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Polishing Dust Collection


Dear Alex,

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mind getting dirty (when I was little I
made a lot of elaborate mud pies, among other messy stuff, and it was
thoroughly enjoyable). But I know all this stuff flying around my face
can’t possibly be healthy. I’ll take a closer look at Rio’s catalog.


Gail, You are right, it isn’t healthy to have all that stuff flying
about. At the very least, you should have leather gloves or finger
caps, safety glasses, and a dust mask. I have upgraded to a pancake
filter mask from Rio to help, for a few reasons. Even with the dust
masks, my entire face was covered at the end of the day of polishing,
which tells me that the mask was still letting a fair amount of
particulates through, and also those paper masks just don’t grip the
face quite like the filter mask does. When I polish, it is often not
just one piece at a time, and not much of my work is small, so it
takes a lot of time and grit. What I have may be overkill for a
jeweler, but as a smith, I think it is the minimum for me. Of course,
my studio also has cross ventilation, and the polishing is on a double
spindled lathe with a hood and vent with changeable and washable
filter within. This too is important. With out that running vent, I
would have even more flying about. After a long day, I often at
close, have to clean the entire hood and clear out the vent intakes
due to collection of caked compound and loose buff threads piling up
against the grate. If this is what the vent is catching, I know that
my mask is imperative to prevent my breathing in the ones still flying
about. good luck

Alex Austin
PO Box 1109
Rimrock Az, 86335

(520) 567-3044
fax (520) 567-3345


Hi Polishers, A word of caution here. NEVER NEVER wear gloves when
polishing!!! This can result in injury to your most precious
asset…your hands. Gloves can easily get caught and depending on the
horsepower of your polishing lathe, can do serious harm. Fingertip
cots are generally ok. John. J.A.Henkel Co.,Inc, Moldmaking Casting &

   Hi Polishers, A word of caution here. NEVER NEVER wear gloves
when polishing!!! This can result in injury to your most precious
asset...your hands...

Well said. Good advice, but not quite enough. The polishing machine
could quite possibly be the most dangerous piece of equipment in the
shop. Especially if one tends to daydream while using it. Loose
fitting clothes and long hair that may come in contact with the
spinning wheel, not to mention that carelessly handled chain that
becomes wrapped around a finger when not paying attention. I got
slapped, and cut, a half dozen times by a chain before I could even
move. An employee got her hair caught in the machine. Snatched out
a small patch. Could have been much worse. Could have pulled her
face into the machine and spinning buff.

Think about that quiet, simple machine sitting there so docile before
you get going next time and consider what kinds of dangerous forces
are working just a blink away from those fingertips waiting for a
chance to “eat” something.


Hello all,

This has nothing to do with dust collection,but still …!

I’m one off those who likes to make his own machinery.I don’t have
anything agains the real good products offered by sever companies and
I’m not saying that the items I make are better,but …I made or
better I chose my motors in this way that with to much resistant the
motor just stops turning.I too made the same mistake (if I may use
the freedom of saying so)of buying motors to powerful.I’ve never had
the bad experience of getting caught by a polishing wheel but if this
would happened,my polishing machine just holds on.Yes,the machine
could me damaged …but I payed something like 10,-US$ for the
thing,so why should I carry about it?

This however,does not mean that I’m not working les save because I
know that this kind of trouble would not happen to me,but I feel much
better and I’m more concentrated to my work.

I’m also aware about the good machinery proffesional people need in
order to keep up with there bussines,but one should make some
thaughts about the equipment he/she wants to buy and the pro’s and
contra’s about it!!

By all means,a polishing machine is made for polishing and not to
take care about a faster procedure of removing material.I believe
that lots of accidents are caused by the time pressure and impatience
of the jeweller himself.

If I may give an advice to those who are accesible for advice,use a
file to remove material and work your way down in the grids.Next step
is the use of sandpaper to remove the small scratches left from the
previous procedure and again step down (read finer grids) in the
number of coursenes.If you need to polish this item,then you will
notice that a slight pressure comes up with a nice an easy polish.

For what its worth it,TAKE YOUR TIME.

Regards Pedro


Just a thought about polishing dust collection. Is the dust/polishing
compound which comes away from the mop during polishing harmful? Most
of us don’t like to have our face covered in black polishing compound
after a few hours at the polisher, but is it harmful. I have never
seen any to say that it is. Does anyone have any
about this subject.

    Just a thought about polishing dust collection. Is the
dust/polishing compound which comes away from the mop during
polishing harmful? 

G’day; almost certainly. The minute metal particles it contains plus
the microscopic polishing materials (pumice, aluminium oxide, rouge,
etc) won’t do one’s lungs much good at all. Avoiding this is cheap
and easy; wear a dust mask. Cheers, – John Burgess;
@John_Burgess2 of Mapua Nelson NZ