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Pre-Polishing Tips (Finishing)

Pre-Polishing Tips (Finishing)

rubber wheelHey everyone, I have been absent from the site for a bit, but I am doing good, staying healthy, and still making jewelry every day. I thought I would post a tip from the past, just to let y’all know I am still here. I will get back in the “groove” soon. Give me a comment to let me know you are all still out there as well. 
Today we will touch on a couple of pre-polishing tips. A few technical details in your pre-polishing will make a huge difference in the quality of your finished jewelry. Polishing “Prep” will make your finishing job easier always. spending a few extra minutes with attention to detail will save time later, and give you a much better product. Depending on what your piece is like to begin with will decide how you approach this. If you do not take time to prep your pieces before polishing, you will polish harder and more aggressive than you need to, and lose most or all of your detail, making your pieces look overworked and washed away.First, tumbling, if you are working with a casted piece, you will have a casting surface that is a little rough. If you have a Vibratory Tumbler, I would recommend a 2 stage tumbling process, the first stage I usually tumble in a Ceramic Media overnight for 8 – 12 hours. I have my tumbler hooked up to a timer, set it up overnight and get it in the morning. This will remove the casting surface and give you a consistent surface. Then I place the pieces in the same vibratory tumbler with Stainless Steel Media Mixed Shot for 1-2 hours.
Tumbler1media ceramic media steelWhat the Steel does is “burnish” the surface and give you a shiny finish in those hard to get to places. A Magnetic Pin Tumbler also works great for this operation, and will do the job much quicker. Magnetic tumbler media is a lot “finer” and will get into those hard to reach places, like between prongs and fine detail, much better. If you are not dealing with casted products and the surface is a little better to begin with, you can go right to the steel shot or magnetic pin tumbler.Tumbler2 media pinIf you do not have a tumbler, then work in “stages”. If your piece has scratches in it, you will have to remove the scratches before you start polishing. depending on the size and depth of the scratches will determine how aggressive you will work the piece. if you have deeper scratches, start with a file. As I mentioned in an earlier post, my favorite go-to file is a #4 cut Barrette Needle File, it has a good cut to it, it has “safe sides” meaning you can place the edge or side of the file against en edge of the piece, and it won’t leave a mark. If you get one of these files, I suggest you modify the sides of your file. The teeth of the file do hang over the side a little bit, so I rub it on a Whetstone to remove the burs or teeth that hang over, then polish it on a piece of paper with Yellow Rouge on it, the same way I polish my graver blades. (see day 3 lesson)Filing File sandpaperFile sandpaper2

file prep file prep2

After I file the scratches or defects out, I cut a small piece of sandpaper (400-600 grit) and wrap it around the end of the same file and sand over the area I filed. You can also attack the areas with Sanding Abrasive Discs. These discs come in different grit and work wonderful. They snap on and off quickly. I would suggest a variety of these as well. The aluminum oxide ones do a great job as well. Also rubber wheels and knife edge Cratex Wheels. You can also get these in different grits.

sandpaper hand sandpaper dics rubber wheel

One thing I am trying to show you is there are different ways to go about getting the same results. you will develop your favorite processes, I am giving you some ideas to go about it, but if you skip the preping process, you work might suffer. Use some or all of these processes to prep your pieces before polishing and you will have a much better polishing experience, and a better looking piece in the end. I will go over some polishing tips soon, so stay tuned.

Now have a Great Day!

Doug

011 Goal Setting, Depression, Tumbling Questions, Wax Remelting, Max Wax Pen

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The JewelryMonk Podcast Episode 11

Goals

In this episode, I kick off talking about all the goals I have set for myself and this website for the year 2016. Some of them are:

Updating the Blogpost 2 times a week, Podcasting once a week, and creating a video once a week as well.

I also talked about some personal goals like Exercise, Nutrition, Family, and my Spiritual Journey as well as some Intellectual goals of reading a new book every month.

