Results 1 to 7 of 7

Thread: Ceramic chips and cutting powder in barrel

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2020
    Posts
    2

    Question Ceramic chips and cutting powder in barrel

    Hi all,

    I recently bought some ceramic chips and cutting powder to use in a new polishing hoping to achieve a matt finish on my silver pieces. I have prepared the new rubber barrel with some coke (30 mins) followed by barrelbrite with steel shots (2 hrs) until the barrelbrite solution came out clean in cream colour. After that I put in the ceramic chips + cutting powder + water for polishing, the solution came out greyish and the silver pieces also got a grey tint on it - is this normal? I'm not sure if the "grey" was due to the matt polishing effect making it "dull"
    or if there is a problem with my solution... any advice?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2017
    Posts
    459

    Default

    When I've used ceramic media in a tumbler the water was cloudy/whitish when used, that's normal. It's tiny particles of the media that come away. As for the colour of your silver, that's difficult to say whether it's grey from the interior of the barrel having broken down a little or whether it's normal. I think I'd describe my matte silver as still being quite light in colour, just obviously matte and not shiny.
    Any chance of a photo?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Scotland
    Posts
    2,987

    Default

    I can’t answer any of the questions on the tumbler as I’ve never used one.
    I do wonder if your pieces have been soldered and if so the dull colour may be firestain. Even in a matt finish there will be a greyness to the silver if firestain is present

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2020
    Posts
    2

    Default

    Hi there,

    Thank you both for your reply! I had polished up my previous pieces but just put in a new silver piece so I could take pictures to show you.

    This one look better than my previous piece but still looks a bit dull grey - or am I having the wrong expectation of a "matt finishing" (and rather thinking about "satin" finishing)?
    And I have a couple more questions:

    #1- If patches of fire stain appear, does it mean I have to sand it down and then put it back into the tumbler to achieve that finish? Or is this finish achievable by any other means (e.g. using a pendant motor and certain compound) for time-efficiency if I need to take out the fire stain anyway?
    #2- For the delicate areas the ceramic cannot reach, how do I touch up and achieve a consistent finishing with a pendant motor?
    #3- Can I use the same solution repeatedly? And if I'll have to change it up one day is there a safe way to dispose of it (the "harmful", "do not pour down drainage" safety notes are alarming however I couldn't find any advice on safe disposal anywhere...)

    Sorry for the many questions but I really struggled to find answers anywhere else! Thank you!!

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Screen Shot 2020-09-07 at 11.29.32 AM.jpg 
Views:	12 
Size:	18.9 KB 
ID:	12696

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Central London
    Posts
    8,251

    Default

    I think the real answer is that the ceramic chips and cutting powder combination is for de-burring and pre-polishing and will give you a pumice like finish. Try using the ceramic chips with Barrelbrite, to achieve a more glamorous result.

    As for firescale, even if it is there it will be well hidden by a satin finish.

    If the ceramic chips will not reach all the recesses in your silver I would suggest brushing it all over with a wet and soapy jeweller's brass brush before tumbling, to minimise the shading effect. Dennis.
    Last edited by Dennis; 07-09-2020 at 11:43 AM.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2017
    Posts
    459

    Default

    To be honest that finish is what I would expect to see. I dont use Barrelbrite or cutting powder, I use a drop of washing up liquid in the water with my ceramic media (I use pins rather than chips) and that's exactly the kind of finish I get.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Scotland
    Posts
    2,987

    Default

    In the past I have used a satin finish to cover up firestain and in the end once it starts to get a bit dirty the firestain becomes more obvious and dull. Now I try and make sure it’s removed before any finish .
    Mostly if I can I sand it out otherwise because I use a bench polisher I polish the rest of it out. A pre polish before tripoli was suggested by goldpolisher recently and used with a bristle brush it worked really well

Tags for this Thread

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •