lopacki Posted September 21, 2010 Report Share Posted September 21, 2010 I have been cutting a full range of stone since 1978, over the years I have encountered more than a few stones that were very hard to get the perfect polish on. I am going to do my best to help those out there that have problems with polishing Jade to a water wet shine. 1) First and foremost if your carving is not smoothed out with burrs sanding and other approaches to exactly how you want it to look finished you’re going to encounter problems. I always finish whatever I am working on to a 600 mesh, once I think its ready to polish I check the entire surface with a ten power loupe, if I see any scratches no matter how small I continue to work on the piece until I can find no scratches under ten power. 2) If the piece is generally smooth I have no problem putting it into a tumbler to smooth it even further. I usually tumble in three steps, 600, 1200 and 14,000 mesh. I always do my final polish by hand no matter how good the tumble finish looks. I have learned over the years that there is no machine to give the hand finished look we are all looking for. 3)If not generally smooth but have large areas that will allow some wheel finishing (My largest wheel 2 ½ inches) I use wooden wheels, dowel rod and even tooth picks to get all of the nooks and crannies super smooth, usually the same steps mentioned above. I use a mixture of diamond powder and honing oil (very light oil) and apply it to the various wooden tools I am using on the project. Remember if you are using three different mesh diamond powder you will need a separate tool for each different mesh size. I keep each tool or wheel in a ziploc with the mesh size market on the outside. 4)If your working on something that is very irregular this can cause major problems especially in the low spots. Again finish everything low spots and all to the 600 finish, once here I have a trick for you that my 88 year old rock hunting friend taught me. I use boar hair rotary brushes on my Foredom bench lathe to take care of almost all the polishing except the small low areas. You can purchase this type brush down to tiny mandrel mounted as small as ½ inch. I have attached images below that show the brush I am talking about. Depending on what I am doing I have brushes charged with 360, 600, 1200, 14,000 and 50,000 mesh. I usually stop at 14,000 but once in awhile I will go all the way to 50,000. 5)When using the brushes I have vials with a mixture of mineral oil and diamond powder (it takes very little powder), I have tiny paint brushes that I apply this mixture to the rotary brush with, as the rotary brush spins slowly I will usually touch the piece I am working on lightly against the rotary brush and then lightly touch the small diamond/oil brush against the rotary brush. It is amazing but believe it or not all of the oil diamond mixture stays right on the brush bristles, I put a piece of white paper below the brush the first time I tried this technique to see how much got thrown off the brush, there were no oil spots on the paper when I was finished. I do not have an intricate carving to show the results unless the Fire agate I post is considered intricate, this stone was finished with all of the techniques I have just discussed so you decide wether or not this will work for you. If you have questions feel free to shoot me an email and I will do my best to give you a helpful answer. Images below 2 jade beads finished to 50,000 mesh perfectly smooth and perfectly polished. A small fire agate that took around forty hours to finish to this point and last but not least the bench lathe and rotary brush. All my best .......... Danny Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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