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Thread: 3M radial polishing discs / finishing intricate pieces

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2020
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    48

    Default 3M radial polishing discs / finishing intricate pieces

    Hello,

    Not even sure how to start this one but as an example take a detailed stone pendant...

    e.g. bezel on a back plate, silver ball details, a beaded border etc etc... so multiple solder ops which I have done before but I would like to leave some of the back plate showing (on the front side). I find that when there are lots of solder ops you tend to get at least a bit of pink fire scale. Of course buffing this off the back of the backplate is easy as it is a flat surface but thinking about the front side when there is lots going on, what is the best way? I'm a really stickler for making sure there is no pink fire scale on my pieces.

    Obviously it's hard getting in the nooks and crannies on the front if there is a bit of detail. Would the grittier 3M radial discs do the job nicely to clean up any excess solder/ remove any stains? If not, how can it be done? Or is there any way you can avoid that sort of clean up?

    I hope this makes sense. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

    Thank you and have a good weekend!
    Lou

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
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    South Australia
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    Radial disk will assist in getting into the detail however the best way to eliminate fire scale is not to create it in the first place, fire scale is from over heating the piece, so, diligent, careful and moderation are required with torch.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
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    Central London
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    It's impossible to clean up a complex surface without removing some of the detail, so as Bob has said, it is best to anticipate and avoid remedial work.
    Radial disks will help with mild firescale if you use the range from coarse to fine, but surplus solder requires small ball burrs.

    To avoid firescale close the air hole on your torch a little, keep it moving when in use, spread your flux all over, and work in a darkened place to see and withdraw from hot spots.

    Learn to use less solder, and add a little more on the rare occasions you underestimate the amount needed

    It also heps to start with a textured back plate, which will help to disguise defects. Dennis.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Tourmaline Ring.jpg  

  4. #4
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    You could also try coating in Boric Acid mixed with metho into a paint like thickness coat the silver with it and burn off the metho, this will leave a white coating that will help to prevent fire scale.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2020
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    Thanks China

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2020
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    Thanks Dennis. I have learned that solder goes a long way and don't tend to have too much clean up with this but I think the fire scale is something I need to work on....I do end up having to buff it off.
    When you say air hole, do you mean the control bit at top which moves side to side and makes it a bushier flame? Admittedly I don't put flux all over the entire piece so I will also try that.

  7. #7
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    Jul 2020
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    Do you also use Boric acid or just avoid fire scale with the way you use your torch and flux? I've heard of magic boric but it only seems to be available in the US. I see there are boric powders available here. Seems a bit hazardous though.

  8. #8
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    Jul 2020
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    Sorry just had to write a last message as been watching you tube videos. There's one with a guy on there saying to put the piece in your mouth and then dip it into boric powder so that the powder then sticks to the piece!haha! That can't be right surely!!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
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    Manchester UK
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    A magnetic tumbler can brighten up hard to get at areas but wont give a mirror polish

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
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    South Australia
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    These days I only use Boric acid if I am doing a repair on some one else's piece, I am the stage now that 99% of the time I don't have any fire scale as for putting pieces of jewellery in my mouth I grew out of that when I was about 18months old.

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