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Scratches


#1

Yep! I’m new at this as I’m sure my following question will
prove, but any suggestions you can offer will be really
appreciated! I’m making some earrings out of square wire and 26g.
sheet.(sterling) After soldering, I used 280 grit emery paper
on the sheet and then polished with tripoli, white diamond and
fabulustre (in that order). I keep thinking the fine scratches
would polish out, but… I have figured out that I SHOULD have
used some finer emery paper, but since I didn’t, I’m wondering if
there’s anything that can be done without repeating the entire
process. I was trying to achieve a mirror finish. Not only am I
feeling too lazy to repeat the whole deal, but the thin gauge of
the sheet has me a little nervous as well.

Thanks!
Mollie
@marnette


#2

You may want to use some ZAM and a motorized polish wheel. You
don’t have to apply much pressure and it shouldn’t take off much
of the sterling. I’ve tried fabulustre, but didn’t like it (I
usually work in Sterling .)


#3

Molly, you will save time if you go back to sanding. Move up the
grits at least to 400. For a mirrir finish, go on up to 600.
After that, start with the buffing. I figure that if I spend 15
minutes with bobbing compound, 10 with Gray Star or tripoli, it
will take 5 or less with Zam. I don’t find it easy to achieve a
mirror finish but it can be done. You should be able to go back
and redo all of this with out making foil of your sheet.

Marilyn Smith
Connersville,IN
USA


#4

A good old hand rubbing at the end of your polishing can do
wonders for the finish. @Craig_Nielson


#5

Mollie, Did the tripoli remove the scratches made from the 280 grit
sandpaper? If so, try red rouge and a new buff. I usually sand down
to an equvilant of 400 or 600 grit paper to avoid high and low
spots caused by uneven polishing. The rule of thumb is to remove
the marks made by one grit of paper with the next finer grit of
paper than polish.

I hope this helps!
wendy Newman
ggraphix@msn.com


#6

Mollie,

When I am feeling too lazy to use emery paper, I use
rubber/abrasive wheels that can be put on a flex shaft and are
available in different grits. If you would like to try them,
Pacific Abrasives had an ad in Lapidary Journal offering a free
sample of their polishing and pre-polishing discs (which are great

  • the grey one is the pre-polish and would get out your
    scratches). Sorry I do not have their email or address on hand.
    Perhaps someone else out there does?

Jill
@jandr
http://members.tripod.com/~jilk


#7

you can cut a strip of emery (sand paper) (any grit) maskin tape
it to a 6" nail (tip and top removed), insert the nail into the
flex shaft and no more elbow grease necessary

make sure the sand paper is attached to the nail the right way
:o)


#8

Dear Mollie:

With reference to your “scratches,” 26 ga. sterling sheet is
entirely too thin to try to obtain a good high-polished finish. In
my class, as well as in my own studio, I do not use sandpaper for
any finishing. I go directly to white diamond tripoli, followed by
red rouge. I usually use 24-22 ga. for earrings. That enables you
to have more weight so you do not find yourself polishing holes in
thinner sheet to obtain a mirror finish. Before any work begins
on the piece, I use fine sandpaper to clean the metal and remove a
lot of the scratches.

Hope this helps you somewhat.

Iris Stuecklen


#9
 After soldering, I used 280 grit emery paper on the sheet and
then polished with tripoli, white diamond and fabulustre (in that
order). I keep thinking the fine scratches would polish out,
but......

Molly, I never use emery paper , I only use white diamond, black
rouge then red rouge. I can always get a mirror finish. Why do
you use emery paper? are you emerying the surface to just the
edges. Try giving this pair of earring a satin finish, then start
again using 24 gauge silver, try to get your final product without
the emery paper. Hope this helps. By the way, I really love black
rouge on silver. It cuts just enough to soften edges and enriches
the silver look.


#10
   you can cut a strip of emery (sand paper) (any grit) maskin
tape it to a 6" nail (tip and top removed), insert  the nail into
the flex shaft and no more elbow grease necessary 

Regarding the nail and masking tape method. I have always made an
inside emery bit by cutting the end off a used brush (small brush
that fits in you flex shaft), sawing a half inch slit down its
length and inserting a strip of emery paper.

Mark P.


#11

This is regarding the various methods of using a flap-mandrel in
the flex shaft. It has been suggested to use a trimmed nail and an
old trimmed mandrel. I was taught to use a piece of coathanger
wire, which you may or may not split with your sawblade (so you
have a slit rather than having to tape the emery each time).
Otherwise, they sell lovely split mandrels for just this purpose,
only about $2 Canadian.

Tobey
Burnaby, BC, Canada


#12

I have always used a ‘split mandrel’ available at Rio
Grande/18004436766/ to do this job. No cutting of nails, the slit
is already built in, and they’re only about a buck and a half.
These little guys are wonderful, since I have to sand at least 100
pieces of jewelry a week. I cut a 1" pieces of sandpaper (using
three different grades to get down to the finish that I want) and
slide one end in the slit. Try it, you’ll like it!

Laura


#13
you can cut a strip of emery (sand paper) (any grit) maskin tape
it to a 6" nail (tip and top removed), insert  the nail into the
flex shaft and no more elbow grease necessary
make sure the sand paper is attached  to the nail the right way
:o)

A popular method in the JMA classrooms at GIA is to use broken
drill bits (smaller sizes, i.e. approx 1mm) in the same way.
Careful, though! Ripples and rounding of corners can result.

