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How To Polish Silver


Hi Dave Wilson again. Now something a little bit different this time. I'm going to do three videos in one for you, because what I want to show you are these three little polishing heads, little mops for your pendant drill. Now we've got a very rough one, we've got one for medium polishing and we've got one for final polishing. So what I'm going to do I'm going to take you through step by step taking a rough piece of metal through to final finish and I'll show you how to use all three polishing mops.

So three videos in one, I'll show you how to polish. As always follow me. Okay, so welcome to my workshop. What I've got here for you is a piece of sterling silver wiggly bear and this has been heat treated I will be soldiering bits to it and that and so you can see it's all black and oxidized. Now I know you'd normally put this in the pickle, I'm not going to do, I'm going to polish it using the polishing mops to show you.

So what I'm going to do is, I'm going to divide this into four quarters and I'm going to leave a quarter like that oxidized, then I'm going to buff all the rest, then I'm going to mask off half of it, use the Tripoli and then mask off the last little bit and then rouge it. So when I finish and I take the tape off, you'll be able to see the progression, all the way along it from rough to final mirror finish.

Let's get started; so here we go have taped up the end so we'll keep that oxidized. We can see the comparison, so the first thing I need to do is remove all this oxide. I'm going to use this brown buffing ball here, now this is it's a bit like a scouring pad like you might use in your kitchen. It's a kind of nylon meshy type substance, it's quite hard. And this has been impregnated with abrasive, so it acts like sand paper, a bit like a buffing stick.

There's different grades available, so what I'm going to do is I'm going to use this to start with to remove all oxide. Now I'm using my quick change handpiece here, the diameter of this fits perfectly into my quick change handpiece. This is a ferrule quick change handpiece and I've got this connected to my Fordham SR flexi shaft. Don't forget your goggles of course, very important to wear eye protection. Now I have it rotating this way, so I'm going to start at the top and work my way down and I'm just going to remove the oxide.

Now you don't want to rotate this too fast otherwise it will disintegrate, so just slow speed. You can see now I have removed all the oxide and I can now see the surface of the silver. So I can see there's a few little marks and pits, so I'm now going to carry on and I'm now gonna go at 90 degrees and I'm just going to keep filing this with the buff ball until I get rid of all those little marks and surface scratches.

So there we have it and all the surface is now smooth, there's no pits, there's no scratches, there's no dents and in fact if you want a satin finish then that's fine. Leave it there, that's all you need to do so this is great for removing the oxide and it leaves you a nice satin finish. If you want to keep a satin finish, there you go, job done.

Because I'm going to take it further so what I'm going to do now, I'm going a mask off on a little bit of it to keep that, so we have a comparison later and then I'm going to go on to the next stage with the rest of it. We've got the satin finish with the buffing ball so next up I want to start the actual polishing process. This is a little three layered felt wheel here and this is really great for your first stage polish. I'm going to use it with some brown Tripoli and that's going to help to get off all these tiny, tiny, little surface scratches and just start to get the beginnings of a mirror polish.

So once again this is gonna go into my flexi shaft and the first thing I need to do is load it up because this is a brand new felt. The first thing I need to do is just run it very slowly and just build up some polish on it. It's quite easy to see, you can see where the polish is there. You might get a few bits of fluff the first time you do this, so again eye protection. There we go, I've got a nice bit of polish on it now, again I mask sum off, so we can see the difference and I'm going to go all on the rest of this know with the Tripoli.
We're just going down the length, instantly you can see the difference. Now it's quite important to keep rotating the angle 90 degrees, so once you've polished it one way, just turn it round and polish it at 90 degrees. That way if there were any scratches you're attacking them from both sides. So join me in a second, so there we go, just a couple of minutes and if you brush starts to look dry just add a little bit more Tripoli to it, but you can see now we're certain to get the beginnings of a mirror polish.

Now at this stage it's very important to look and see if there's any scratches or indentations that you've missed. Don't try to polish them out, all you will do is you will have clean scratches. Okay, so if there are any scratches then you need to go back to the slightly abrasive buffing ball, take the scratches out and then go again with the Tripoli. So there's no marks, so I'm happy with that so I'm now going to mask a little bit off now to keep that on the end bit, I'm going to finish off with the rouge mop.
Here we go, I've tapped off a little bit more and I'm just going to put the rouge just on this end so we'll see the difference going along it. For the final stage mirror polish this is a wool mop you may hear the big ones referred to a swans dome mops but you need a soft mop and this is very light, very soft and this is used with rouge. I've got a little block of Rouge here. What I'm going to do is I'm going to use this, not too much, and I'm going to just buff the end there and you want to keep going different directions until you get a mirror shine.

So once again I'm just going to pop this into my flexi shaft just move that away and again this is a new mop so I need to load it up, so just run it, get rid of the fluff and just putting some rouge in it and this is really easy to do because you can see the mop changing colour and going red. So there we go you can see the rouge polish on it now. So a little bit faster now on this and very light torch.

Imagine you're polishing your mirror in your bathroom or something, so nice and light look really really just buffing up that surface. Then if you see little black streak that's just the polish that's because you've got a little bit too much polish on. Again change direction, move it around and something you'll notice here is I’m keen to make sure that my mop does not touch the bench pin because there might be filings or bits of contaminants on there, which I don’t want because that'll scratch my silver.

Well there we go, it really is just a couple of seconds and I'm just speeding up now, just the last little just touching up. There we go, I think I'm happy with that and then all you would need to do, so sorry got a camera there, just to get your solvent cloth and just wipe off any grease there and then take a look at it. And hopefully know you should have, if I put my finger on it, you can see I've got a mirror polish.

So let's take off this tape now and we shall be able to see the four stages so join me in a second. Once again we've got the original oxidized part, the sanded and pre polish part using the red buffing ball, we've got the pre polish using the Tripoli and the round felt wheel and then we have the final polish using the rouge and the little wool mop. So hopefully you can see by using these three, by using these three mops, you can take any piece of metal from black, dirty and tarnished right through from satin to pre polish to final mirror polish.

Now what I'll do now is I'll take this inside and I'll photograph this with a macro lens and let you have a real good close look at it so you can see this close-up. This could be a bangle, a large pendant something like that and literally you can take it from black to mirror finish in a matter of minutes just by using three little buffing balls, a bit of Tripoli, a bit of Rouge.

I've been Dave Wilson, thanks for watching.

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