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  • Polishing/finishing on a budget

    I dont have any polishing tools except my sandpaper and polishing cloth and now the burnisher that arrived this morning. Iv never really needed any polishing tools as iv only ever used copper that doesnt need a high finish. Now that i have made a few more sterling silver things i want them to have a highly polished look but i really cant afford a whole polishing kit.

    Do i really need all the mops etc. What liquids can i use on silver? I know brasso works on copper but not silver i suppose. I really dont have much money but i have pieces sitting here that i cant put up for sale as i dont feel they are finished enough.
    Handmade Embroideries and Tapestries - Greentree Crafts on Facebook Etsy Shop Instagram

  • #2
    For a high polish you can work with sandpaper. Start with the roughest grain gradually working down to the finest. You can then use the burnisher to give a mirror finish to any bits. If you have any hammered silver a brass brush and soapy water works well.

    I use a tumbler with stainless steel shot to polish my work, it saves lots of time as I can bung loads in at a time. I have a unpright vibrating one at the moment which I bout second hand for about £30 on the internet but before that I just had a rotary one. I have a rotary base in my studio, though I'm not sure if it works. If it does you are welcome to have it for cost of poastage, you would just need to get a barrel & shot (I can chuck in a bit of barrel soap for you to try). I'm in the studio tomorrow so will let you know if it works. xx

    Yuk my baby just threw a chunk of banana at my head! Must be my cue to get off the internet lol!!
    Lucy

    www.lucykempjewellery.co.uk
    http://lucykempjewellery.blogspot.com

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    • #3
      Thanks Lucy! Can you polish items in that with stones in them? Im going to have to investigate rotary polishers as im not quite sure how they work but thanks for the offer and i will happily pay postage if you find that it works.
      Handmade Embroideries and Tapestries - Greentree Crafts on Facebook Etsy Shop Instagram

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      • #4
        It does depend though on what sort of finish you want. If you want a mirror shine then you probably need to polish with a mop, unless you fancy spending hours hand polishing. Most of my work is textured in some way so that I can get the shine I want with a tumbler.
        Best wishes
        Carole

        www.caroleallenjewellery.co.uk

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        • #5
          If you have a dremel type machine you can buy small polishing mops to use on that. I have a one of these set up with a polishing mop. http://www.argos.co.uk/webapp/wcs/st...+Bench+Grinder
          "You've Got to Keep Your Mind Wide Open" - AnnaSophia Robb
          my Folksy shop Goldy'sclearoutblog debaynewebdesign


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          • #6
            Originally posted by Glitterbug View Post
            It does depend though on what sort of finish you want. If you want a mirror shine then you probably need to polish with a mop, unless you fancy spending hours hand polishing. Most of my work is textured in some way so that I can get the shine I want with a tumbler.
            i was going to post this question myself

            what is polish with a MOP?

            cant really afford to invest in a tumber yet so if anyone else has a "spare" lying around could you stick my name on the list lol

            actually would not a tool sale bit be a good idea??
            www.rocksforfrocks.co.uk
            http://www.facebook.com/pages/Rocks-For-Frocks/230802980887

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            • #7
              I use a dremel style multi tool, with two different mops from Cooksons (£2/3 each)....

              Calico mop with tripoli pre-polish compound (gets rid of fine scratches from filing etc), and then a wool mop with rouge polish to get a mirror finish. Works a treat


              You can also get the silver equivalent of Brasso.....Silvo (£2/3 from Wilkos )
              My Website: http://www.endevajewellery.co.uk
              Twitter: EndevaJewellery

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              • #8
                use one of these with jewelers rouge to get a good shine. http://www.google.co.uk/products?q=p...num=1&ct=title
                "You've Got to Keep Your Mind Wide Open" - AnnaSophia Robb
                my Folksy shop Goldy'sclearoutblog debaynewebdesign


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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Endeva View Post

                  You can also get the silver equivalent of Brasso.....Silvo (£2/3 from Wilkos )
                  We dont get Wilkos up here
                  Handmade Embroideries and Tapestries - Greentree Crafts on Facebook Etsy Shop Instagram