Sandpaper cut in strips with strapping tape backing, and put in
the saw frame, or wrapped around the tip of a small file can help
get into smaller places, but I like sanding sticks (1/4" by 3/4 -
1" by however long (about the size of a paint stirring stick) for
control.

(Gee, Mollie, did you expect this avalanche of tech. info?)

kat

@Kat_Tanaka
Carlsbad, CA


#14

Laura G. Evans wrote about split mandrels (for sandpaper, etc.)
available from Rio.

The only ones I’ve seen are just under 1/4" in diameter. Do they
come smaller? (If so, I must have overlooked them…so much stuff
to yearn over in the Rio catalog.)

I know that I use the broken drill bits as (taped on) mandrels
because they let me get places that the machined ones from Rio
can’t.

kat

@Kat_Tanaka
Carlsbad, Calif.


#15

Greetings Tobey:

Could you please tell where you can get these split mandrels? I’m
located in Cranbrook, BC.

Joe Bokor
@Joe_Bokor


#16
   you can cut a strip of emery (sand paper) (any grit) maskin
tape it to a 6" nail (tip and top removed), insert  the nail into
the flex shaft and no more elbow grease necessary make sure the
sand paper is attached  to the nail the right way :o)

Or mount a piece of wooden dowel (epoxy or good glue or hot melt)
on an old warn out drill, or a shaft of some sort, then cut a
"corner" of the dowel almost off but leave enough uncut wood to
hold the “corner” onto the main body. Use a thin blade (jewelers
saw) to make the cut. Mount the whole assembly in your handpiece
and slip a strip of emery paper of your choice into the slit so
that when the flex shaft is operated, the rough business end of the
paper is facing outward. Turn the flex shaft slowly and wrap the
paper strip onto the “drum” (the wooden dowel) and there you have
it, a great little, cheap sander drum.

Also, when washing off the finished piece, be sure you are not
getting a bit of grit form somewhere on the piece and rescratching
the finish elsewhere. Years ago I was taking a jewelry class at a
somewhat local J.C. and the instructor did not give alternatives to
the boraxo hand soap available to the students as a cleaner before
lacquer application. One fellow spent the entire 3 hours
polishing, washing, scratching, cussing, repolishing, rewashing, re
scratching and of course cussing the piece he had made (silver,
brass and copper) and in desperation asked me if I knew of
something he could do to stop the scratches when cleaning. I
brought to class and always use Parsons Sudsey Ammonia to clean my
work and I gave him the bottle. He came back in about 5 minutes,
REALLY cussing mad (at the instructor) as the ammonia worked so
well and he had wasted 3 hours of frustration time with the other
cleaner just because the instructor didn’t give the students
alternative directions (happened all the time in the class,
unfortunatelythe instructor was a very poor teacher). Just a
thought and possible solution to scratches.

John

John and Cynthia/MidLife Crisis Enterprises
Maiden Metals/C. T. Designs/ Bloomin’ Wax Works. etc.

PO Bx 44, Philo
CA 95466
Ph 707-895-2635 FAX 707-895-9332

The playfulness of the Universe
is reflected in the dance of the stars!


#17

Greetings Tobey, Joe, Orchid:

I have used various sizes of split mandrels in my Foredom
flexshaft for over 20 years, none of which were purchased, but made
from coat hanger wire, of the shanks of used-up grinding points,
etc. All of these have been more convenient and far cheaper than
anything offered by our supply companies, and is also good
concerning recycling (packratitis?).

Hanger wire is, on average, 3/32" thick, and is good in a pinch if
you have nothing else; cut to a working length of 2", it is best
slotted to a depth of 1/2" with a #0 jeweller’s saw (or a thin
cut-off wheel for the steel shanks), and then tempered/case
hardened.

The depth of the slot should indicate a good sanding flap width,
with these considerations: that the sandpaper should extend
slightly over the mandrel tip, so that the tool tip doesn’t come
into contact with the workpiece (unless you want to sand & burnish
at the same time); and that the sandpaper is cut thin enough for
the smallest applications, but just above the size where the flap
will shred in use. Finer grades of emery paper are light-duty A-
or B-weight stock and should be backed by masking tape before use.

The slot should, of course, be just wide enough to grip the
sandpaper tightly when the tool is in use, but loose enough to
permit flap replacement. I recommend using the two-flap method,
where one end of each flap is folded over, then both hooked
together facing opposite each other, then inserted into tool; this
method eliminates the ‘skipping’ motion experienced using one flap
only, and also makes the paper last longer in use. It should be
noted that this tool produces excellent results when only the flap
tips are allowed to touch the workpiece, and then bringing the tool
closer in for heavier applications.

Unlike the steel shanks of old grinding points, hanger wire should
be tempered/hardened to a spring-quality blue to impart greater
durability. This is important concerning the two prongs of the
slot, in that they do not deform/bend/break off in use (creating
yet another interesting projectile to dig out of your forehead).

Lastly, round off & polish the slot end, so that if the tool does
come in contact with the workpiece, damage will be minimal.

This tool has served me well in fine wood carving as well as the
smithy, and I invite everyone to try it, and see if it lessens
production time, and (being less prone to scratching) improves
final product finish.

Sincerely,
Daniel P. Buchanan dan@nelsonhouse.com