The Bane of Most Jewellers Lives…Polishing Flat Metal Surfaces
Be it Aluminium, Silver, Steel or whatever.. Polishing Flat metal surfaces can be a beast to finish. Scratches are hard to remove without creating dips and ripples in the reflective surface. I often find that I avoid flat surfaces because I know they will take a lot of finishing.
So the other day when I made a pair of medals in Sterling Silver I thought it only right to show how I tackled the flat backs. What I would say is that this technique may not be for the novice with basic equipment, but for anyone looking to do a lot of flat polishing a set up such as this would save a great deal of time and fewer tantrums would ensue.
This is our Eneska 4-1 Micromotor System which really is gutsy and very versatile. I used it with a right angle handpiece (JERA 270) for surface preparation and a straight handpiece for polishing.
**We also sell a foredom right angle handpiece which would also do the job for those with a Foredom Pendant Motor
In reality most of us don’t have this sort of kit. My recommendations therefore:
- Ensure the flattest finish possible before polishing. Use wet and dry paper, preferably on a flat surface. Get scratches out before polishing, trust me it’s easier to do it at this stage.
- Use 3M radial bristle wheels or traditional bristle wheels to get into any detail. This avoids dips, the flexible bristles are much more forgiving.
- A bench polisher will give a quicker, higher quality finish than a pendant drill or micromotor. For larger items like medals, it is often easier too particularly for large flat surfaces.
Polishing tricky flat surfaces