I was recently asked to recommend a process for achieving a soft
matte finish on handmade sterling chains using a rotary tumbler. As
I’m not an expert in the area of mass finishing, my first instinct
was to hit the Rio catalog, buy a selection of media, and start doing
experiments. Then it occurred to me that I might be able to get a
jump start on the experiments by posing this question to the Orchid
group and learning from the group’s collective experience. If anyone
has any ideas of where to start (or what to steer clear of), I would
be very glad to hear them. My initial idea was to burnish to my
normal high shine to get a very even, consistent surface and then do
time/grit size experiments with simple silicon carbide abrasives,
perhaps using plastic pellets to provide some bulk in the tumbler.
If the SiC proved unsatisfactory, I was then planning on moving on to
the various proprietary abrasives…a somewhat bewildering idea,
given the array of choices available.
Thanks in advance for any ideas!