Thursday, May 13, 2010

Sanding and Polishing

There are many tools out there for us to use when finishing a piece jewelry containing metal.  Here's a look at two of my favorite polishing tools.

The large, green polishing papers are 400 grit.  I cut them into quarters, which is a much more manageable size for the small items I'm polishing.  After wrapping a briolette with oxidized wire, I use this polishing paper to remove the oxidation from the high spots.  Because it is fairly coarse, it will leave scratch marks.  I like the organic, rustic feel obtained this way.  For those of you looking for a less scratched surface, this paper comes in grits up to 8000!  The 400 grit paper is Rio Grande item number  337301 and it comes in packs of 10 sheets.

The smaller white polishing pads seen in the photo provide a very different result.  They clean the metal and remove tarnish.  Because these pads have no "grit", they do not leave a scratchy surface.  But they don't remove scratches either.  These pads are Rio Grande item number 337020 and it comes in packs of 50 pads.

Here's what they look like after being used for a few weeks.  I use both of these products on a regular basis.

There are lots of other polishing products out there, all resulting in different looks and finishes.  I've used #000 steel wool in the past, but found it very messy to use.  Some people like to use ScotchBrite pads, but I find their grit too coarse.  Try a bunch of different things and you're sure to find what works best for you.

1 comment:

Pricilla said...

You are a font of information!