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Tumbling media question


#1

Greetings, Most Awesome Orchids…

I have a Vibra-Sonic tumbler (single hopper, adjustable
speed)…I want to polish silver…has anyone had success with
the ceramic media and silver?

I see stainless being recommended and its expense…

Any preferred brands and/or sources, for ceramic & stainless?

Thanks,

Wm.

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#2

Hi Wm.,

I just ordered 10# of mixed stainless shot from Gesswein. The
catalog listed it a $78 or so, but when I called it was ~$136,
pretty much in line with Rio and IJS. You might want to check
with Dave Arens’ source, Thunderbird. You may save $20. Carbon
steel would be cheaper, but my understanding is that it is
susceptible to rust.

Dave

Dave Sebaste
Sebaste Studio
Charlotte, NC (USA)
dave@sebaste.com
http://www.sebaste.com


#3

Hi folks,

I use the carbon steel shot and store it in a tupperware in the
"safe" anti-freeze.

Regards,

Skip

                                  Skip Meister
                                NRA Endowment and
                                   Instructor
                                @Skip_Meister
                                11/20/9701:30:00

#4

I find this area of discussion very interesting. Much of my
work is in silver, my designs are with using a scroll wire method.
I’m interested in steps in using a tumbler to polish a piece from
start to finish. I have both a Vibra-tek and Lortone rotary
tumbler.

I’ve tried using various medias from Rio-Grande as directed, I
can remove fire scale without a problem, but my pieces always come
out with a satin finish. I can get What am I doing wrong? Now,
you say use steel shot for a polish, is this used with a
compound?

Terri Collier
Dallas, TX
@scollier


#5

I just ordered 10# of mixed stainless shot from Gesswein. The
catalog listed it a $78 or so, but when I called it was ~$136,
pretty much in line with Rio and IJS. You might want to check
with Dave Arens’ source, Thunderbird. You may save $20. Carbon
steel would be cheaper, but my understanding is that it is
susceptible to rust.

Hi Dave, William You are right about carbon steel rusting, but so
will stainless if left too long. I learned this lesson the very
expensive way and never left the shot without drying it again. Sol
K.


#6

Like you, I’ve found that the tumbler is great for certain
aspects of polishing but not for everything. There are some fine
products for doing initial cut down and scratch removal if you
don’t have too detailed a piece. These and other products are
also great for firescale removal. Also, there are a couple things
– steel shot and rouge-charged walnut shell and/or sawdust –
which are great for final polish. What I can’t seem to find is a
really good product for that intermediate stage, between cut
down and final poish, that is, pre-polish. For this, I’m still
forced back to the buffing wheel befor final polish tumbling. It
would be nice to find a great pre-polish media for tumbling.

If anybody out there knows of one, I’d sure be pleased to hear
about it.


#7

Hi Terri,

 Now, you say use steel shot for a polish, is this used with a
compound?

You have to remember, Rio & others are interested in selling
’stuff’. They may interupt your questions to their advantage, one
that requires you to buy something. The best, fastest & easiest
way to polish (burnish, actually) items made from wire is with a
vibratory or magnetic tumbler using assorted shapes of shot. Most
of the items I polish in the tumbler come from the pickle pot,
get rinsed & then tumbled for about 1/2 hr. Polishing fabricated
or cast items in a tumbler works well also. There’s just 1 caveat
though; all scratches dings & dents must be removed before
tumbling, or you’ll have shiney scratches, dings & dents when you
remove the item from the tumbler I’ve been using a pinch of
burnishing soap (any low or no sudsing soap wi ll do, (dishwasher
soap)) & 1-2 oz of household ammonia in a small vibratory tumbler
(7# of shot). It’s only necessary to put the soap in the 1st time
you tumble or after cleaning the shot. Put the ammonia in only
when there 's no ammonia smell when the lid is taken off. Keep
the lid tightly closed between tumbler uses. Either carbon or
stainless steel shot can be used . The advantage of stainless is
it’s non-rusting. The carbon steel will rust unless the lid is
kept tightly closed between uses. Stainless is twice as expensive
as carbon steel. Both types of shot should be cleaned on a
periodic basis or when ever they get grungy.

Dave


#8

I appreciate the tip, Sol! I figured stainless shot was
"immune" to rust! :wink:

Dave

Dave Sebaste
Sebaste Studio
Charlotte, NC (USA)
dave@sebaste.com
http://www.sebaste.com


#9

Hi gang,

  You are right about carbon steel rusting, but so will
stainless if left too long. 

Be aware, there are several stainless steel alloys. The major
difference in their make-up is the % of steel & chromium. The
typical stainless steels have less than 0.7% carbon & 9-16 %
chromium. The more chromium, the less

susceptible to rust & also the less magnetic. Good stainless is
non-magnetic. Some stainlesses contain nickle & or other
elements for specific applications.

The pins used in the new magnetic tumbles are called stainless,
however if they were a high stainless they’d be non-magnetic &
wouldn’t work. Draw your own conclusions.

Stainless steels are refered to as ‘corrosion resistant’ steels
in industry. There is no set standard that says ‘steel must
contain x% of this, y% of that & z% of something else’ to be
called stainless.

Dave


#10

Yes -Rio has a burnishing compound that works very well with
steel shot.


#11
  I 've tried using various medias from Rio-Grande as
directed, I can remove fire scale without a problem, but my
pieces always come out with a satin finish. I can get What am I
doing wrong?  Now, you say use steel shot for a polish, is this
used with a compound? 

I use the Super Descaler (I think that’s what it is called) from
Rio with the ($11.00 /lb stainless steel shot) I do not get
statin finish, my stuff comes out very BRIGHT looking.


#12
  Also, there are a couple things -- steel shot and
rouge-charged walnut shell and/or sawdust -- which are great
for final polish 

Please explain this further . . . I have walnut shell with some
green looking stuff, but have never known how to use it! Am I
supposed to use the walnut (corn cob?) and green looking stuff
with the stainless steel or porceline (sp?) media??? I seem to
remember reading (hearing?) that whatever is being “polished” via
this method doesn’t have to have tags, or other paper/plastic
(hangers or watever) removed. Is this so??? I think I’m
becoming very confused!!! :~)


#13
   An 8 inch dia bowl requires about 7 lbs of shot. Shot is
available from Thunderbird Supply Co (800-545-7968) for about
$5.00/lb (carbon steel) & $11.00/lb (stainless). The stainless
is non magnetic. Best prices I've found anywhere. Dave  

I would not recommend buying carbon steel if you have the
opportunity and resources to purchase stainless. Carbon steel
rusts and then you end up buying the stainless months later, thus
costing you more in the long run. I learned the expensive way.

Karen


#14
  I would not recommend buying carbon steel if you have the
opportunity and resources to purchase stainless.  Carbon steel
rusts and then you end up buying the stainless months later,
thus costing you more in the long run.  I learned the expensive
way

Karen, your advice is very good! I agree that it’s not worth it
to spend the money twice. Get the good stuff the first time and
be done with it! : )


#15

I wholeheartedly agree. I think it saves money in the long run!
Sandra