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What liquid do you use in your vibratory tumblers?


#1

I use a vibratory tumbler with the plastic pyramids to clean up my
gold castings somewhat. I have purchased some burnishing liquids in
the past, but am wondering if they really do anything much more than
plain old water. Any thoughts? Other, cheaper, liquids?

Regards,
Gena Wagner


#2

It IS important to have some kind of soap in the water to help
suspend the metal particles that come off your work. If not
suspended, they will impinge back into the surface of the work,
making a dirty-looking film which must be further removed. You really
do not want this. I use the liquid soap from Rio, but some others
soaps might work, too. Anyone?

M’lou Brubaker
Minnesota, USA
http://www.craftswomen.com/M’louBrubaker


#3

M’lou, you are completely correct in my experience. In fact, I use
only the (cheaper) carbon steel not stainless. Everyone worries
about it rusting but, we use it in the studio and sometimes I don;t
need to clean or change it for 4-5 months at a time. The reason?
Because I keep it covered with water with burnishing soap. This keeps
the O2 from the steel and, when in use, facilitates the gentle
sliding action necessary to burnish the items being tumbled.

Cheers from Don in SOFL.


#4

I used to use Dawn original but can’t find it anymore. They do say
not to use anything with ammonia or additives in it. Now I use
Sunsheen from Rio. Works so much better. Of course, my tumbler is on
the fritz. Think it’s the belt but I haven’t had time to look at it.
I just ordered a new Lortone so I can have one for lapidary and one
for polishing.

Regards,
Michele
MikiCat Designs
http://www.mikicatdesigns.com


#5

I use plain old ivory soap. I get the cakes, unwrap them and let them
harden, then grate them on my kitchen grater, and add a heaping
teaspoon to plain water in my small Lorton tumbler. works just fine.
I usually leave the shot in the soapy mix, and have never had any
rusting or problems This was a suggestion given to me by an old
rockhound many years ago.

Alma


#6

I use a powdered tumbling soap and keep the shot covered with the
solution all the time, change it when it gets gray and non-sudsy. I
tried the Rio Super Sunsheen once. Hated it, went back to the tried
and true method.

Janet Kofoed
http://users.rcn.com/kkofoed


#7

Hi there,

Ive just joined the group, and dont know the original thread here,
but this has been a bit of an issue for me of late…not wanting to
use the standard UK polishing compound barellbrite with my steel
shot (it will harm your unborn children, according to the cosh info)
I have tried a range of substitutes, but the best discovery for me
has been a combination of washing up liquid (a good squirt) and
apricot facial scrub (the cheapest you can find!). The walnut shell
pieces seem to assist in the polishing process, and the emulsion
prevents the steel from greying the silver in the burnishing process.
And if its safe for your face it cant be too detramental to the
environment?

Vicky


#8

What is Powered Tumbling Soap?

Lyn Maloney


#9
They do say not to use anything with ammonia or additives in it. 

I was taught by an old master silversmith to use nothing BUT sudsy
ammonia. I cover the SS shot with it in my vibratory tumbler and have
done so for 5 years with no issue. It is cheapand works well. I rinse
it out when the liquid gets icky blackish looking. I does stink
however. Why do you think not to use ammonia?

Jean Menden
www.jmendensilver.com


#10

Sorry, that should have been powdered tumbling soap. I bought it
from Hagstoz in Philadelphia.

Janet Kofoed
http://users.rcn.com/kkofoed


#11

I was desperate one day and used the cheapest degreaser (from the
dollar store). I did not dilute it, but figured that since it doesn’t
create foam and is slippery, it might work. It worked better than any
thing I had used previously.

I then asked a few of the Florida Society of Goldsmiths’ members to
test my discovery and they were thrilled that even their stainless
steel shot looked cleaner. The fact that it removed the buffing
compound is just an added bonus! These are just some of the tips and
tricks we try to include in our newsletter. You do not have to live
in Florida to join FSG. Check out our website at fsg4u.com

Jean Marie DeSpiegler
Executive Director
Florida Society of Goldsmiths


#12

Jean Marie - So, what is the name brand of that cheap degreaser?

Jean Menden
www.jmendensilver.com


#13
what is the name brand of that cheap degreaser? 

