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How to make a jewelry polishing dust box

home made jewelry polishing dust box

Part of making jewelry where metals are use in the design like wire wrapped jewelry requires some finish polishing to make your stand out from the crowd. The best and most professional way to
make your jewelry look like a million bucks is to use a rotary flex shaft machine with soft muslin
buffing wheels and jewelers rouge.
The problem is that it tends to create a lot of fine dust and you will need to confine that dust somehow.
This project will show you how to create a simple inexpensive dust control box to solve this problem.

I believe there has been some erroneous information put out and touted regarding how to polish
jewelry. It has been stated on another website you may want to use toothpaste or just as bad, a rock tumbler filled with steel shot to polish your finished pieces. Please do not do this especially if your
designs are in gold filled wire with stones. While it may be true that the layer of gold on GF wire is
100 time thicker than gold plate it is still very thin and steel shot is many times harder than
the gold layer and the brass base metal under it. The use of mass finishing process like tumble polishing with steel shot does have a place, but it should only be used for solid silver or solid gold items before stones are set in them. If you choose to use steel shot to finish polish your new wire wrapped creations you do so at your own risk.
It is true that some stones are harder than steel like those in the quartz family and others, but we often use stones like mother of pearl, lapis, turquoise and malachite in our wire wraps and all it takes is to forget one time and you can ruin hours of work and the stones. You still have to figure out a way to finish polish these pieces so why invest in the tumbler and supplies if you have to polish these softer items by hand in the first place?
If you invest in a nice rotary flex shaft machine and supplies you can polish all of your pieces to a fabulous shine that will generate more profits and you can do so without the risk of ruining a soft stone by mistake.
Even if you don't intend to sell your pieces you will be proud to show off your pro polished pieces to family and friends.

I DO NOT recommend the DREMEL line of rotary tools for jewelry polishing, they have too high a minimum speed and not enough torque or power to do the job. I DO RECOMEND you invest in a flex shaft machine like Foredom or similar. The units I recommend have at least 1/10hp or 1/8HP and loads of torque so even at very low rpm they are very good at polishing and grinding. We currently carry a nice 1/8hp flex shaft made by WORLD brand it is less expensive than Foredom but no matter if you buy from us or another supplier, these are the kind of machines that will last a life time and do a great job for you. You will never regret your investment. Buy a rock tumbler by all means if you want to tumble polish rocks but not to polish your stone set wire wrapped jewelry.

Dust containment is important - you don't want it all over yourself or your work area
It is still best to wear one of those paper masks available at most drugstores.

Materials list:
one corrugated box 12x12x12 inches - (2) 1/8 or 1/4 inch thick plexiglas panels
12x12x12 or maybe 11-1/2 inches square so you have some wiggle room. -
some 2 inch wide packing tape - 2 pieces of sheet rubber 1/8 inch thick or so
a box cutter (utility razor knife) -
a straight edge if you want to be precise but not necessary
you can get the box at most shipping stores and the plexiglas and rubber sheets
at most hardware stores like ACE or TRUE VALUE - maybe even home improvement stores
The commercially available dust collectors are very expensive and for a few dollars
you can make a very serviceable unit. The box is about 2 or 3 dollars, the Plexiglas is about 4 or 5 dollars
a sheet and the rubber sheets about 4 dollars for a 12 inch sq sheet - the box cutter and tape maybe another 8 dollars or so.
You can substitute wood paneling or other more robust materials for the containment box if you are a bit more handy.
You can also substitute glass for the plexiglas, but make sure its tempered glass with edges that have been smoothed.

So lets begin to make a dust container so we don't get red rouge dust all over our work area

# 1
home made polishing dust container box - 12 inch square corigated box - 2 12 by 12 square plexiglass 1/8 inch thick panels - sheets of 1/8 inch rubber - some clear packaging tape - utility knife
(1) 12 x 12 x 12 inch corrugated box -
tape up box but leave one side open
# 2
2 sheets of clear 12 inch square plexiglas
showing our 12 inch square
1/8 inch thick plexiglas sheets
11-1/2 inch square may be better
# 3
cut out openings for two windows
cut out 2 adjacent square shaped windows
I started the cuts about 1-1/2 inches
in from the sides of the box.
# 4
showing the cut out window with about 1-1/2 inches of frame all around window
showing cut out window with about
1-1/2 inches of edge all around
# 5
showing ajacent edge with cut out window and frame edges
showing adjacent panel with cut out
window and 1-1/2 inch frame edge
# 6
place plexiglas sheets in window areas and tape in place
put plexigals sheets in window areas
and tape in place
# 7
showing tapeing the plexigals sheets in place
showing taping the plexiglas sheets
into position
# 8
taping the box closed

tape the box closed - add additional
tape where needed around the
plexiglas sheets to seal up
# 9
cut out access holes on each side of box
now cut out access holes on
each side of box as shown

# 10
complete the access holes and add tape around the cut outs
complete access cut outs and add
tape around openings
I started cutouts about 1-1/2 inches in
from front edge and bottom of box
The access cutouts should be
about 7 or 8 inches square

# 11
cut rubber sheets about 1 inch larger than access holes
cut rubber sheets about 1 to 1-1/2 inches
larger all around
than the access holes you made
# 12
apply rubber sheets around access holes
apply with tape and or staples (larger
than standard office staples if you have one.)
around access holes
# 13
cut the rubber sheets into strips about 3/8 to 1/2 inch wide
cut the rubber sheets into strips
about 1/2 inch wide - cut only as far as
to top of the access hole
not all the way through the sheet -
repeat on opposite side

# 14
after you cut into strips you have easy access
now you have easy access to the
inside of the box

# 15
showing rubber sheets attached to bothe access holes
showing rubber attached to both access holes
# 16
showing front of dust box with rouge bar inside
Front view of completed dust box with rouge bar
and hand piece placed inside
# 17
showing ready to polish position
Now you are ready to polish and keep
most of the dust contained. GOOD JOB!

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