3 Simple Steps to Achieve Perfect Jewelry Polishing
If you have the typical shop, chances are pretty good that you have a multitude of people using jewelry buffs and polishing compounds with somewhat reckless abandon. Without proper organization, often the wrong compound is used on the wrong buff, and then you’re left with a pile of contaminated shop debris.
If this sounds familiar to you, then we invite you to try this system to preserve the life of your buffs and compounds. In turn, you’ll provide superior finishes for your customers and hold on to a little more of your sanity.
Begin with heavy scratch and scuff mark removal using your treated muslin buffs. They are chemically treated and stitched to provide long wear. Mark them on both sides with the number one to ensure your buffs remain separate from one another.
Try these jewelry polishing pairs to brighten your day:
Tripoli vs. Bobbing Compound
A coarse cutting compound to remove scratches and surface imperfections. All-purpose Tripoli cuts similarly to regular Tripoli but leaves a brighter finish. Platinum Tripoli is specially formulated to remove scratches from platinum, chromium, stainless steel, and other hard metals. Tripoli compounds normally contain Tripoli, which is a slightly softer abrasive when compared to Bobbing Compound and gives more color.
Aggressive on soft metals such as gold, silver, aluminum, and brass. Adheres extremely well to buffs when using laps and bristle brushes. Fast and heavy cutting. Slightly more aggressive than Tripoli, Bobbing Compounds remove scratches and result in a dull finish.
During this stage, we’re taking the metal from a dull luster to a high luster. For this stage, try white muslin buffs that are stitched (17-5715). There are a variety of compounds for this stage, with green rouge (47-3274) being the most common.
Mark all buffs with a number two boldly on both sides. And, again, keep these compounds and buffs all together.
Know Your Buffs
Finex muslin has a very tight weave and is very soft. Excellent for use on all rouges.
Mid-grade softness for delicate surfaces to produce a nice final polish. We suggest TPB Medium-Grade buff (47-3228), followed by STV Soft Cotton Buff (47-3229) for a two-step polishing on fine watches and delicate jewelry. Apply light pressure at a low 1800 RPM speed.
The softest Luxor buff made of white flannel, scraped on two sides, and extremely versatile. This buff can be used with Avivor, Oras, as well as Luxor White, Yellow and Orange polishing compounds. This buff gives an ultra-high finish and is especially effective on Gold, Titanium, Platinum, and Silver.
Final buffing consists of bringing a piece of precious metal to full brilliance accomplished by using loose buffs (buffs that are not stitched, usually made of muslin, ex. (17-7726). There are many compounds used in the final stage, often left up to personal preference. Try our Picasso blue(47-3246) on your white metals and witness what brilliance is all about.
Before you do, though, don’t forget to mark your buffs with the number three, and store them with the final buff compounds in your Stage 3 container.
That’s it— You’re done!
Employ this simple system in your shop and enjoy the great results. Polishing is often viewed as “so easy, anyone can do it.” Well, with this polishing system, you can welcome salespeople into your polishing area, give them a few lessons, and empower them with the confidence that the material they are using is the right ones for the job.
You’re happy, the salespeople are happy, and you’re a hero to your customer once again!
Here are a few quick tips for jewelry polishing
Quick dos and don’ts for jewelry polishing success:
DO always use enough polishing compound on the wheel and recharge frequently.
DO always clean a piece between cutting and buffing operations to avoid contamination.
DON’T polish directly against a corner since it will round off. Start with the flat surface against the wheel and draw it out to the edge of the wheel.
DON’T polish down into a “V” since the buff will conform to the shape and cut a groove into the surface. Instead, polish against the point of the “V” and allow the buff to spread down over it.
Do you have any perfect jewelry polishing tips to share? How do you get that perfect shine? Share with us in the comments below!