Back to Ganoksin | FAQ | Contact

Working tiny


#1

Ok, I enjoy working with smaller pieces, piercing and sawing sizes
like for earrings and rings. My dilemma is not being able to file
and clean up such small pierced areas/designs. I have a really nice
small file set, but those are even too large at times for some small
pierced designs.

What would you all suggest?

thank you,
brenda


#2

Brenda,

Call Teval at All Craft and ask him for tiny files. He sold me a set
two years ago that I still use. They are extremely delicate so use
great care or you will break them.

All Craft Jewelry Supply
212.279.7077
135 W. 29th St
Suite 205
New York, NY 10001
Ask for Teval


#3

Depends on how timy the space. For those spaces to small for a small
file, I do many things, but the one that works the best is to take
either string, or dental floss get it wet and charge it with powdered
grit. The grit I normally use I get from wood working supply places.
Or you can use the grit that is used in rock polishing, or the
abrasives sold for buffing machines. Clamp the piece in the smallest
holding devise you can find.

Then run the string or floss through the opening. Great thing to do
when you need mind numbing work to get your mind off things. Or if
you have a very steady hand you can use small drill bits to help
clean the insides.

Many problems with the drill bit method. It can clean the insides,
but it creates a burr on the outside that you have to clean off. You
can use a very sharp scraper to get rid of it, Then there is the
tooth pick method. I chew the end of a tooth pick to soften it. Then
put it in a Flex shaft machine. You can charge it with the afore
mentioned grits. You will go through a lot of sting, floss, and tooth
picks, but you will get those impossibly small places. At least these
methods work for me.

Aggie Still shaking my head about using NaCl in a formula instead of
NaOH Duh!


#4

You need to thrum these openings.

You take a thin, flexible carrier, like string or ribbon, charge it
with an abrasive, thread through the opening, and work it back and
forth, being careful not to wear a groove into the metal.

In this video from Van Cleef and Arpels you can see a polisher
thrumming the seats during production of a mystery set brooch. Here
the polisher is using silk ribbon charged with, probably, tripoli.

This link will take you to the relevant scene, but the whole video
is beautiful to watch.

You can get commercially made sanding cords, in a variety of
thicknesses, abrasives and grits, from McMaster-Carr.

Elliot


#5

Hi Brenda Try using a grit impregnated string. I’m told its called
thrumming. Whatever you call it it works. Sheri


#6
What would you all suggest? 

String with rouge on it? CIA


#7

Brenda

I might suggest going to a watch-makers tool store and look around.
The set of miniature files are called “Escapment files” …These are
ultra small and of all shapes. They might do you extremely well and
will help you greatly.

If watch-makers use them for shaping small gears for a watch imagine
what they might do for you! Have fun and ‘off-line’ and keep me
posted, eh?

Gerry!
https://ganoksin.com/blog/gerrylewy


#8

Hi Brenda,

With the proper piercing technique there should be no need to use a
file for cleaning up. A piercing saw can make much cleaner cuts than
even the tiniest of files.

I would suggest more practise with the piercing saw.

Regards, Gary Wooding


#9

many companies sell abrasive cord by the spool in various grits and
cord sizes. One common vendor is Roseco. but there are many that sell
abrasive cords from jewelery supply vendors to companies like
micro-mark that cater to miniaturists (hobbyist & crafters). If you
can’t find them on your own I have a list - somewhere- I can post.
The thing that makes me even write this is that it is far easier to
use pre-loaded threads than screwing around with a slurry on a string
or using waxed floss accidentally and trying to get the material to
stick! As I said the cord itself comes in varying sizes but the
abrasive choices are many too. If you are going to use a slurry
cotton butcher’s twine works very well. rer


#10

I do a lot of tiny piercing. My first suggestion is to saw really
carefully so you don’t have any clean up. Then you can cut strips of
sand paper, fine sand cloth, you can buy rolls of sandpaper already
in thin strips, you can even clamp a string down as thin as dental
floss) with polishing compound, and I often take my broken saw blades
in tiny areas for touch up. But again the best thing to do is saw
carefully so you don’t have to clean up .[image: Inline image 1]

[Edit]

Attachment removed:

How can I share files and pictures with the list?
http://www.ganoksin.com/gnkurl/ftp

Or… send the files to the attention of service@ganoksin.com and
we will upload them for you…

[/Edit]


#11
My dilemma is not being able to file and clean up such small
pierced areas/designs. 

