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Thread: Do I need to clean my barrel polisher before I use it the first time?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2020
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    Question Do I need to clean my barrel polisher before I use it the first time?

    I've received my first barrel polisher in the post, but want to ensure I use it right to make it and the shot last. I have a couple of questions.

    It says in the product description that I should clean it first with an Ultrasonic cleaner. I don't have one of these. Do I need to get one first? Or is there another way I could clean it first?

    Then as I will only use it now and again (I do jewellery as a hobby), do I need to remove the shot and clean it each time? If so, what is the best way to do this?

    If in future I wanted to change to cutting cones to get a matte finish, do I need to do anything to clean it out inbetween to make it work better?

    Any other tips for a first time barrel polisher?

    Sorry for all the questions - I just want to get it right

    Thanks so much!

  2. #2
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    a good wash with soapy water, and rinse is all I did with mine, if it is the rubber version. If you have a sensitivity to the rubber, some nitrile gloves will help.


    A good few hours of tumbling (anything small you don't mind) just to condition the shot if you have mixed pieces would help too.

    Keep the shot in the barrel, with water and some barrelling soap. It shouldn't rust, if it is the right sort. Just put the lid back on and keep it upright - rinse before putting new pieces in.

    Can't say about the cones, never used them. I hand finish all my matte pieces so never thought about it. I no longer barrel, as I make different things now.

    Trial and error with timings, but you don't need hours to get a shiny finish. 20 - 30 mins should be a good time to work, but experiment in 10 minute increments to find the finish you like to have.

    Once out of the barrel, another rinse and then dry them either by air, or with damp cloth before a dry cloth. Personally, I used kitchen paper as it was possible to recycle efficiently.

    experiment, record, and enjoy the results.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
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    Dear Emma,
    You don't actually say what your barrel is made of, or whether the shot you have is stainless.

    !. Clean your barrel and shot by running it with just water and barrelling soap for 30 minutes or so to remove any factory residues. If changing to abrasive cones, get a second barrel, or thoroughly wash out any gritty remains afterwards, so that they do not contaminate your shot.

    If you have stainless steel shot, then rinse it in a plastic sieve after use, rinse the barrel and return the shot with the lid not quite on. it will slowly dry out but come to no harm.

    If you have carbon steel shot it will rust if left damp, so rise it and spread it out to dry as quickly as possible. Dennis.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Location
    East Anglian
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    Having poured the contents of the barrel into a nylon sieve and separated out my bits and pieces, I rinse the shot thoroughly, pour the shot into a bread baking tin and pop it into an oven at about 150 c or so for half an hour. Then just let it cool and put away for the next time. Absolutely no chance of moisture that way.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2020
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    Thanks so much Wallace, this is really useful!

  6. #6
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    Jan 2020
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    Thank you, I might try this when it will be long stints between uses

  7. #7
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    Jan 2020
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    Thanks Dennis, I think mine is stainless steel, so this is really handy to differentiate.

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