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Thread: Polishing motor recommendation and advice

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2014
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    Default Polishing motor recommendation and advice

    I've been making a lot of silver cuff bracelets and hand polishing them is quite hard work. I have a tumbler which helps finish them off but I have to polish the stamp bruises off them before I tumble them so was wondering about getting a polishing motor..

    For eg, I saw this one on Cooksongold but don't know what I'm looking for really and could do with some advice http://www.cooksongold.com/Jewellery...prcode-999-AX8

    Also, I don't know much about using polishing compounds etc, what and how do you use them? And how do you clean any residue off the piece afterwards?

    Any advice appreciated.

  2. #2
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    Jul 2014
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    Hello,

    I'm not an expert at all, and have shied away from the big bench grinder / polishers because they take up a bunch of space. They probably are good for polishing bigger stuff tho, but i'll let others comment on the one you linked to.

    I use a hand held dremel for my polishing (I have the 8200 which I like because it goes down to 5000 rpm, which is handy if worried about over polishing a particular bit). The dremel was from Amazon I think, not special for jewellery. You can get a flex shaft type thing for it but I must admit I haven't and I get on fine with it.

    Then I use polishing mops etc from cookson. That means I needed the dremel collet kit because all the cookson mandrels are a different size to default dremel accessories, but one of the collet kit thingies is the right size for them.

    Then for shiny finish (I only do shiny finish so far) I used to use Tripoli (more abrasive) on a calico pendant wheel for the initial polish, and then rouge (for final polishing) on a fluffie wool pendant wheel. You shouldn't use different compounds on the same wheel ever, and wash the piece after with warm soapy water and a soft toothbrush. I stopped doing all of that tho because its super messy. I used to use a big card box as a dust hood which protected most of the room, but the dust from the compound gets in the air and ends up all over you.

    Now (based on recommendations on the forum) I use radial disks of various grades, which are super for uneven surfaces and tiny crevices. You generally use them with three on a mandrel (you'll see what I mean if you search for them on cooksons) but you can just pop one on for tiny spaces like under a ring bezel.

    and most recently I got some silicon rubber wheels, which are great for shiny finishes, and again come in various grades. They can get worn to be uneven, but can be restored by running against a diamond sharpening plate (I just got a cheapish one from ebay).

    The rubber wheels and radial disks are largely mess free so I'm pretty converted to them over compounds now

    Hope that helps a bit and sure others will be along with more advice soon.

    Faith

  3. #3
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    Faith has told you most things, but if you have room for a polisher grinder, buy one with variable speed, or several speeds and the highest wattage you can afford. This will do you well into the future, but over the top if you do not make much large stuff.

    You will also need bigger mops depending on the height of the machine and a hood to limit the spray of compounds. Two or three grades of Luxi compoudns are a popular choice, but some members have gone the route of Menzerna, which was initially intended as a car polish. Dennis.. Dennis

  4. #4
    Join Date
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    Quote Originally Posted by Littlewhitefeathers View Post
    I've been making a lot of silver cuff bracelets and hand polishing them is quite hard work. I have a tumbler which helps finish them off but I have to polish the stamp bruises off them before I tumble them so was wondering about getting a polishing motor..

    For eg, I saw this one on Cooksongold but don't know what I'm looking for really and could do with some advice http://www.cooksongold.com/Jewellery...prcode-999-AX8

    Also, I don't know much about using polishing compounds etc, what and how do you use them? And how do you clean any residue off the piece afterwards?

    Any advice appreciated.
    check out this polishing motor, it looks very similar to the one you linked to, but with a lot more kit and a bit cheaper; http://www.metalpolishingsupplies.co...polishing-kit/

  5. #5
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    May 2014
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    Ah I have a Dremel! A cordless one.. I bought some bits to go with it from Cookson gold in a wooden block, but I have to admit, I've had a hard time working out what half of the bits are for.
    I like the idea of the radial disks, which grades do you recommend?

  6. #6
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    Jul 2014
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    Lol, I had the same problem with the actual dremel accessories that came with mine! They should come with a chocolate box style key. I'd have thought cooksons would sell all the ones in a set separately too tho, so you can probably find them all in the pendant drill accessories section and the individual descriptions might be more helpful.

    Dennis posted a super little key to the radial disks - i'll try to cross link to it here: http://www.cooksongold.com/forum/att...2&d=1463883904

    Hope that works. I use blue then pink then light green for normal polishing (and occasionally start with red first if I have any weeny file marks I couldn't emery). I haven't used stamps tho so don't know how severe the bruises are and whether you'd need to start with any of the more abrasive ones.

    Anyone else?

    Faith

  7. #7
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    For polishing I use radials, brown, blue, then pink. I used a Dremel when I first started, which now lives in a cupboard, then moved onto the Foredom, which I love. I also use the pointy Eve polishers and the Roll Sanders, depending on what I'm doing.

    For your cuffs I would suggest you either get a modified bench grinder (its what I have and was free, as I nicked my hubbys!), or a polisher. I use Luxi polish and clean with soapy water in between. It all comes up beautiful and shiny.
    Jules

  8. #8
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    I was given a set of radial wheels as a present but only one pack, which I have been using, plus a couple of others that I have bought myself. With Dennis's link to the coarseness of them, the list goes from Brown 36 Grit to 220 Grit. Presumably the lower the grit number the coarser it is, so the Brown is very coarse and the 220 is softest, then you get to the microns.

  9. #9
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    No, the yellow is the roughest and light green the finest. Same with abrasive paper-low numbers are coarser. It's counter intuitive I Know. Dennis.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
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    I think most things have been mentioned already. I love my Foredom, but also use my polishing motor a lot. I use Menzerna polishes.
    Just one little thing:
    Years ago I made the mistake of buying a cheap polishing motor from ebay. It only lasted a few rounds of polishing before it quite spectacularly blew up.

    I went back to using my big old Crompton Parkinson AC polishing motor (company doesn't exist anymore). It works like a dream BUT, in my little studio the dust drives me insane, especially as I mostly work with wax.
    I've use a home made cowl attached to a Henry hoover for extraction. It works well, but it doesn't collect everything and it is noisy. I'm now also on my 3rd (or 4th?) hoover.

    Whenever I get around to replacing it, I'm definitely going to look at some sort of proper dust extraction (and a motor with 2 mops - just because I'm lazy & get fed up changing them contantly

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