Wire, chain, tiny Faceted cuts

Bought some incredibly sparkly chain and wire, from rio grande. But after I fabricate them, pickle, tumble them and polish them with rouge I have lost all the Sparkle. What am I doing wrong? How do I do it right?

Thank you Christina Butchko

I am not sure why you would polish a chain. Was the wire, and possibly the chain, diamond cut to start with?..Rob

Oh my gosh I hope I didn’t put down chain. It’s Faceted wire, and I wanted to make little stack rings but once I go through the process
,I lose the shimmer and shake so to speak. They’re just dull.

Glad you weren’t polishing a chain because that can be dangerous. know, my polishing hood has the scars, luckily mine have healed. Looking at the item description from the Rio site, it looks like you need to keep this wire as close to as delivered condition as possible to retain the sparkle. I have never worked with it, but if I did, I would very carefully manipulate it into shape, apply an alcohol and boric acid flux to the entire surface, flux the joint and solder with easy solder. You want to avoid firescale. Pickle as usual and then soak in rinse water to dissolve any flux residue. Start polishing with a hand cloth to see where that gets you. As soon as you start to us a wheel driven motor I suspect that you will very quickly lose the sparkle because you will be cutting down the sharp edges that create it. Small brushes or 3M wheels on a flex shaft may also work, but be gentle. Halstead has a you tube video about working with this type of wire. Hopefully, someone with experience will add their comments. Good luck…Rob

1 Like

Rio Grande sells this wire already made into stackable rings, so maybe save your labor and just get those.
Anyway, as Rob says, if you put this stuff to a wheel you’ll round the facets. More importantly, if you solder it without protecting the polish you’ll have to pickle and buff and there goes the sparkle.

When a part that has to go into the fire has been pre-polished we must protect the surface from contact with oxygen. We do this by coating the piece with a thin paste of boric acid and alcohol. You set the alcohol alight and allow it to burn off before hitting it with the torch. Then you slowly bring the piece up to temperature, which will melt the boric acid into a protective glass, keeping air away from the polished surface. The boric acid coating will melt well before the metal reaches soldering temperature. After soldering you can pickle it and the boric acid will dissolve. Then only the area where the solder may have disturbed the coating will need polishing.

Practice on a few off cuts to get the technique down.

1 Like