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  1. #1
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    Default Silver Buffing? What's the best buffer?

    I've been trying different buffing wheels with various degrees of luck. I keep finding that the silver adopts a dark/blackish film with the impregnated wheels and nothing really happens with the others. What is the best technique that you experts have found?? I just want shiny, clean silver!

    Thanks.

    Sheena


    Frustration is the end of knowledge.

  2. #2
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    Mar 2010
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    Silver is one of the hardest metals to polish. You have to polish in multiple directions to eliminate drag marks. Think "x" marks the spot. I use the treated stiched buffs with tripoli, then a flannel loose buff with rouge. If you just polish one direction all you do is drag out the polishing marks and make things worse. You've got to move lots of directions and use some pressure. If it's not getting hot, you aren't doing it right. I wear gloves when I polish silver as it allows you to work longer before the metal gets so hot you can't hold it any longer.
    Bert Edmonston IV
    Jewelry, knife and firearms engraving
    Pueblo, CO
    240-367-6082


    Mid Maryland Jewelry and Firearms Engraving


  3. #3
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    Dec 2011
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    Dawson Springs, KY
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    I use a Scotch Brite wheel and Red Rouge. Keep it moving and you will get a mirror bright finish! Good luck!

  4. #4
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    Oct 2007
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    Quote Originally Posted by cowgirlup View Post
    I've been trying different buffing wheels with various degrees of luck. I keep finding that the silver adopts a dark/blackish film with the impregnated wheels and nothing really happens with the others. What is the best technique that you experts have found?? I just want shiny, clean silver!

    Thanks.
    Which compounds are you using?

    Tripoli works for the initial scratch removal. But, there are some cleaner and (I think) better compounds available such as Grey Star or Zam which are water soluble. I use those on a muslin buff that is sewn to keep it stiffer. Or a hard felt wheel... depending on what it is your are polishing. I like the water soluble red rouge on an unsewn muslin buff or white cotton flap brush for the final finish. One thing is for sure... like any other skill, it takes a lot of time to get really good at it.
    "Doc" - Neal L. Martin

    "Never start vast projects with half-vast ideas."
    "Never try to teach a pig to sing; it wastes your time and it annoys the pig."

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
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    St. George Utah
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    Typically if you are getting grey or black residue on you metal you are over charging your wheel. I like to use my loosely stitched muslin wheels, I use in gold work, when you get the wheel good and charged for gold, there will be enough residual rouge (I Like Picaso Blue, Platinum rouge to do most pieces without charging the wheel again, but if you do end up needing to re-charge all I'd give it is a "gentle Kiss" hope this helps K Frei

  6. #6
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    Sep 2010
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    Been wondering the same thing myself y'all, thanks for the tips.

    Todd

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  8. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
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    Mendocino. ca., and Scotland
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    Thank you all,

    for this collection of good tips!

    Rod

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  10. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    Dayton, Virginia, United States
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    I typically hand polish my work, I tend to like the sharper edge to my engraving with an antique feel so high polish is generally not what I shoot for. Although on some jewelry pieces I'll buff with tripoli and final polish with Fabriluster, not sure of the spelling, when I want the sparkle factor.
    Mark

  11. #9
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    Apr 2008
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    Minneapolis, MN
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    As for compounds, Zam is the best "one step" for general clean up after engraving. To remove heavy scratches use either yellow bobbing or tripoli first. Then red rouge for a final polish luster. Zam will remove some scratches and leave a near rouge luster. To avoid gumming of the compound try a lower speed like 1750rpm to avoid the heat build up of 3600. Also to avoid gumming, especially on large hollow ware items that are hard to wash clean, try a little Pam cooking spray or the toxic WD-40 sprayed onto the surface prior to buffing.
    These light oils keep the compound from building up on the surface. Finish up after the oiled step with a cleaner dry buff and you will arrive a a great shine. Use muslin buffs. I dip a piece of old turkish towel into hot ammonia water and gently scrub the compound from the engraving as it will always collect in there. An old tee shirt is handy for final clean up and drying. I put a short piece of poly tubing on the end of the spindle to prevent marring the work while buffing.
    Last edited by James Roettger; 03-15-2012 at 02:56 AM.

  12. #10
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    Nov 2006
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    Eastern Wyoming
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    I use a yellow one step compound from Indian jewelers supply on a loose muslin wheel. I only machine polish prior to engraving. After I engrave I hand sand with 2000 grit paper lightly then hand polish with a yellow sunshine cloth.

    Ken

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