Hi Fr. Duncan,
Are you overloading, or conversely not putting enough bobbing
compound on your wheel? Pressure does play an important part - but
either of these two things can cancel out correct pressure...
How often do you use a rake on the wheel to condition it and remove
excess? We probably use a rake on the wheel at least once in 4
hours of polishing. More often when called for. These little things
take time to get figured out. Every artisan acquires their own
In England/Europe professional polishers have a 2 to 3 year
apprenticeship - in this country, almost no one spends any time
teaching the finer details of polishing.
One more thing. Since you are using sewn wheels, and they tend to
get packed and hard after a period of time - have you ever taken a
blade and cut the outside row of threads? This allows the buff to
"loosen up" a bit and act more like it did when new. It will throw
fuzz and thread all over when raked afterwards, but this only lasts
a couple minutes. We cut the outside row of threads any time the
buff gets hard and the muslin gets too short. It is normal for the
buff to wear down with use. Doing this "reconditions" it.
Brian P. Marshall
Stockton Jewelry Arts School
Stockton, CA 95209 USA