Silver with waves and indents from bench pin!

Hi, I am struggling with how to hold very small pieces when sanding/finishing. The bench pin leaves marks when I hold a piece and use my flex shaft to sand. (See pic of square wire)

I am also getting waves in the silver on this stud earring I made. Is that from the finishing process? How could I prevent it on further pieces? The stud earring was a dome that I flattened with my hammer. I then held it by the post in my bench pin and used the flex shaft. Thank you!

I cover my wooden bench pin with wide blue painter’s masking tape when working on soft pieces. It looks to me as if you are working on scratched metal?

Holding small things is a whole other issue. Pin vises, guillotine clamps, pitch cups, setter’s cement or shellac on a small piece of wood, small ball vise with various fittings, customized cut-outs on a wooden bench pin…

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Neil pretty much covers it. Remember that the heat generated by polishing can let some adhesives go soft and let go…Rob


in terms of holding a small piece such as the square wire, consider the following:

  • use a file to put notches in you pin to help brace your work

  • put a piece of leather on your bench pin

  • use a rubber bench block or bench filing pin

  • leave the piece of wire longer while you are finishing it, to give you more to hand onto, and then saw it to length after you are done

  • use a pair of parallel pliers, with brass jaws, to hold onto the wire
    use fine sand paper on a rigid sanding stick to soften up the edges of the jaws, perhaps starting with 800 grit

  • use a ring clamp to hold onto wire
  • for round wire, you could use a pin vise

as far as finishing goes, if you desire a flat surface i suggest starting with sanding sticks, which are flat and rigid and will help to result in a flat surface…(you can refresh them by wrapping new emery paper around them and taping the bottom…fold and score the paper to get sharper edges) perhaps starting with 320 or 400 grit, then 600, then 800, then 1000, etc, then pre- polishing compound such as grey star on a stitched muslin buff, and then polishing compound such as Picasso Blue on an unstitched balloon cloth buff
(this is assuming your metal is relatively free of deep gouges and scratches…if not, then start with courser grit emery paper and cut #2 files…)


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