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Tumbling media


#1

Hi, I’ve been using stainless shot in my tumbler, but I am no
thrilled with the results. I want a better shine, and it would be
great if those tiny scratches disappeared. I need the work hardening
aspect of the shot I think, but I know ever so people that use the
ceramic/porcelain media. I’d like to try some-any recommendationse
The online sources really don’t say what their applications are for
the different shapes and materials. Any input is greatly appreciated.
Thank you!

Lori
Just outside of Boston


#2

Hi, I’ve been using stainless shot in my tumbler, but I am no
thrilled with the results. I want a better shine, and it would be
great if those tiny scratches disappeared. I need the work hardening
aspect of the shot I think, but I know ever so people that use the
ceramic/porcelain media. I’d like to try some-any recommendationse
The online sources really don’t say what their applications are for
the different shapes and materials. Any input is greatly appreciated.

Thank you!
Lori


#3

My jewelry has lots of high flat and curved areas that need to be
highly polished. In between are areas of relief and the resulting
contrast that makes this all work. I usually polish by hand using
traditional tripoli or Luxi blue and rouge or Luxi white compounds
and treated and non-treated muslin buffs. After forty years, my
hands and ears have taken a beating. I do have an AV25 flow thru
vibratory tumbler that uses a three step ceramic and polishing media
process. The results are fairly good, but you have to play with
timing and make sure that you prep the pieces so that they go in with
a uniformly sanded finish. I still have to do some touch up depending
on the piece. I have used this tumbler for 25 years, but only when I
have enough work at one time to justify the wear and tear on the
media. I recently bought a Lortone 6 quart tumbler and 7 pounds of
mixed SS shot (shot is very expensive). I don’t like the results on
my big pieces and won’t use it for that. I do make a line of small
and simple earrings, ring, and Christmas tree ornaments that are
mainly wire without any flat areas.

It does a good job on these types pieces and, since the shot doesn’t
wear, I can run small jobs in it. In the end, hand polishing works
for me, but if I can avoid it without compromising the results, I
will use the tumbler.

This has been a topic of discussion in the recent past and you
should be able to find more in the archives. Good luck.
Rob


#4

Lori- Tumbling with stainless shot should not leave scratches and
should leave a really really shiny surface. Are you using a vibratory
tumbler or rotating tumbler? Are you using tumbler soap? At what
stage of finishing are you putting your work in the tumbler? Is the
work clean without any investment or grit of any kind on it? How long
are you leaving your work in there? What metal are you working in?

Jo Haemer
timothywgreen.com


#5

I like Rio’s ceramic polishing media in my vibe tumbler. Ceramic
Mixed Polishing Media $19.50 each 339071 along with the Super
Sunsheen burnishing compound Item #: 339323 I’ve been using the same
load of media for several years now.

Aurora


#6

A suggestion on process -

  1. run your work for 30 minutes in steel - in a rotary tumbler. You
    can use a vibratory one, but only if you have enough steel in it, and
    the tumbler is rated for steel.

  2. Depending on how scratched, run your work in a vibratory tumbler
    with sequential media - medium to fine. 4 - 6 hours per process. My
    fabricated work works well with just Rios clean cut aqua, which
    produces a 3 micron finish.

  3. Run again in steel - 30 to 45 minutes no more. (Metal surface
    starts to break down microscopically after 1 hour.) 4. For a stunning
    shine, finish with dry media - any of these - Vibra dry 50,000, green
    buff, red buff or DIY crushed shell/cob meal with Simichrome. Run
    this step for 24 to 36 hours, in a vibe - dry process.

Judy Hoch, G. G.

The book I wrote - Tumble Finishing for Handmade Jewelry would help you
more. Available from your favorite jewelry supply house, not Amazon.