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Weaving polish question

When weaving very fine sterling, I find it very difficult to get in
between all of the tiny little wires and get the piece to a high
shine. Should I just get the woven piece plated with sterling after
it is made, or is there a much better way of polishing fine weavings?
Thank you for your help! Lee

Lee-Have you tried weaving Fine Silver? It doesn’t tarnish as much as
Sterling, and depending on stones, etc., can be dipped in a liquid
silver cleaner or bushed over with a small brush dipped in cleaner.


If you buff woven work, the compound gets in between the wires and it
takes a while to get it out. What I do, when I don’t want to spend a
lot of time polishing and then cleaning up afterward, is to make sure
the wire is as highly polished as possible, ahead of time. Then, when
I do buff it or polish it, at least the inaccessible parts are not
going to contrast badly with the outer surfaces.

I’ve also used a magnetic tumbler with very fine steel media, but
that has its own hazards, since then you have to make sure you get all
the steel pins out of the work. I tumbled my knotted chain in one and
even after twenty minutes or so of carefully examining it and picking
pins out, I found one later on as I was showing the chain to someone


Hello, I’d try a soft brush for getting into the areas your weaving
also I’d try a bath of some sort, I’m very curious in what your doing
can you share a web site I could go too,what is it your producing?
best of everything to you, Tom.

something i’ve tried with the miniature chainmail i make: after hand
polishing a finished piece (which means at least twice as long by
hand than any other piece by hand, just to allow the cloth to get more
of the polish done), i thoroughly wash it…then use a hair dryer to
dry it…the heat seems to help bring out some sheen…
hope it’s a useful idea, erhard.

Lee, I weave 30 ga. fine silver over 20 ga. sterling. After
soldering the 20 ga has a haze thats tough to get at. Usually I
brush well in the direction of the weaving with lots of dawn and a
steel brush. But— just yesterday I received my long awaited back
order of the green and peach 3M radial bristle discs from Rio. I
used a couple of the peach discs in my flex shaft running them in the
same direction as the weaving and because they are very flexible and
fine they did a pretty good job of getting into the crevices. Betty

Hello all, Thank you for the help. What I am doing is, weaving with
very thin wire to make little brooches. I am using sterling wire, that
looks great until I solder the findings on, and sometimes a small
stone. Then of course I soak it to remove the flux, I have never used
a pickle in my life, I just use a hot water soak to remove flux.
Could no pickle be the problem? Then when I polish othe piece on my
large wheel I get lots of polish in between all of the little grooves,
I thien brush it with hot soap and water to get it clean but it never
has a really high shine. It always looks slightly dirty. Thanks again, Lee

Your silver has oxidation from the soldering operation. You can clean
this away by using a pickle. You could try something like Tarnex
silverware cleaner. I’ve never tried this but if you are opposed to a
pickle, it might work. There are various sorts of pickle. Probably
the most used one is Sparex but more and more people are using critic

Marilyn Smith

Your polishing job would be a lot easier if you used pickle—it will
really remove all the tarnish caused by the soldering. After
pickling, dip the piece in baking soda and water to neutralize the
pickle, and then polish the regular way. That should give you a
nice bright finish.–Alma

925 Silver when heated to red will oxidize on the surface making it
look gray. This is called firescale and results from the copper in
the silver leaching to the surface and forming an oxide only a few
microns thick. The silver you are using is more than likely without
firescale and has a lovely white clean silver luster, that changes
when you solder on the findings. It will look clean (the way it did
before soldering) because the flux kept the oxygen away from the
metal as you heated it to solder. There are many commercial products
available to prevent firescale, including certain silver alloys which
do not firescale. Or you can make your own, borax powder and alcohol,
or was is Boracic acid and alcohol. I make master models for the
trade in silver or wax so I never have to bother with firescale. Also
all the scrubbing in the world will never get the polishing compound
out from under the woven wires, you need an ultrasonic, if not in
your budget, leave soaking in warm Ammonia (not very pleasant) for an
hour or so. Of course you really need to pickle out everything after
soldering to get it really clean. Hope this is informative.

Ed Dawson
Maine Master Models