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Thread: Finishing?

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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2011

    Default Finishing?

    Hi all,

    I spent the day yesterday trying to finish my embossed pendant. The front looks brilliant - lovely mirror shine, as does the sides!

    However, the back is starting to hack me off! For the life of me I can not gain a mirror shine on the 'plain' back.

    I have gone through the different grits of sandpaper - 400, 600, 1000, 1200 and then Luxi blue and white. It was still scratched. So I used my radial wheels - still scratched even after the light green. So went back to hand sanding - broke out the micro mesh - went through those grades too. Put it in my barrel polisher - still no joy.

    So I'm back to the bench today but I am at a loss. As I said - front and sides are lovely! Just my plain back!!!

    Any thoughts?


  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2014


    Finishing .. my enemy! My least favourite part of any piece!

    Forgive me if this is basic - I'm not sure where you are in terms of experience. I myself don't have much but when you sand it's helpful to do one grit in one direction and then do the next grit in a perpendicular direction to the previous grit. This makes it much easier to see if you've removed all the previous grits marks/scratches before moving on. If it's a scratch that just won't come out, you just need to keep taking metal away at a coarser grit until that darned scratch is gone and then move through your finer grits.

    If the scratches are appearing during your sanding, maybe you have some tiny pieces of metal embedded in the paper (happened to me just today!)?

    Finishing is an area where I needed to spend more time on so I'm by no means an expert but hopefully those tips will help?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2010


    Are you using a bench mounted polishing mop?
    If so, use a bristle brush and Tripoli compound, polishing in all directions to prepare the polished surface, then use a soft Swansdown mop and rouge compound to achieve a mirror finish, if you get scratches when using the swansdown mop then use the back edge of an old knife, held against the spinning mop to remove any possible hard particles from the mop and then add a little rouge before polishing and this should remove any scratches, sometimes small particles in the mop scratch the mirror finish.


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Central London


    If all else fails, use a medium frosting wheel, the blue one for pendant motor. It will quickly eradicate quite serious blemishes and give you a suitable finish for the reverse.
    You will need to wear eye protection and run it quite slowly, or it will loose its wires. However it does not seem to affect bare fingers too much.

    A cheaper option is a foam filled sanding block, such as painters use, from a DIY store, or a Leyland paint shop.Dennis.
    Last edited by Dennis; 07-11-2014 at 08:14 AM.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2011


    The sponge sanding pads that cookies sell for metal clay are good for a matt finish too. I too like a good finish on everything and used to give the backs a mirror finish as well but now I'm more likely to do a matt finish, I used to use brass mops but now I like the finish the sponge gives as long as there aren't any deep scratches. It also hides any fires scale that may lurk there

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2009


    Now that I'm engraving messages on the backs of a lot of my pieces, I have to have a mirror finish. I use all the grades of roll sanders, then the scratch eraser on my Jooltool and then the polishing mop. Works a treat!


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