Kitty - There are several things to consider in tumble finishing
your dichroic glass jewelry.
First - the tumble vibe 5 is not robust enough to “turn” steel shot,
you need to use a rotary tumbler for that. A small rotary rock
tumbler with flat internal sides should cost under $100.
Second - I’d strongly advise you to use the stainless steel shot.
You will buy it eventually, after the carbon steel shot gets a bit
of rust and ruins a batch of your jewelry.
Third - I just talked to Gene Lacey, a dichroic glass jeweler here
in the Denver area, and she sets her glass in sterling, then runs it
in an abrasive media in a small vibratory tumbler, similar to the
Tumble Vibe 5. She finishes the jewelry with stainless steel shot
in a small rotary tumbler. The glass after firing will withstand
those processes with no problem.
I’d make the loop prior to tumbling.
Self serving blurb - my fourth edition of Tumble Finishing for
Handmade Jewelry is now available. Rio Grande has a supply and
several other dealers will also be carrying it. I think Hannuman is
going to provide some excerpts for the list.
Judy Hoch, G.G.