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Thread: Polishing / Finishing after Pickling

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2020
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    Default Polishing / Finishing after Pickling

    Hi everyone! I am a beginner and am getting into a pickle over how to properly finish a piece of silver jewellery and the order things should be done in. I have tried to find answer online and in books but am still confused!

    1. When making a ring or bangle etc, should polishing and finishing be done BEFORE or AFTER adding texture with a hammer? Do I need to do more finishing after texturing?
    2. Should polishing and finishing always be done only when all soldering or annealing is complete?
    3. What happens if you have done all your polishing and finishing and then for some reason need to anneal the piece (to stretch a ring for example)... do you have to start the polishing and finishing all over again to get rid of the white coating?


    Thanks in advance for any advice you can give

  2. #2
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    To answer all your questions, polishing then cleaning i.e, cleaning off the residual polish is the final operation, it will be obvious if you anneal a piece after polishing that you will have to re polish, also stretching a ring will
    on most occasions leave marks that need to be removed.
    If you are getting a white coating after annealing you are heating the metal too much.

  3. #3
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    Solder, pickle, wash with soapy water. Finishing with files or wet and dry. Polishing through the different grades of polish, tripoli then rouge for traditional compounds. Iím assuming the white finish is after the pickle?
    Texturing depends on what youíre doing it with. Obviously rolling mill texture before construction. Hammer or mechanical texture depends on the design. If you want a highly polished finish then be aware you may diminish a light texture. I more often use a gentle matt finish on lightly textured pieces and only high polished hammered pieces .
    Polishing is usually your final act and yes if you have to anneal then you have to start all of the above again

  4. #4
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    Jan 2020
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    Thank you both. Yes sorry the white coating after pickling. Oh so much to learn and so many mistakes to make!

  5. #5
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    There should be basic skills and workshop practice in a book somewhere. If you can solder then knowing the sequence of events before and after that is useful. Someone can probably suggest a book for you and then it just becomes the natural thing to do. If you need to do any annealing or soldering it’s better to know that before moving on the the polishing stage

  6. #6
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    The trouble with books is that you can't ask a question, or tell them to slow down.
    For each piece you make, the stages have to be in the right order, to avoid doing things twice over, which is wasteful and demoralising.
    The book 'The Art of Soldering for Jewellery makers, by Wing Mun Devenney, goes some way to address this, as it also describes finishing techniques and has a number of projects. But if you are an absolute beginner, there is no substitute for a short, or part time course where you will find immediate support for problems that crop up. Dennis.

  7. #7
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    I was too late to edit and say that a short jewellery course to learn workshop basics is the ideal way. Some people are book learners others need one to one training. The problem is that not everyone lives in London or a city with easy access to jewellery courses so thatís not always an option
    Last edited by CJ57; 12-02-2020 at 10:59 AM.

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