Rotary tumbler question

My most frequent use of stainless steel shot is to polish small pieces like ear wires and small earrings that I have not done any soldering on to develop fire scale. I tumble after I have done any sanding or other prep work with a rubber liner with flats cast into the rubber. Think Lortone QT6. I usually sand with a medium SC abrasive flex shaft wheel. My second most frequent use is to give pieces that are shop worn a quick polish. If they are heavily tarnished, I will go over them with Wrights Cream or a similar product and wash them well before polishing. A lot of my work is in a local store that is also a restaurant. The cooking vapors really do a job on the finish of my jewelry and I have to clean it often. Bigger pieces are just polished with tripoli and rouge or a LUXI equivalent. Flat sides inside a tumbler makes sense to me if you are trying to get the shot to impinge on the metal as it tumbles. I am not sure is just sliding around in a pool of water and stainless steel with or without burnishing compound will make this happen. This all depends on how full the barrel is. You can find a lot of data about tumbling (mass finishing) on line, I just do what works for me. Good luck…Rob

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What are SC abrasive wheels? Source?

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Sorry, SC means silicon carbide. The wheels that I use are from Rio, but others sell them too.

They are made with several different grades of abrasive in a rubber type carrier, so they are flexible. They also come in different shapes. These wheels are my go to for grinding and sanding. They can aggressively remove material to shape it as you would with a file or smooth like sanding depending on how much pressure you apply. You need to be careful around stones as they will damage them. You can buy wheels made from other abrasives like pumice that are more stone friendly. You should wear a mask (not that we haven’t for the last year), when using any of these wheels as they may also not be lung friendly either. The description just says silicon, so SC may be an old term. Regardless, the wheels work for me. Thanks for asking…Rob