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Tumbling


#1

Back when I was in college we had a tumble polisher. We used it
but thought it was a lazy mans way of polishing.

Now, that was over 12 years ago and now realise that when you
are in business on your own, time is money.

At the moment I spend hours a week hand polishing using a motor
and mops. I was wondering if tumbling produces the same effect as
hand polishing.

I now quite like the idea of loading up a barrel and leaving it
alone while getting on with something else.

Can anyone shed some light on what can and can`t be tumbled.

Any idea on how I can make a tumble polisher without going to
the expense of buying one just in case it doesn`t work.

Thanks in advance

Andrew


#2

Andrew, When I was in the market for a tumbler, I talked to
someone from technical support at Rio Grande Tools. He asked me
to send him a few sample pieces, which I did and he tumble
polished in the flow through system we were discussing. I
bought it.

It gets all the firescale off brass, bronze, and copper, and

very little to none off of sterling and 14k gold. On sterling,
the media doesn’t seem to break through the fine silver layer
and gives it a pretty good polish, of course not nearly as good
as hand polishing. The finish is very even. On the pieces that
a brush won’t get everywhere, it is my method of choice. It
works better on castings and rounded pieces than flat shiny
ones. Wendy Newman, designer/ goldsmith at @Wendy_Newman