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Polishing station in relation to bench pin

Where to put the polishing station in relation to bench pin?


I’m presently reorganizing my crafting area. I need some opinions on
where I should position my polishing tools and supplies in relation
to my bench pin.

Since in the past I had created small items only, my polishing tools
of choice have been Silicone Softies, and Zam on felt wheels. put in
a Dremel held in a horizontal wooden vise that’s been clamped to a

Essentially I have made a minature version of the polishing wheel,
where I apply the item to the wheel rather than the other way around.

Here’s my concern: The softies abrade the silver and so I’m thinking
there are silver particles mixed in with the silicon, which should
qualify as sweeps. If I go with this logic, then my polishing should
be near the bench pin, so that the polishing dust can go in my sweeps

On the other hand, polishing makes a mess and produces dust, which
if too close to the would settle on my tools. That had been my
rationale for so far doing my polishing on a separate table well away
from the desk. But then the dust would be hard to recover, plus it is
a pain in the donkey to walk between the desk and the polishing

Do you have suggestions for coping with this problem?

Andrew Jonathan Fine

Andrew- If you have the room, don’t put your polishing next to your
bench. You’ll be fighting a big mess. When I didn’t have much in the
way of tools or money, I hooked up a shop vac with duct tape to a
cheap polishing hood. It was noisy, but worked. Better for your
tools, work space and lungs.

Have fun and make lots of jewelry.
Jo Haemer

My experience of polishing ranges from small ie rings etc to big
stuff like 2ft dia bowls etc. so I see a polishing area as being
quite separate from any making or production part of your workshop. In
industrial jewelley workshops they have a dedicated polishing
section with proper vacumn extraction, not only to save all the
lemels but to meet health and safety requirements.

So I suggest you make the investment in time and set up a proper
bench with a polishing motor, or shaft in bearings or whatever size
you think your likely to need with a simple hood made from plywood or
even stiff card board and gaffertape. connected to a vacumn cleaner
suction hose. Preferrably one with a paper bag filter.

youll find it will work a treat.

Depending on size of work to polish either set it to a height to
suit you sitting down, or higher if your working standing up.

Good lighting is essential.

Polishing rings? just a tip, a tapered piece of broom handle
supports it so much better than your hands.

your less likely to have to look for it all over your workshop if it
slips out of hand!!.


Hi Andrew, they are the same. Dust flying off the bench pin is full
of gold and silver same as the dust flying off the polishing
machine. They are also the same regarding the removal of airborne
dusts that settle onto everything in the workshop and the lungs.

A dust extractor at the bench pin is as essential as a dust
extractor at the polishing machine. Both need a filter to collect the
dust. Grinding and polishing with the flex shaft or micro-motor at
the bench pin takes care of all that the polishing machine cannot do.


My suggestion has more to do with your long-term health than your
immediate query:

Put your polishing wheel as FAR from your bench as possible. I’ve set
up my shop so I have to walk to my polishing station, and to my
cleaning station (sink, ultrasonic, steamer & plating area), etc.

Jewelry making is mostly carried out on ones back side. I do what I
can to keep moving so I don’t turn into a fat lump.


Recovery of precious metal during polishing is a good practice.
However if the throughput volume of precious metals in your shop is
insufficient to warrant the effort I would opt now for the cleanest
arrangement/process possible for the benefit of your lungs and your
work space without regard to recovery efficiency. Later you can adapt
a system that will make that effort worth the time and equipment
after your work volume increases. It will certainly be more
affordable then.

All the best and lots of clean air to breathe.

J Collier Metalsmith