dust collector users. I had thought
of getting one of these small units but read that it used fiberglass
filters and saw it had a grate in front of the inlet which meant all
the strings, and bits and pieces had no place to go and would have to
be cleaned up. Page 313 had some good considerations when buying a
filter unit and it was 2 and 3 which made me wait. I have put off
buying one until I can afford one that will provide me the same level
of cleanliness and dust control my vacuum does.

As far as the dust issue, the only thing I can suggest is try a
different filter material. Furnace filters come in a lot of different
qualities, maybe you could cut a piece from one of those and get it
to work. They make some that do pretty well at trapping the really
fine stuff. The string and fluff I am afraid there is no fix.

Terry


#5

I built a 4 sided cover for my polisher no bottom and of course the
working front. The air goes out the back and around and the sides
back through as long as it is turned on. It has worked for 30 yrs.
for me. Oh yes I also put weather stripping around the bottom. it
dose keep the noise down to.

Don in Idaho 75 today


#6

Don,

I built a 4 sided cover for my polisher no bottom and of course
the working front. The air goes out the back and around and the
sides back through as long as it is turned on. It has worked for 30
yrs. for me. Oh yes I also put weather stripping around the bottom.
it dose keep the noise down to. 

I placed an extra filter on the outside at the rear of my machine
where the air comes out and then covered the filter and whole back
side of the machine with a brown paper shopping bag that I taped in
place with duck tape and then punched holes in the bag with a fork.

I have used the same paper bag for over twenty years. The only
hassle is that every time I clean the machine out I have to tear off
some the old tape and replace it after.

The inside of the machine does get pretty dirty but very little if
any leaves the machine.

Greg DeMark
greg@demarkjewelry
www.demarkjewelry.com


#7

Peter, Terry and all who replied to my question, thank you!

Yes Peter, you know exactly which polishing cabinet I am talking
about. I had already opened the cabinet, and yes, there is a filter
there. It sits up against the metal grill, so there is not much space
between the filter and the grill. Maybe that’s part of the problem.
It’s not that I thought there was something specifically wrong with
my cabinet, it’s just that I thought the whole design did not work
very well. Then I thought maybe I was missing something! (Mentally,
not an actual piece of the cabinet!) :o)

I guess the filter does collect some of the finer particles, but
most of the larger particles and debris from the buffing wheel are
pulled toward the grill or just fly around the room. There is no
place for the debris to collect except for right up against the
grill. After a very short time, this clogs the grill and no more
suction.

I have gone back to my trusty Shop-vac. My studio is next to a
garage, so it is now in the garage with the hose running through the
wall to my polishing hood. This has cut down on the noise
considerably and it still sucks up most of the polishing debris. Yea!
And I will definitely take your advice and get a HEPA filter for it.

Thank you so much for your help!! Orchid rocks!

Linda Blumel


#8
I have used the same paper bag for over twenty years. The only
hassle is that every time I clean the machine out I have to tear
off some the old tape and replace it after. 

This had me cracking up! Only in the jewelry industry do we set
diamonds in a ring that retails for thousands of dollars, and then
polish it with a machine with 20 year old paper bag on it!

When people ask, what’s it like to work in the jewelry industry? I
don’t think this is what they are imagining.

And I’m not picking on Greg, this is just a perfect example of a
common industry way of doing things.

Elaine

Elaine Luther
Metalsmith, Certified PMC Instructor
http://www.CreativeTextureTools.com
Hard to Find Tools for Metal Clay


#9

Linda

The cabinet is made for small jewelry/ watch store or a kiosk in an
exchange. It was used primarily to polish watch crystals.

The suction in both of these units is about 160 cfm while the full
size unit has 450cfm.

This dust collector will need constant cleaning unless you go with
stiffer buffs as oppose to loose/soft flannel buffs.

Kenneth Singh
46 Jewelry Supply
46 West 46 St,
New York, NY 10036.


#10
When I recently moved my studio, I decided to "upgrade" to a nice,
quiet polishing cabinet. I had seen one at Rio's Catalog in Motion
and thought it would be perfect. You can see it on page 315 of the
most recent Rio Grande catalog, item B. 

I have a unit almost identical to this, now saved for possible use
when I might travel to do a class or something. I used to use it with
cotton buffs, and always had a dirty face after doing so. I wore a
silk neckerchief, the way a cowboy would do in a dusty cattle drive,
over my mouth and nose. I eventually, after an intense working
period, developed a nasty cough with a feeling that something was in
my upper lung area. I got a chest x-ray, and the doc said he saw what
could be some debris in my right upper lung. I kind of freaked out,
and wanted better dust collection NOW! My refiner, Stebgo Metals
Inc., in St. Paul MN, was good enough to send me a big deluxe model
similar to Rio’s #336-420, page 312 Tools Catalog, with 3 months to
pay. This worked out for me, since I was just heading into my more
lucrative summer months. The bad news is that this is an expensive
type of unit. I paid around $1,700 for it at the time, and they are
now around $2,000. The good news is that it works. And my lung health
is fine now. It does collect dust that can be refined, too. If you
are now using the dust-attracting (rather than actual dust-
collecting) type of unit, please use an excellent, well-fitting mask.
I know they are inconvenient. That’s why I used the scarf. And got
the debris in my lung! I think that the filters on these models do
more to protect the motors than to trap dust. Most of it falls in
front of the grid window.

Older and at least a little bit wiser,

M’lou Brubaker
Minnesota, USA


#11

Linda,

The shop vac is a great solution, move the dirty air, filter it and
deposit the stuff in a bucket. The only problem is the noise, the
motor is just mounted in plastic and doesn’t weigh enough to be
quite.

It’s pretty easy to make a sound insulated box to put the vac
inside. A very satisfactory and inexpensive solution. There have been
a few articles describing such a box in the woodworking magazine
literature one or two years age. When I get home in a week I’ll try
to find it for you.

Dr. Mac


#12

The newer Shop Vacs are MUCH quieter that the older ones. I just
replaced an older 10 gallon unit witha 12 gallon unit, gained 2 hp in
suction and about 1/3 of the noise of the old one. Before while it
was running you had to yell to be heard over the 'vac, now almost a
normal conversation. I use an internal HEPA filter and a drywall bag
inside. runs pretty much dust free.

Frank A. Finley
Salish Silver
Handmade Indian Jewelry