Question of the Week

I answer a question about tumblers and tumbling techniques. I got a question about the difference between Rotary (barrel) Tumblers and Vibratory Tumblers. Also touch on the difference between different medias and when to use Ceramic Media and when to use Mixed Steel Shot.

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JewelryMonk Tip of the Week

  I share some experimenting I have done with remelting wax parts into wax blocks of different sizes and thicknesses. Some of the things I have learned is that I melt the wax parts with my Digital Hot Plate in a small Nonstick Cake Pan, pop any bubbles that appear, slowly turn down the temp until the wax solidifies, and then turn remove from the heat. This makes the wax blocks uniform and warp less.

Wax Remelt 01 Wax Remelt 02

Wax Remelt 03 Wax Remelt 04

Wax Remelt 05 Wax Remelt 06

I also talk about an article from theHustle.co called

“Depression, Among Entrepreneurs is an Epidemic Nobody is Talking About.” 

15 Tips for Dealing with Depression

Depression

Cool Tool of the Week:

Max Wax Pen

MaxWax

A battery powered wax pen for those of you wax carvers and wax workers.

I like to use this to do quick touch up work, to seam the waxes to the tree, and and fill wax pits from wax injections.

Cordless and portable portable

Powered by one AA battery

Easily carve through wax to create jewelry

Instant heat up to 850-¦ with finger pressure control.

Interchangeable micro tips

Also kicked off a Patreon.com/JewelryMonk page to allow others to help support the JewelryMonk vision

Support

I have spent the last couple of weeks working on, and setting my goals for 2016

Setting goals is one thing, but until I move on them, they are just goals……Hesitancy kills

SO my quote for the week, American naturalist John Burroughs put it this way,

“Leap and the net will appear.”


Thanks for stopping by. As always, if you find value in this content, or if you like to keep up to date on the goings-on here, make sure to Subscribe to the JewelryMonk Blog Via Email (link in the upper right corner at www.JewelryMonk.com)

Also a HUGE favor…..if they know someone who makes jewelry, tell them about the JewelryMonk website and podcast, or have them follow us on all your favorite social media sites. I would appreciate it.

Jewelry Tumbling Quick Tip

String Em’ Up

String

Hey everyone, after the podcast episode from yesterday (Episode9), I vowed to post here more often. So while I am doing different projects and I run across things that I think others might find value in. Today I was taking some of my castings and running them through my tumbling process, I figured I would share something some might have overlooked.

Tumbling (1)

When possible, I string up my pieces with brass wire to save time picking through the tumbling media looking for pieces, especially small pieces. I have spent more time looking through tumbling media, especially steel shot, that whenever possible I look for time saving things.

Make sure you leave plenty of room on the wire so the pieces have enough area between each other for the media to work, and when possible, make sure the pieces are mixed up in shape. You don’t want the pieces to “spoon” or fit so close together that they don’t get worked by the tumbler.

Hope you find this helpful, as I was pulling the pieces out of the tumbler (and smiling cuz it took me 30 seconds) I was thinking of you.

Thanks for stopping by, make sure you share this content and site with your friends. Also FaceBook, Twitter, Instagram, Periscope, and wherever you gather. @JewelryMonk

Now go “shake-up” the world with your generosity.

Doug

006 Podcast, Rotary vs. Vibratory Comparison, Carpal Tunnel Exercises, Chasing Hammer

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In today’s podcast I am answering a request that Lisa Weber sent me about mass finishing, and to be more specific, tumblers. Here is an excerpt from her message:  “I would love to hear about processes that a small home shop could use to turn out professional pieces in a shorter time. Maybe you could address different types of tumblers and finishers and how to use them with different types of media and solutions for different results. That’s one thing I have been struggling with.”

First, tumbling, if you are working with a casted piece, you will have a casting surface that is a little rough. If you have a Vibratory Tumbler, I would recommend a 2 stage tumbling process, the first stage I usually tumble in a Ceramic Media overnight for 8 – 12 hours. I have my tumbler hooked up to a timer, set it up overnight and get it in the morning. This will remove the casting surface and give you a consistent surface. Then I place the pieces in the same vibratory tumbler with STAINLESS STEEL MEDIA MIXED SHOT for 1-2 hours.

