Back to Ganoksin | FAQ | Contact

Should i tumble head pins and how?


#1

i plan to make about 100 sterling head pins with a balled end. i
have read that i can use a tumbler to work harden and polish them. i
haven’t purchased a tumbler yet, so i have no idea what this project
would require.

i’m assuming that i would use steel shot and a burnishing liquid,
but what kind and size of tumbler would i need? the head pins will
be between 2.5 and 4 inches. won’t the pins come out as a big nest
of twisted wires? i would think that the larger the tumbler the less
the wires would be bent. but the larger tumbler is more expensive
and might not fit my general tumbling needs, which means no
production work.

i have read judy hoch’s tumbling book twice and am daunted at the
end of it since i don’t do anything in mass. yet, there are some
tasks that seem would be done so much easier/faster with a tumbler,
regardless of the size of my operation (i.e., a beginner slowly doing
one-offs).

so, i guess i need advice in general about buying my first tumbler
and in specific about the head pins.

thank all of you who take the time to teach, jean adkins


#2

Jean, I have purchased both rotary and vibratory tumblers from the
usual jewelry related sources. I have alswys heard that if it is for
"Jewelry" it costs more.

Having said that, I research gun supply dealers and found a catalog
store online “Midway” from them I purchased a vibratory tumbler for
a third of the cost of a similar one. The difference? This one is
for polishing brass shells and casings. It works quite well for my
chains, pendants, etc.

The head pins will do just fine in a vibratory type tumbler, they
will not bend, entwine with one another or anything else negative.
They will work harden and shine.

I use steel shot (mixed) water and simple green.

Teresa


#3

I have a little vibratory tumbler that I bought at a gun store that
would do a fine job of polishing and hardening the head pins. I do
recommend the stainless steel shot if you are like me and do not use
it everyday. I couldn’t keep the other from rusting. Marilyn Smith


#4
      I plan to make about 100 sterling head pins with a balled
end. i have read that i can use a tumbler to work harden and
polish them.  i haven't purchased a tumbler yet, so i have no idea
what this project would require.  i'm assuming that i would use
steel shot and a burnishing liquid, but what kind and size of
tumbler would i need?  the head pins will be between 2.5 and 4
inches.  won't the pins come out as a big nest of twisted wires? i
would think that the larger the tumbler the less the wires would be
bent.  .....    so, i guess i need advice in general about buying
my first tumbler and in specific about the head pins.  " 

Jean – a small rock tumbler that holds about 6 pounds is where I’d
suggest you start. Given the current difficulty with Rio Grande
access - use the on-line catalog from Alpha Supply found at:
http://www.alpha-supply.com and on page 235 the Lortone model QT 6
is a good beginning rotary tumbler. It should serve you well for a
long time. The only reason to buy a big tumbler is if you do really
big pieces or large volumes. Do buy stainless steel shot, the other
stuff rusts.

As to tumbler size and making a tangle of your head pins - larger
tumblers tangle worse because they have greater mass of media. You
may have some slightly bent pins, but no real damage. Finishing 100
of anything is a mass - you don’t need to do thousands to use mass
finishing techniques.

Judy Hoch, G.G.
@Judy_Hoch
www.marstal.com


#5

hi! i use fine silver for making headpins. fine silver makes
rounder balls than sterling, and shines all by itself. also takes
longer to tarnish. i only use these when putting on one or two
pearls, as fine silver is so soft and will bend quite easily. i also
make a loop and wrap the end 3 times, for safety and a classic look.
joanna gollberg