“Simple Green” spray cleaner. Buy it anywhere in your cleaning
departments.


#14

I think that the simple, predictable liquid to use in a tumbler is
one that is formulated for the media being used. Plastic and ceramic
medias need a mildly alkaline solution, steel needs a mildly acidic
solution. Follow those recommendations with a regard for the metal
being tumbled. Also pay attention to the abrasive in your media and
how it interacts with your liquid. Measure how much you use in a
closed system and when you get it right, do it the same way every
time.

For the small cost involved, why would you risk spoiling a batch to
save a few cents? Tumbling should yield predictable results. If you
use random mixes of soap, degreaser, water or whatever, you will get
random results. Making jewelry is hard enough, why make it harder?

Short form, there are a lot of good industrial chemists and
engineers that have worked to make our job easier and predictable.
Use their results and spend your time making great jewelry. Each
purveyor of media and machines also has recommended liquids - use
them.

Judy Hoch


#15

Hi Jean,

The Dollar Tree carries a degreaser called “Awesome”, The spray
bottle is orange and the full name is LA’s Totally Awesome Orange
All Purpose Degreaser and spot remover.

Jean Marie DeSpiegler
Florida Society of Goldsmiths
Educational Workshops for metalsmiths!


#16

Hello Judy,

Each purveyor of media and machines also has recommended liquids -
use them 

To give you a quick answer. I do not use always use products
recommented by the manufacturer.

My soldering station needs once a year fresh Natriumhydroxide which
a can purchase for a few dollars a kilo.

If I wouth use the chemicals recommendet by the manufacturer, I pay
56 euro without P&P. Shure, If you break it down into the amount of
days you use it and calculate the costs its not much.

However, somebody has to carry for costs of materials and in this
case the customers do. By buying the chemicals myself, add clear
water
to it, let it be and even keeping in mind the time I use for clearing
this job, I can serv my customer better without further costs.

Yes, in some cases you make a point and you better stick with the
recommended products to keep you save concerning your garantie of
your machinery and/or tools.

…Jepp, I use regular soap for tumbling and it works well but I use
another type for my magnetic finisher for a high end finished
surface.

Greetings from Europe
Pedro


#17

Hello Judy,

Each purveyor of media and machines also has recommended liquids -
use them 

To give you a quick answer. I do not use always use products
recommented by the manufacturer.

My soldering station needs once a year fresh Natriumhydroxide which
a can purchase for a few dollars a kilo.

If I wouth use the chemicals recommendet by the manufacturer, I pay
56 euro without P&P. Shure, If you break it down into the amount of
days you use it and calculate the costs its not much.

However, somebody has to carry for costs of materials and in this
case the customers do. By buying the chemicals myself, add clear
water
to it, let it be and even keeping in mind the time I use for clearing
this job, I can serv my customer better without further costs.

Yes, in some cases you make a point and you better stick with the
recommended products to keep you save concerning your garantie of
your machinery and/or tools.

…Jepp, I use regular soap for tumbling and it works well but I use
another type for my magnetic finisher for a high end finished
surface.

Greetings from Europe
Pedro


#18

Hello Judy,

Each purveyor of media and machines also has recommended liquids -
use them 

To give you a quick answer. I do not use always use products
recommented by the manufacturer.

My soldering station needs once a year fresh Natriumhydroxide which
a can purchase for a few dollars a kilo.

If I wouth use the chemicals recommendet by the manufacturer, I pay
56 euro without P&P. Shure, If you break it down into the amount of
days you use it and calculate the costs its not much.

However, somebody has to carry for costs of materials and in this
case the customers do. By buying the chemicals myself, add clear
water
to it, let it be and even keeping in mind the time I use for clearing
this job, I can serv my customer better without further costs.

Yes, in some cases you make a point and you better stick with the
recommended products to keep you save concerning your garantie of
your machinery and/or tools.

…Jepp, I use regular soap for tumbling and it works well but I use
another type for my magnetic finisher for a high end finished
surface.

Greetings from Europe
Pedro


#19

I use lemon joy or any kind of lemon dish soap. It cleans the
jewelry very well.

Valerie Heck
http://valerieaheck.blogspot.com