If you work on jewelry and feel interested in using a tumbler for polishing but don’t know where to start, keep reading for the how-to of rotary tumbling.
Whether you have a small business or work on jewelry as a hobby, there are many areas in this field that you can improve upon. You might already use a tumbler to work harden your jewelry, but you can also use it to polish them. Without this useful tool, you might spend hours hand polishing a piece, which can take up a lot of time you could have spent working on other tasks. Before you dive in, here is how to use a rotary tumbler for jewelry polishing.
Remove Sharp Edges
There is nothing more satisfying than finishing a piece of jewelry. After spending so much time crafting the piece, you can’t wait to set it, admire it, wear it, or sell it. However, before you proceed, you must remove the sharp edges that were created during the process. This part of the process is always quite the annoyance, but you don’t have to run to the file just yet—you can use a tumbler.
Aside from rock polishing, jewelry polishing is one of the most common uses for rotary tumblers. A tumbler works wonderfully at removing every burr and sharp edge, especially in those hard-to-reach areas.
To use a rotary tumbler for jewelry polishing, you will need a rotary tumbler, soap, and polished steel shot. The stainless steel shot is the media that will gently polish your pieces. Unscrew the top of your tumbler, fill it with the two pounds of shot and add your water until it is about half an inch above the slot. Then, add dish soap to the mixture—you only need about a teaspoon’s worth.
Finally, add your piece of jewelry to the tumbler and allow it to rotate for two to six hours. Once you remove your piece from the tumbler, you should expect to see some tarnish removed and any sharp edges buffed out.
Things To Keep in Mind
Before you begin this process, there are some aspects to keep in mind. For one thing, stainless steel shot can be a little pricey, but if you take care of it, it should last a while. As such, ensure you keep your shot covered, as it only needs a couple of hours of oxidation to develop rust. Moreover, if you plan to use your tumbler for other projects, it is crucial to thoroughly clean the inside before using it to polish your jewelry, as any small bits that are left over can scratch the piece.