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Polishing problem


#1

Sure am glad I have you guys to ask stuff. I’m having an annoying problem
with polishing flat silver surfaces (back of pendants). I’m using Zam and a
soft buff. I get these little bumps of polish build up then they streak
and cleaning in ammonia doesn’t get it completely off for some reason. It
leaves gray streaks in the silver. Doesn’t make any difference if the buff
is new or one thats got alot of polish on it. Would one of the rouges work
better than this stuff . I have white rouge and red rouge and never have
tried either one. Also have some Fabulustre but think its for gold. Also
when doing the final polish how much compound do you use on the buff, a
tiny amount or alot? DAve

Art Jewelry for Conscious People
http://www.opendoor.com/stephensdesign/crystalguy.html


#2

Dave Stephens wrote:


#3

Dave wrote:

I’m having an annoying problem
with polishing flat silver surfaces (back of pendants). I’m using Zam and a
soft buff. I get these little bumps of polish build up then they streak
and cleaning in ammonia doesn’t get it completely off for some reason. It
leaves gray streaks in the silver. Doesn’t make any difference if the buff
is new or one thats got alot of polish on it. Would one of the rouges work
better than this stuff . I have white rouge and red rouge and never have
tried either one. Also have some Fabulustre but think its for gold. Also
when doing the final polish how much compound do you use on the buff, a
tiny amount or alot? DAve

Art Jewelry for Conscious People
http://www.opendoor.com/stephensdesign/crystalguy.html

I worked as an apprentice for 5 years and mostly what I did was polish, so
I may be able to help. I am wondering if you are properly dressing the
buffing wheel? I have run into the problem you describe- “little bumps of
polish build up”- if I don’t clean the wheel often enough. The way I do
this is every so often, say after maybe 5 minutes of continuous polishing,
I take a piece of really heavy-duty sandpaper (60 grit) folded in half and
hold it against the wheel, almost as if you are polishing the sandpaper.
You will see that alot of compound will come off onto the sandpaper. Then
go ahead and put new compound on and continue polishing. When the wheel
gets hard (worn down to the strings), cut the string back to the next
layer, pull the loose threads out, put it back on the spindle and while it
is spinning, hold an old fork into the wheel and this will loosen up the
fibers in the wheel nicely. (please be very careful not to launch the fork
into your face!!!) Then use the sandpaper as mentioned above etc. etc.

I have never used Zam before. For sterling silver I have always used Grey
Star compound on a yellow muslin buff, then White Diamond on a loose weave
coarse muslin buff and then red rouge on a flannel buff. (see Rio Grande
catalog.) It’s hard to describe how much compound to put on. You shouldn’t
be seeing compound coming off onto the metal. I would guesstimate that I
hold the bar of compound against the wheel for 3 seconds. Ultrasonic (Dawn
dish detergent, ammonia and hot water) in between steps.

Hope this helps.

Kim


#4

Dave,
Dave,

Too Much’ah polish… use a clean cloth, S Paper, etc., then scissor your
buff… buffs needs a good cleaning with a 'heavy hand(That hand will also
take its toll on the bareings if they are silicon,or felt!!!) . . . Done
this too much . … and still do!!! More is not necessarily good… But
makes you feel like you are doing a better Job!!! . . . HuH???

Jim

At 05:52 PM 11/1/96 -0600, you wrote:

Dave Stephens wrote:

Sure am glad I have you guys to ask stuff. I’m having an annoying problem
with polishing flat silver surfaces (back of pendants). I’m using Zam and a
soft buff. I get these little bumps of polish build up then they streak
and cleaning in ammonia doesn’t get it completely off for some reason. It
leaves gray streaks in the silver. Doesn’t make any difference if the buff
is new or one thats got alot of polish on it. Would one of the rouges work
better than this stuff . I have white rouge and red rouge and never have
tried either one. Also have some Fabulustre but think its for gold. Also
when doing the final polish how much compound do you use on the buff, a
tiny amount or alot? DAve

Art Jewelry for Conscious People
http://www.opendoor.com/stephensdesign/crystalguy.html

Dave, you need to add more polishing compouond to your wheel,try it and
you’ll see what I’m talking about!


#5

I worked as an apprentice for 5 years and mostly what I did was polish, so

I may be able to help. I am wondering if you are properly dressing the
buffing wheel? I have run into the problem you describe- “little bumps of
polish build up”- if I don’t clean the wheel often enough. The way I
do…Kim

Kim: yes that helps alot. Thanks. It seems to happen whether there little
or alot of compound on the wheel, but I bought some black rouge and have
other colors as well to try this weekend. The info on maintaining the buffs
is invaluable, thanks very much…Dave

Art Jewelry for Conscious People
http://www.opendoor.com/stephensdesign/crystalguy.html


#6

As hpsilvr wrote it maybe the silver. Lloyd


#7

I use Fabulustre on silver, brass and copper and get a nice shine for a final
polish but, hey, maybe there is something better. . . .


