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Polishing Sterling Silver Mountings


#1

I have collected Gemstones for 14 years and am a PG with the IGS. I have retired and decided to try to mount some to sale. Found several places on the net to buy mountings and have quit a few. My problem is that some of the mountings that I am getting look FLAT as if they were not polished after they were cast. I need to know how to polish these to a BRIGHT finish. Books I should read on this subject? Can it be done with a Dremel? I know nothing on polishing silver but to keep it clean.


#2

A Dremel makes a good tool for polishing mountings.
You will need a couple of 20-25mm buffs and some small cone shaped felt ones as well that will fit the Dremel accessories.
There are two types of compounds you will need to polish with - (1) Brown type (pre-polish) and (2) Red type (rouge) which is the polish. These are available in a powder or wax mix. The ones I use are the wax type as they easy to handle and work with.
Use 600 grit silicon carbide paper to clean up the findings for any blemishes etc, then use the pre-polish to bring a med lustre to the finding. Wash off with a good detergent mixed with ammonia and dry. Finish with the rouge and you should get a high lustre.
Trev


#3

Thanks so much for your help! I think I have the felt cones and buffs. The Dremel set I have came with a small container of compound but I’m not sure if its the brown or red. (Will have to check on this.) I agree with you on the wax compounds. Don’t think I could handle it with powder the first time. Do you know where I can find the compounds and silicon carbide paper, or does Dremel offer these also? You have been a big help ! First time I have used the Forum but will use it more often now. Thanks again.
J Wilkins


#4

Check out riogrande.com


#5

You should be able to source both the brown (tripoli) and red (rouge) locally at a hardware or big box (Home Depot) or tool store (Harbor Freight) or machinist’s supply and save shipping if you are only buying a few things. Take a look at what is available in the Rio Catalog, as there are also silicone points and 3M wheels in various grits which can be used on arbors in a Dremel to polish. Just make sure you have some method of dust collection or can work outdoors. The silicone polishing points and wheels probably raise less dust, but all the polishing processes will raise some.


#6

If these mounting need cleaning up a Dremal or Foredom is probably the best. If just tarnished I use a vibrator tumbler with corncobs & red roush. Do that all the time with SS that needs polishing. Most sport shops carry them for around $50. A fast & easy way to polish or repolish SS.