Thrumming. You use sanding thread. Or cut strips of sanding paper.

Elaine
CreativeTextureTools.com


#12

Brenda,

Paasche makes a small sandblasting brush that May be what you need.

Recapture is an issue with these things unless you build or buy a
cabinet.

Maybe this helps.
Cheers,
Chris Lund
Neurascenic - industrial design


#13
With the proper piercing technique there should be no need to use
a file for cleaning up. A piercing saw can make much cleaner cuts
than even the tiniest of files. 

That is exactly right. 8/0 blade leaves very fine surface if handled
properly.

For extra fine, use old 8/0 blade.

Some mentioned thrumming. I strongly advise against using any kind
of abrasive impregnated cords. When thrumming called for, it is done
without any abrasives whatsoever. Thrumming is burnishing, not
cutting.

Before one attempt thrumming, surfaces should be in pretty good
condition.

Leonid Surpin
Studioarete.com


#14

Hi Brenda et al

I had the same problem. Selwyn from House of Jewellery (AUST) gave
me this tip.

Use sandpaper in your saw frame to get into tight spots.

A lady who does beautiful piercing work, I told this tip to,
modified it by folding the sandpaper over binding wire before putting
it in the saw frame.

Finish with 3000 grit as it sands and then buffs.

Richard


#15

Get a box of round toothpicks, not flat ones.

Insert toothpick into a pin vice for a good grip.

Rub them across bobbing compound, polish into the grooves of the
metal as needed, then steam off residue.

Use a new toothpick with rouge on it for the next polishing step.

You can also put a toothpick into a pin vice that attaches to a
polishing motor or handpiece!

M. Mersky


#16

I have used a 0.5mm drill bit for drilling for small piercing and
then a # 6’0’ or smaller blade. You can use the edge of the blade as
a file. (Make sure the blade is as tight as possible) Also make sure
you cut right in the point of the V with thin silver, so that the
work piece is well supported.

Plan your work so you only work in small areas finishing each area
before going on to the next, working generally in one direction, to
avoid collapse of detail. Plan carefully!

David Cruickshank (Australia)
jewellerydavidcruickshank.com.au


#17

Hi Leonid,

Some mentioned thrumming. I strongly advise against using any kind
of abrasive impregnated cords. When thrumming called for, it is
done without any abrasives whatsoever. Thrumming is burnishing, not
cutting. 

I’m curious about something: given that thrumming is typically
performed with cotton twine, how does one burnish metal with cotton?
This sounds most intriguing.

Before one attempt thrumming, surfaces should be in pretty good
condition. 

This part I can agree with.

Regards,
Brian


#18

I want to clarify my use of string/dental floss. The grit I purchase
is in many grades from 3000 to 25,000 through the wood working place
near me.

Next rock polishing sites also carry abrasives some of which are
diamond as fine as 50,000. I do not buy the pre charged string for a
very big reason. I’m to damn cheap. There is so much waste of the pre
charged strings. Where you hold it is pure waste. I charge a central
area of the strings I use and that with a nice paste that I can dip
back into if I need to. I control how much is used, and where it is
placed so there is no extra waste.

The tooth picks I use, I chew for a reason. It opens it up a little
bit so the grit can easier be embedded. It also adds just enough
moisture for the grit to adhere better as well. If you have really
fine crevices or creases on your metal that are hard to polish, just
use the tooth pick to get into those tight spaces. It is versatile
enough to use point on or on it’s side

Floss is not created equal from one type to the next. I look for
ones that are more like the old string version. Yet some of them have
enough embedded grit of their own you don’t have to use anything
else.

My over riding reason for these methods again is because I’m cheap.
Takes less materials, and a little powdered grit goes a very long
way. Also I wait for sales.

Aggie the cheapskate


#19
I'm curious about something: given that thrumming is typically
performed with cotton twine, how does one burnish metal with
cotton? This sounds most intriguing. 

Cotton twine is used for polishing and it is used in combination
with rouge, so in my book it is cutting. It is fine for finishing
round and oval openings, but very destructive on flat surfaces.
Instead of cotton twine, twill tape works much better. Thrumming is
done with material which has high coefficient of friction. Any craft
store carries number of thin tapes used for gift wrapping. They work
quite well.

Leonid Surpin
Studioarete.com