I want it for small pierced work (mostly pendants of intricate,
cut-out quotes) but have gotten the impression that all the mass
polishing systems are not so good on flat, shiny objects....
Any object can be polished to perfection with mass polishing system
techniques. However it is not a one size fits all answer.
When polishing flat objects, it is important to get a very smooth
finish prior to burnishing. You can get a pretty smooth finish
with a one step abrasive such as Rio’s aqua cones, or for a better
finish, use a two step abrasive process such as the grey hone,
followed by green hone, also Rios stuff. Then - you burnish with
either stainless steel shot or ceramic beads. If you use the
stainless steel shot, you follow with a dry vibratory buff of wood
pegs and chips charged with simichrome. The steel runs in an hour
or less, the ceramic beads take 12 to 18 hours and are kind of a
nuisance to handle. My rule of thumb is that flat surfaces require
24 to 48 hours to finish to a perfect shine.
None of this is particularly fast, but the machines do the work, not
you, and you don’t have to stand and breathe the junk from the
buff. You can go faster with machines such as the disc finisher,
but they are relatively expensive. A magnetic tumbler would be
very poor for your application because they cause tiny sparkles on
For more see my website for “the book” on tumble
finishing or order it from Rio, Gesswein, or Ottofrei. I haven’t
put it out to the general public on Amazon etc because it is so
specific to our industry. I would love to have Orchid list it.
Judy Hoch, G.G.