....after an hour or two of tumbling in plastic high-density
media, the pieces develop a very fine orange peel texture. I'd
heard of this happening with steel shot, but not with plastic
Emily - I wonder if the pieces are nesting in the abrasive. Since
you don't use a flow thru tumbler, the junk that wears off the media
could be digging holes in your pieces. Try stringing the pieces
with spacers, or twisting each piece to separate on a fine wire - I
use a 28 gauge stainless binding wire for this.
You might adjust the amount of liquid that you are running with the
media. It is just possible that the media you are using sheds
enough abrasive that you could also see this orange peel. If so,
try changing to a clean liquid part way thru the process - or spring
for a flow thru tumbler.
Another thing to try is skip the steel altogether and go from the
fine abrasive directly to the green buff.
I've had really good luck with the grey and green hone product as a
two stage abrasive from Rio when working with soft, little detail,
light weight pieces.