The Perfect Polish: How Anyone Can Do It In Three Stages
By Stuller Standard | March 11, 2009
If you have the typical shop, chances are pretty good that you have a multitude of people using the jewelry buffs and polishing compounds with somewhat reckless abandon. Like those certain sales people that come into the shop to buff something for a waiting customer— it’s enough to send chills down a shop manager’s spine. 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 and preserve the life of your buffs and compounds; provide superior finishes for your customers; and hold on to a little more of your sanity.
Set up three containers and label them Stage One, Stage Two, and Stage Three.
Also know as “heavy scratch and scuffmark removal”. This is all of your treated muslin buffs. They are chemically treated and stitched to provide long wear. They are available usually in yellow (17-5566), orange (17-5610), purple (17-7253), etc. Mark them on both sides with the number “one”. The compounds typical of Stage One polishing are grey star (47-3297), tripoli (47-3255), and bobbing compound (47-3291). Keep them all in the same container: The one you marked Stage One.
During this stage, we’re talking buffs and compounds of precious metal. They take the metal from a dull luster to a high luster. These are the white muslin buffs that are stitched (17-7510). There are a variety of compounds for this stage; green rouge (47-3274) is the most common. Mark all buffs with a number two, boldly on both sides. And, again, keep these compounds and buffs in the same container: The one marked Stage Two.
Final buffing is the term. Bringing a piece of precious metal to full brilliance is accomplished by using loose buffs (buffs that are not stitched, usually made of muslin, ex. 17-7726). The compounds used in the final stage, are many. Often, jewelers used red rouge (47-3236), but there are many final polishes available that will impart brilliance to the metal. Try our picca pink (47-3245) 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.
Employ this simple system in your shop and enjoy the great results. Polishing is often viewed as “so easy, anyone can do it.” Then they ask you, the jeweler, to reset this stone that “just popped out”. Well, with this polishing system, you can welcome sale people into your polishing area, give them a few lessons, and empower them with the confidence that the material they are using are the right ones for the job. You’re happy; the sales people are happy; and you’re a hero to your customer once again!
[Adapted from the Jan 2009 Stuller Standard]