Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Creative way to polish metal

Carol Dekle-Foss
When I first started making jewelry, I fell in love with the versatility of the Pro-Polishing pads. These pads were my go to for all my polishing needs. I have now learned many different techniques to finish metal, but still use these guys in many different ways. 

Recently in the studio, I had just given these bracelets a nice liver of sulfur bath.  I then set about the task to remove the oxidation and expose the hammered marks.
I could have easily used the pads by hand, thrown the bracelets in the tumbler, or some other technique, but I had another one of my 'huh, what if  I try this' moments.

Try this technique for yourself. It's fun and super easy!

What you will need:
Flex-Shaft or Dremel tool

Please use all safety precautions when using these products. Safety glasses, mask, gloves if you don't want dirty hands, and if you have long hair, tie it back so it doesn't get caught up in the mandrel.

The Technique

This is a great way to utilize those half used or almost used up pads! I usually end up with these all over the studio.

First, cut the 2"x 2" squares into 4 pieces.

Place your slotted mandrel in your flex shaft or Dremel. Now slide the polishing pad into the mandrel. I had to widen mine a bit with a screw driver so it fit snugly.

Some of my latest creations, right out of a liver of sulfur bath and completely dry.

Here, I am removing the oxidation from the back of a sterling silver pendant.
Please disregard my dirty hands and tattered fingernails.

In the below pic, I am polishing a handmade sterling silver link bracelet wrapped around a wooden mandrel. THIS is a very dangerous technique. You have to be very careful and hold the chain real tight so it doesn't come up and smack you in the face or worse, tangle in your finger. Ouch.

With smaller, more delicate chain, I just run it through a larger pad a few times. 

One of the downside with the pads is they tend to tear if caught up on sharp edges, and then get a gummy mess all over your jewelry. So for the earrings, I used a larger pad by hand. It just depends on what you are polishing as to what technique is best. If you want to remove less of the oxidation, all you have to do is use a lighter touch with the mandrel. 

After removing the desired amount of oxidation, I will then take a jewelry polishing cloth to shine up the metal a bit more.

Try this technique yourself! You will be surprised at how fast you can remove the oxidation and polish your jewelry.

Here are the finished pieces.
I recently added these pieces to my website, and extended my holiday sale through to Friday. Use coupon code Holiday to receive a 20% discount!

Happy Holidays everyone!


Barb Fernald said...

I love the idea of using these pads in a slotted mandrel! Thanks for thinking of it and sharing it!

Patti Vanderbloemen said...

I, too, have piles and piles of those pro polishing pads! I hate to throw them out because I know I can get just one more swipe out of them!

Your jewelry is spectacular!

stacilouise said...

love it! I totally love those pads, they are what I use- i have found nothing i like more. great tip! i am going to have to try that!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...