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Polishing Finished Silver


#1

Hello friends! In the past I’ve generally only produced a few
jewelry pieces at a time and could either tumble with stainless steel
shot or hand polish pieces with more delicate elements, but I need to
be a little more efficient now. I’m sure these questions are very,
very basic for most of you, but I’ve not been able to tease the
specific answers out of the archives:

  1. is there a tumbling media that anyone would recommend as a final
    polish (presuming I’ve done appropriate pre-polish) for silver pieces
    which contain elements such as glass beads with coatings, some of the
    more delicate ceramics, or even polymer clay?

  2. is there a tumbling media that anyone would recommend to clean
    finished pieces that have been handled and may need refreshing from
    fingerprints and slight tarnish (if different from number 1)? And
    can I leave the tags on ?

  3. I currently have a small vibratory and a small rotory tumbler but
    have experience only with shot. I have a friend willing to give me
    walnut shells and Two D L cream (?) that he doesn’t have a clue what
    to do with.

Is this too aggressive for the above situations?

Is there any added added advantage to using walnut shells as a step
after shot?

Thanking you for your help and for all the good advice I’ve
previously enjoyed.

Regards
Brenda


#2

Hello Brenda,

 is there a tumbling media that anyone would recommend as a final
polish (presuming I've done appropriate pre-polish) for silver
pieces which contain elements such as glass beads with coatings,
some of the more delicate ceramics, or even polymer clay? 

Rio carries a very fine pre treated walnut shell that works great
for this application. Many retail stores use fine treated walnut
shell and a vibratory tumbler to repolish items that have been on
display and need a little touchup.

 is there a tumbling media that anyone would recommend to clean
finished pieces that have been handled and may need refreshing
from fingerprints and slight tarnish (if different from number 1)? 
And can I leave the tags on <BG? 

Try absorbent cob meal, this will remove LIGHT tarnish and oils and
should be safe for your tags. However I recommend you experiment
before placing all your tagged pieces through this process.

 I currently have a small vibratory and a small rotory tumbler but
have experience only with shot.  I have a friend willing to give
me walnut shells and Two D L cream (?)  that he doesn't have a clue
what to do with.Is this too aggressive for the above situations? 

Yes it will work, however the larger the walnut shell the more
aggressive it is. For pieces that have already been polished and
just need a touchup a fine walnut shell is recommended.

Is there any added added advantage to using walnut shells as a
step after shot? 

Two completely different applications. Steel shot is a burnishing
(smearing) media and walnut shell is treated with a compound similar
to buffing compounds. Some manufactures use both, some use or one or
the other. Dry media (walnut shell) is closer to a hand buffed
finish.

There is so much more detail to go into so if you wish you can
e-mail me off list, or call me and I’d be happy to discus in detail
what application would work best for you.

I hope this helps,

Thackeray Taylor
Rio Grande Technical Support
1-800-545-6566 ex 13903
@Thackeray_Taylor