I’m finding that when I antique my sterling, sometimes the results
are not consistent - which I know is normal. If I mass finish the
pieces in a tumbler, sometimes the blackness does not go away at all.
I’m left with the black both in the recessed areas as well as the
raised areas, which ruins the look of the design.
I’ve figured out the solution to this is to finish the piece and
tumble polish it with sterling silver shot for a few hours. This
seems to get rid of any porosity that the silver may have. Then once
it goes through it’s first tumbling process, I will antique it and
tumble polish it again. When I do it this way, I’m almost always
guaranteed that the blackness on raised areas will be polished away
in the second tumble cycle.
But here’s a question… sometimes the tumble polish is not fast
enough. I find that if I have to fix a piece or make any solder
changes, I have to go through this tumble polishing all over again -
and it can hold up an order for at least another day.
I have a large polishing machine with 4" wheels and I’m wondering if
there is a way to polish antiqued metal using the some type of
polishing wheel. I tried it tonight and it was a mess. I’m pretty
certain I will need to replace the polishing wheels tomorrow because
they are now full of “gunk” and my polishing file isn’t doing any
good as far as removing the black gunk from the wheels. Are there any
techniques for polishing antiqued metal on the polishers? If so,
what type of wheels would I want to be using?
Second question… should I be using a separate set of polishing
wheels for gold than I use for silver? I use Zam and Fabuluster for
finishing - and I know that both these compounds can be used on gold
and silver… so is there still a need for separate wheels?
…I meant to say “stainless steel shot” in my above post regarding