#8

An addendum to the polishing question. . .

How about a discussion about polishing compound experiences, the natures of
each compound and why they may or may not be used in different situation?

Maybe this one will be even more contentious than the Mac/PC debate!

Also, how does bombing and other extreme measures relate to buffing?


#9

I have been having a devil of a time polishing hard to reach areas on
my pieces. I make large pendants and go crazy trying to get into the
area just to the right and left of the rather large bales (they are
soldered onto the piece and partway into the body of the piece) that
I make for them. I have tried bristle brushes on my wheel, knife
edge polishers, the new 3-m radials that you all love so much (they
are great for fire scale but so far not for this dilemma), and have
limited luck. I have resorted to using one of those yellow polishing
cloths that Rio gives as a sample with your first order, and a
toothpick and polishing by hand for a long time. It does work, but
there must be an easier way. (by the way, I do not have a flex shaft
and have been using a dremmel when I need it). Thanks, Elle


#10

Elle, Have you tried a vibratory tumbler with steel shot of varying
shapes? Works for me, Some have larger openings than others to
accommodate larger pieces. The elliptical ones get into very tight
spaces. Teresa


#11

I have used small felt bullets to polish these small and
hard-to-reach areas. They can cut pretty agressively, so be careful
when using, or you may inadvertently texture your piece. For really
tough-to-reach areas, I use a silver polishing wipe on the end of a
toothpick.

Lee


#12

elle - for the hard to reach ‘innies’ in metalwork, plus many other
projects, i use the wooden skewers sold by the cello packs of 50 or
more at food markets, restaurant supply houses, & probably at craft
stores also. break off an 1 1/4 length & put into flexshaft - sharpen
on sandpaper to get a point. they’re 2mm in diameter (just measured
the one i use to clean the mouse’s innards). to smoothe out those
’innies’ run across some 80 grit paper to rough up the surface &
stick into some tripoli or other rouge - then polish with a clean
one.

the skewers are so inexpensive you can save enough to treat yourself
to a strong drink the next time you say to yourself, “to heck with
’who am i?’ - i want to know ‘what am i doing here’!?” good luck - ive


#13

Hi Elle;

First off, it’s my opinion that you need to be carefull not to design
pieces that box you in technically. Unless you’re ready to start
looking through die-makers tool catalogs. Let the design suit the
technology. Use textures in low areas, for example. You could try
polishing your waxes with lighter fluid and fine brushes. That would
give you less finishing to do. You can also tumble for those areas,
but keep in mind, it’s not a good idea if there are areas you don’t
want tumbled, unless you tape them up with a waterproof tape like
duct tape. By all means, get your hands on a flexible shaft machine
as soon as you can afford it. There’s no comparision with a dremel.
Another thing you might try is planishing. Make small steel tools
and polish the ends, then set the piece in pitch and “chase” the low
areas. Again, you’ll have a better look with a slightly “peened"
effect, as long as it’s pertinent to the design. Same goes for
burnishing with a polished steel tool. You can also make an
inexpensive “hammer handpiece” from a “vibro-engraver” that dremel
(and other companies) makes. Just make your own bits for it out of
"piano wire” or “drill rod” which you can get at a lot of hardware
stores. Check out Charles Lewton-Brains tips on inexpensive tool
solutions in his book “Cheap Thrills, etc.” Good luck, have fun.

David L. Huffman (yeah, dremel tool, propane torch, whatever, done
that, been th. . .etc.)


#14

Elle, a couple of suggestions. If you’re trying to reach the area
inside a bail, you can use the old string method we were taught at the
GIA. Tie about a 1’ long piece of string to your bench pin (or
anything else handy!). Moisten slightly with lighterfluid. Rub a
piece of Tripoli up and down the string. Thread it through your bail.
Hold the string tightly with one hand and move your piece briskly up
and down with the other hand, to reach all inside areas. Repeat with
another piece of string and Rouge, if desired. If you’re referring to
some other outside areas that are hard to reach, use end bristle
brushes, available from Rio Grande and others, again starting with a
Tripoli charge on one, then change to rouge on another. They’ll fit
your Dremel, I’ll bet. (If not Rio even sells a Dremel chuck
modifier!) The brushes come in various colors which indicate the
hardness of the brush bristles themselves. Hope this helps. Gary
Strickland, GJG


#15

Hello Elle

I polish all my pieces before I solder or assemble them.This makes it
easyer to polish the whole piece afterwards.Use enough flux in order
to prevend your piece from firescale. Cream de la cream is stripping
or plating your item,but that takes special equipment.Another cheap
way is polishing cord which has a thickness of approx 1 mm.You load
it with some zam and pull it up en down the hole or whatever need to
polished.Its really inexpensive and works well. Regards Pedro
Palonso@t-online.de