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Thread: Finishing/Polishing Issues

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2016
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    Default Finishing/Polishing Issues

    Hi,

    I have a couple of pieces I am working on as a beginner (self-taught) and one of my projects is making earrings from sheet metal. I am using brass sheet metal (0.7mm) and cutting various sizes from a disc cutter, sawing the circle in half and soldering on ear posts. From my first few attempts I can see I have improved upon but I really need advice on how to firstly accurately measure up my two halves because after sawing I see that I lose some of the metal and the two halves don't match up. Also buffing out scratches and finishing - I have a dremel tool that I haven't really made full use of so are there attachments that anyone would recommend? I use emery paper, grades 400,800 & 1200 but I have a feeling I need to work down a bit more grades than that? I think I am there is too much of a gap between the grades that I am using? I really enjoy working on these earrings & each time I see an improvement, however I know there is probably a much faster, equally as effective way to achieve a clean finish with the combined use of the dremel (for softening the edges) and maybe then by hand for the scratches/buffing? I do this entriely by hand and after about 5 pairs now, I realise that using the dremel would make more sense?

    I am learning so please excuse my lack there of:-)

    Thanks,

    Michelle

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
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    Default

    Lots of questions there, Michelle, so I will try to be brief.
    To divide a disk in two, the tool is a centre square like this: http://www.uktoolbox.com/products/fa...iABEgK5KPD_BwE

    A centre will be where two or more diameters cross. You can also do this by inserting your disk into a circle template and connecting the marks, but it is not quite as accurate.

    Getting the earrings to match is a constant challenge.

    For polishing the edges of a disk you can use silicon rubber wheels very lightly on your motor.

    For the flat surfaces get Micro mesh, which comes as rubberised abrasive sheets found online and rub the disks on them resting flat on the bench. About four grades will do, starting from the coarsest-2400, then3600 (or 4000), 6000 and 8000 to finish.

    https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=mi...NYTc8Aetk4GwAQ Dennis.

  3. #3
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    Dec 2016
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    Default

    Hi Dennis,

    Thank you so much for your advice! had a few notes taken from a similar query on the forum and micro mesh was mentioned so I will get some asap .

    Thanks again & have a great weekend!

    Michelle

  4. #4
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    Dec 2016
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    Hi,

    Just another question, when I have used the micro mesh is that it polished and finished? Or should the pieces be put in the tumbler after?? I have the micro mesh on order so haven't had a chance to see what the finishing is like yet.

    Thanks,


    Michelle

  5. #5
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    To explain further:

    For flat surfaces without interruptions, MicroMesh is ideal, particularly if you lay it flat on the bench and rub your metal on it.

    For surfaces with added details, or backplates with things soldered on, the clean sweep will be interrupted and no kind of sanding will give a professional effect on its own. A professional polisher will use mops on a lathe to finish, but if you want to preserve as much detail as possible, the tumbler is better in amateur hands.

    The price you pay for using a tumbler is the tiny pin pricks, which are partly removed by using very well polished shot and going on a bit longer, say 3-4 hours.

    So finally to answer your question, if you can get a result with MicroMesh alone, don't use the tumbler afterwards. Dennis.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
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    55

    Default

    Hijacking the thread (sorry haha) as this is also a polishing issue and it's driving me crazy haha...I'm sure I've posted about it before but methods have failed me..

    My work is very rustic in style and so that creates a lot of uneven space and crevices, I also create a lot of texture on my pieces but lately have been going for a high shine finish. For the life of me I cannot figure out how to polish deep crevices between settings. I've tried tumbling, mops, handmade cocktail sticks charged with compound, radial discs. Yesterday I polished up an old burr whose head had snapped off and used it in my flex shaft as a burnisher which had somewhat of a polishing effect but I am still not reaching high shine levels I want in these recessed areas. At the moment I am oxidising and then polishing up my pieces so that somewhat disguises the unpolished recesses but it bothers me no end!! During my process, I polish the settings before and after soldering.

    Would a bench polisher help with getting into deeper areas? Any suggestions on how I can get into really tight spaces?? I'm about to buy these to try https://www.cooksongold.com/product_...fix=200&item=1

    Here's an example of my work
    Click image for larger version. 

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  7. #7
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    If you polish the recessed areas first by burnishing and then tumble with extra fine shot, such as that sold by Creative glass: http://www.creativeglassshop.co.uk/p...xtra-fine.html
    Then you will be going as far as possible.

    Commercial items are silver plated to overcome this issue, so you could send your work out to a plater, as plating units are pricey and involve cyanide. Dennis.

  8. #8
    Join Date
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    Have you tried a magnetic polisher? The tiny pins get into all the crevices, but do leave a slightly frosted rather than high shine finish.

  9. #9
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    Aug 2009
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dennis View Post
    If you polish the recessed areas first by burnishing and then tumble with extra fine shot, such as that sold by Creative glass: http://www.creativeglassshop.co.uk/p...xtra-fine.html
    Then you will be going as far as possible.

    Commercial items are silver plated to overcome this issue, so you could send your work out to a plater, as plating units are pricey and involve cyanide. Dennis.
    That Creative Glass shot looks great!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2016
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    Hi,

    Thank you dennis! That is what I was hoping to hear. I am looking for a high shine, clean finish & if the micro mesh can potentiality do the job without the tumbler that is fantastic (because I don't own one yet:-)! The micro mesh will be delivered today & along with my centre finder:-) Thank you again!

    Also callirrhoejewellery I love your work!The gemstones are very complimentary against each other:-)

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