Tumbling (1) Tumbler1 Rotary Tumbler

media steel  media ceramic

 

What the Steel does is “burnish” the surface and give you a shiny finish in those hard to get to places. A Magnetic Pin Tumbler also works great for this operation, and will do the job much quicker. Magnetic tumbler media is a lot “finer” and will get into those hard to reach places, like between prongs and fine detail, much better. If you are not dealing with casted products and the surface is a little better to begin with, you can go right to the steel shot or magnetic pin tumbler.

Tumbler2 media pin

Vibratory  vs. Rotary Tumbling Tips

Vibratory Tumbler:

Pros:   Quicker   –   More Durable   –   Better Finish  (sanding and soft burnishing)

Cons:   More expensive  –  ($300 and up) vs. (-$100-$200)  Learning curve with solutions (drip solutions)

Rotary Tumbler:

Pros:  easy to use and handle barrels   –   Less expensive   –   little easier to use

Cons:     Slower   –    Little harder on jewelry (work hardened) more violent action

I also touched on some stretching exercises that will hopefully prevent Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. Here are:

3 Wrist Exercises to Prevent Carpal Tunnel

carpal-tunnel-premiere-orthopedics

And lastly, I talked about my pick for the “Cool Tool of the Week”.  A 6 oz German Style Chasing Hammer.

Chasing Hammer

As always,   Thank you for stopping by the JewelryMonk Website. If you find value in this content, or if you like to keep up to date on the goings-on here, make sure to  Subscribe to the JewelryMonk Blog Via Email (link in the upper right cornerof this website) and if they know someone who makes jewelry or would enjoy this community, Share us on Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest, we are there.  Tell them to have a listen to the JewelryMonk Podcast as well on iTunes or Stitcher.

Day 46 Quick Tumbling Tip and Feedback

Holy Cow

Holy Cow!  Today I am beginning the second half of my blogging goal. When I started JewelryMonk.com, I had never “blogged” before and I had never really done much writing, not on a regular basis anyway. I started with a lofty goal of writing something every day for the first 90 days. To MY amazement, I have, so far, accomplished 46 days in a row. Well, as I turn the corner into the second half of my goal, I will switch gears a bit. I will still be giving tips and such, but I would like the site to be more “interactive”, with more input from some of you who stop by from time to time. I would like feedback, questions, and suggestions. I am very close to kicking off a podcast (internet listening) and will be using some of your interaction to make the show entertaining and informative. But enough of that. Stay tuned here at JewelryMonk.com and also at www.facebook.com/JewelryMonk.

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So for the tip of the day, I am tumbling some jewelry in my Vibratory Tumbler, so I filled up the tumbler with Ceramic Media and added enough soap to just cover the media.  These pieces I am working on are raw castings, I de-sprued them, touched up some of the mold lines with a Fine Snap On Disc with my Foredom, and spread them evenly on top of the media.

Tumbling (1) Tumbling (2)

Tumbling (3)

I place the top on the tumbler and write the number of pieces on a piece of tape and attach it to the tumbler. This helps me when I am pulling out the pieces so I know I found all the pieces. I have lost small pieces in the tumbler before, and looked for pieces that weren’t there. If I know how many pieces I have in there, I know when to stop looking. I also plug in my tumbler into a Timer, so I can set the specific time so the pieces come out the same and do not accidentally get overworked. I set this load for 12 hrs.

Tumbling (4) Tumbling (5)

There ya go, a little pre-finishing action to start your week.

So if you would, do a few things for me:

1. Comment with Feedback and Questions for further blogs and podcast either here or on Facebook.

2. Subscribe to this Blog via e-mail so you don’t miss anything. (I promise I will keep them short)

3. Follow, Like, and Interact on www.Facebook.com/JewelryMonk

That’s all I got!

Have an awesome day and Shine your world!

Doug