How to make a 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.
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
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