Day 47 Flat Lapping for a Mirror Finish

Flat Lapping Header

I have a gaggle of pieces that just came out of the tumbler, so I might as well spend a couple of days going through some polishing techniques. I like to keep the Blog entries short, because I know most people are pretty busy and don’t have time to read a long post. (or have a short attention span like myself) so I will break up the process between lapping, pre-polishing, and Final Polishing.

Flat Lapping (1)

I ran the pieces through a Fine Pyramid Plastic Media in my Vibratory Tumbler. I would usually run them in a Mixed Steel Shot Media as well, but I am going to keep the matte finish on the inside of the piece, so I will go directly from “ceramic” tumbling media right to polishing the outer rim.

Since the front outer rim of this piece is flat, I want a mirror finish on the surface so I am going to use a 4″ Hard Felt Wheel to do a process called “Flat Lapping”. I load the Felt Wheel with Graystar Polishing Compound which works very quickly, so you have to get a feel for it and be careful not to use too much pressure.

Flat Lapping (2) Flat Lapping (3)

Flat Lapping (5)

I will do the same for the smaller pieces, but in this case, the pieces are harder to hold onto. So I will grab a trusty paperclip, YES, you read that right, a paperclip. I cut the end off of it and mount it into a Pin Vise. I put the small piece onto the paperclip and hold it with the pin vise. This makes it easy to polish and saves my fingers and saves the pieces from flying away and denting and scratching. I flat lap these as well.

Flat Lapping (6) Flat Lapping (7)

Flat Lapping (8) Flat Lapping (9)

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2 Responses to Day 47 Flat Lapping for a Mirror Finish

  1. Linda S July 18, 2014 at 7:08 am #

    Great tip with the paperclip!

    • July 18, 2014 at 7:10 am #

      Thanks, it works wonders on little pieces.