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Tumbled brass links

Marion, tumbling (without abrasive media) will oxidize brass and
copper to a very deep almost indestructible finish. I discovered
this by accident when I tumbled about 500 small brass beads to
polish them up and they turned out greenish black with a satin
finish (I was using porcelain beads as media). It wasn’t what I
wanted at the time, but I liked the “patina” so much I’ve
repeated it several times with different brass alloys and copper.
I asked around about why this happened and was told that the
tumbling process provides a super-oxygenating atmosphere which is
enhanced by the oxygen in the water (similar principle to an
aerator in an acquarium).

If you don’t want this to happen, I think you might be able to
get some kind of solution from Rio or other places which will
prevent it and give you the high brass color you want. I asked
someone in the tech department at Rio and he suggested one of
their products, but I never followed up on it because I liked the
patina better.

Hopes this helps solve your puzzle.


What do you use in the tumbler if not abrasive media. Is it
just soap and water or do you use shot. Thanks. J.