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Tumbling / mass finishing


#1

Hello all! I am exploring a new area and since you have all been so
wonderful about sharing your experiences, I thought I would seek
your opinions. First, I have to say that since joining the list 3
months ago, my skills have grown by leaps and bounds thanks to all
of you. I cannot wait to update my website with the new pieces–so
little time!

Anyway, I am currently working on a bracelet made from sterling and
dichroic glass. The design is fairly elaborate and consists of
several linked elements. There are a lot of squared and triangular
profiles, and the edges are an important design element.

As I have been fabricating the bracelet, I have been trying to think
of the best way to finish it. Initially, I planned to use a buffer
for each element prior to linking them together–I am not sure it
would be safe to link it and then use the buffer. However, it
occured to me that I could probably assemble the piece and then use
my tumbler (works great for chains, so why not). Of course, I would
not add the glass until after the metal was fully finished, and I am
concerned about losing the edges–as I said the design is about the
edges and the lines and angles they create.

Now for the question, my tumbler is a fairly new acquisition and so
far I have only used it to finish chains (it is a god send for
that). With this particular piece, I would like to try using the
tumbler for as much of the finishing as possible. I don’t know
which media to use and what sequence to use them in. I will also be
using a rotary tumbler if that makes a difference.

Can anyone help? Your assistance would be deeply appreciated.

Thanks!
Andrea L. McLester
http://almclester.netfirms.com


#2
    Anyway, I am currently working on a bracelet made from
sterling and dichroic glass. However, it occured to me that I could
probably assemble the piece and then use my tumbler (works great
for chains, so why not). 

Sadly a tumbler is not always the answer to the problem. I have
tried this method on a number (yes it took more than one failure to
learn my lesson) of pieces with bezel settings. Unfortunately the
bezel itself becomes so work hardened that it is impossible to set
smoothly - at least with the methods open to me. But the tumbler is
definitely the best for chains…

For this type of setting I reverted to using my Foredom with the
spiky polishing wheels - they come in a set.

If anyone has the answer this is the place to find it!

Sadie


#3

Hi Andrea, You can tumble fused glass as long as you are not using
abrasives and just a mild detergent…nothing that might etch the
glass. Take care…Patty www.pljglassart.com


#4

i often pre-tumble with Rio’s pink ceramic cone media, with the
de-burring solution Rio sells. this tumbling media does not work
harden. furthermore, it is wonderful for an even matte finish. you
could tumble in this first; then after setting the glass cabs, tumble
in the stainless for a final shiny finish.