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Buffing & Polishing Silver

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  • Buffing & Polishing Silver


    I am making pendants using sterling silver sheet metal, a piercing saw etc, I am having trouble buffing and polishing to a high mirror shine. I am using 200-2000 grit sandpaper and jewellers rogue with a dremel tool with a cotton mop. I have followed endless steps online and watched literally every video on youtube on how to do this and following the steps exactly.... and it still isnt working!!!!! All that is happening is my piece is turning matte, it is smooth with no scratches... but matte.... it is 80% less shiny than before I started! PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE Help! I am so frustrated!


  • #2
    It sounds like your last processes are perhaps not quite right.

    I don't use tripoli and rouge any more, having switched to water based compounds some time ago, but you should be able to get a mirror finish with these if all your scratches have been removed. I use a swansdown mop for my final stage, and either a polishing motor or flexshaft, and then a final cleanup to remove any polish residues.

    Have you tried a final buff with a good silver polishing cloth?

    Otherwise, it's pretty hard to diagnose without pictures. You might also like to pop over to the introductions section...


    • #3
      I was taught to use wet and dry paper, then water of ayre stone, then tripoli on a calico mop, them rouge with a ....dunno what but it's a lot softer....mop, then soft cloth with silvo.
      Unless I've made a complete male hen of cutting and filing I only use tripoli with my calico mop now.
      (My customers are down market quantity not quality people. When I do something special I do use rouge.)
      I do have a big mop, the one that sits on a bench with a chunky motor and has a pointy metal bit sticking out to whizzle the mop onto. I find the little dremel ones a tad useless and only use them for getting into awkward corners.
      Something I was taught was to clean my mops frequently.. You hold a metal brush (like the one you use on suede shoes) against the mop and it cleans off hardened polish which can leave scratches.