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by handcrafted View Post
                    We dont get Wilkos up here
                    Well if you want to try it, I don't mind getting you some
                    I work there lol
                    My Website: http://www.endevajewellery.co.uk
                    Twitter: EndevaJewellery

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                    • #11
                      After pre-polishing with fine sandpaper (if there are any stratches) you could use our polishing papers, which a sheets of very flexible paper (more like cloth really), just work down through the grades, and you can get a really high sheen - these are a really good alternative if you don't have power tools like a dremel for polishing. Here's a link:

                      http://www.kernowcraft.com/products/...g-papers-C173/

                      Also another tip from a colleague who does quite a lot of silver work, is using some rouge http://www.kernowcraft.com/products/...rouge-bar-C21/ on a piece of suede leather (she cut up a pair of old boots!) and apply the rouge to that and polish by hand as a final polish to get a really high sheen.

                      Hope this helps!

                      Hannah
                      WWW.KERNOWCRAFT.COM

                      Kernowcraft Rocks & Gems Ltd
                      Your Destination For Gemstones & Jewellery Making - Since 1967

                      For jewellery making advice, call our friendly team on 01872 573888

                      FACEBOOK | TWITTER | INSTAGRAM | PINTEREST | GOOGLE+

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                      • #12
                        I think if I were starting out again, I'd definitely get a pendant drill as it's probably the one piece of equipment I couldn't live without. I use it for drilling, filing, carving, sanding, polishing etc etc. Dremels are OK but if you're serious about making jewellery, you'll soon want something better. Pendant drills are better as you control them with a foot pedal. They are expensive but it's money well spent in my opinion.
                        Best wishes
                        Carole

                        www.caroleallenjewellery.co.uk

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                        • #13
                          Yes baby is a good aim, for a one year old he has quite an arm on him lol!!

                          I tumble some stones in my polisher no probs. Just avoid porus ones like Turquoise, Opal, Pearls & Lapis etc. Sterling doesn't need that long to polish unlike silver clay which takes hours. I find the tumbler is essentail for chains as they are a bit too dangerous to put on a mop. I have a mop polisher which started life as a bench grinder, I just put 2 different mops on in place of the grinders. A lot cheaper that a jewellers polisher.

                          Will let you know about the tumbler tomoz.

                          Should we start up a swapsy link? I'm sure there are lots of us who have upgraded our tools but kept the old ones or are looking for something!

                          xx
                          Lucy

                          www.lucykempjewellery.co.uk
                          http://lucykempjewellery.blogspot.com

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                          • #14
                            Just seen a barrel polisher on Ebay at £20 with shot and compound if anyone is interested?

                            Thanks Lucy, I have always avoided barrel polishing anything that had a stone set, but I'm going to give it a go now...... do you think that aventurine and onyx would be safe?
                            Lisa Quinn

                            http://www.facebook.com/pages/Lisa-Quinn-Handcrafted-Silver-Jewellery/185802658258?ref=nf

                            UK Jewellers Collective Forum
                            http://www.larsandingrid.co.uk/forum/index.php

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                            • #15
                              Quinn, I would have thought they were ok, I polished them in bead form before. I've polished loads of cz that have been set in my silver clay and they have survived hours in the tumbler. You could do a test polish? When I fire new stones I put them in the kiln on their own unset so that I know if they survive or not, saves having them break when in the silver! You could chuck a few loose stones in the tumbler for an hour to see if they still come out shiny (using cheap stones of course!)?

                              Just one thing with the tumbler on ebay, make sure the shot is stainless steel as normal steel will rust so quickly and turn anything it polishes blackish. Stainless is more expensive but since the steel rusts so quickly you may aswell just go for it. You can get barrel soap that is supposed to stop the rust but I never found it to work. xx
                              Lucy

                              www.lucykempjewellery.co.uk
                              http://lucykempjewellery.blogspot.com

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