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Polishing Question - masking off certain areas

I have a specific polishing question regarding the ability to mask
off aspects of my designs so that they are not polished when using a
buffing wheel and polishing stick.

I create surface carved titanium rings, and often anodize colors
into the recesses of the carvings. I would like to find a compound
similar to a putty that can be applied to the ring surface to fill in
the carving and prevent the polishing compund from stripping off the
anodized finish. And then it must be able to be fairly easily
removed from the carving during clean up.

I am certain that such a thing exists, but do not know what to call
it, or its trade name. I am also looking for a convenient source for
its purchase (in the U.S.).

Thank you for all of your help,
Daniel J. Statman, Statman Designs

Hi Dan, I have always used nail polish to mask off areas of metal
that I am trying to protect from being polished, although I generally
polish first and then do my texturing after so this is not a problem.
In your case, I would try to fill in your recessed areas with
several coats of nail polish, which should work if you are careful,
and it easily dissolves in acetone. Alternatively, you may check with
a glass supply shop for glass sandblating masks, as I understand they
use a product that is rather rubbery and thick to mask off designs
when sandblasting glass. I hope this helps.

Best regards,

 the ability to mask off aspects of my designs so that they are
not polished 

Hi Dan, Have you considered nail polish as a resist, and acetone to
remove it? I’ve used this successfully (and easily/inexpensively) to
mask the inside of mokume rings when etching. I’d be concerned that
any substance that didn’t dry hard would contaminate your buff.

The nail polish was free… I “lifted” one of the more garish colors
my wife probably bought back in the 80’s and no longer wears! :wink:
Please do use caution and respect when around acetone. Minimum of
personal exposure, and no sources of sparks, flames, combustion, etc.

All the best,
Dave Sebaste
Sebaste Studio and
Carolina Artisans’ Gallery
Charlotte, NC (USA)