The Society of American Silversmiths, its members, editors, contributors, and executive director disclaim any responsibility or liability for damages or injuries as a result of any construction, design, use, manufacture, restoration & conservation advice, or other activity undertaken as a result of the use or application of information contained on this Web site and all other Society publications. Before using ANY chemical, read the instructions and ask for an MSDS (Manufacturer's Safety Data Sheet).
I have used the products and services on this page and recommend them.
Radial Bristle Discs
Small-but-sturdy "bristle discs" are new abrasive products from 3M. 3M radial bristle discs, in 1-inch diameter, stacked together on a mandrel using a 1/8-inch screw, can tackle tough metal deburring, cleaning, and finishing requirements in the hardest-to-reach places.
Radial bristle discs are designed with abrasive-filled bristles that apply a continuous fresh supply of mineral without damaging the underlying surfaces. Tough but flexible, these discs conform to the contours of the work piece where intricate designs, tubes or corners make finishing, cleaning and deburring difficult.
They're also safe for the user, as they eliminate the dangers of flying metal wires posed by wire brushes and also can replace chemical use in some applications. In addition, their unique, patented design resists gumming and loading, so bristle discs work fast on soft or hard metals to produce a consistent, uniform finish. One-inch 3M radial bristle discs are suitable replacements for hand files, wire brushes, hand scrapers, and traditional grinding discs used for sanding, surface preparation, and coatings removal.
The one-inch 3M radial bristle discs are available in four grades: 36, 50, 80, and 120. Additional members of the small 3M radial bristle disc family include a 9/16-inch, as well as 3/4-inch size. These smaller discs fit mandrels with a 1/16-inch screw and are available in finer grades (120, 220, 400, 6 micron and 1 micron) and pumice for finishing and polishing applications. The 3/4-inch size also comes in grade 80. All grades are color-coded for easy identification.
Larger sizes up to 4.5" are also available. You may find that Scotch-Brite wheels can accomplish the same tasks when using abrasives of these larger diameters.
These discs are
worth a try. Most jewelry supply companies now carry a wide array of
sizes and grits. Though their lifespan is shorter than traditional
bristle wheels, they certainly have many applications including
surface preparation for soldering and brazing without the need to
remove buffing compounds. They are also excellent for removing corrosion.
Trizact is a relatively new abrasive made
for all metals. It lasts many times longer than all other abrasives
other than diamond. The products are useful all the way down to the
backing material. Here's the Trizact abrasive
chart. R.S Hughes is a
great company to purchase Trizact and other 3M products in smaller quantities.
C3568 Alumina Compound
RaceCar Jewelry Co.
Peppermint Pure Castile Soap
Super-Safe Soft Soldering Flux
Soft Soldering Flux
Excellent pH down and alkalinity adjuster; extremely effective acid wash; cleans tile and porcelain; cleans brick and concrete; removes rust, scale, mineral build-up, and stains; cleans filters, chlorine generators and meter electrodes; cleans barnacles, zebra mussels and scum line from boat hulls; paint preparation etch for metal and concrete surfaces; cleans vats/tanks, lines in food and beverage plants; use for acid baths/washes. Certol International, 6120 E. 58th Ave., Commerce City, CO, 800/843-3343, hardware stores
Respirator: 3M's #60926 Cartridges (updated
Toxic Dust Respirator: 3M's #2047 Cartridges
Are you protecting yourself when you grind, buff, and everything in between? Not only should you be using a heavy-duty ventilating system, you should also wear a 3M Easy-Air high efficiency respirator. The respirator below is a 3M 7502 (medium size) half-face respirator (about $23), with 2047 pancake filters (about $6 per pair). The entire unit weighs only 4.5 ounces, so it can be worn all day (and night!). The filters will protect against welding fumes, dusts, mists, and asbestos. There is also an encased charcoal filter that will protect against nuisance smells. This respirator is most effective if you are clean shaven. Regardless of how powerful your ventilation system is, when buffing the inside of a form dust will become trapped and circulate out and away from the mouth of the vent, hence the need for the respirator. Don't bother with nuisance or dust masks, they simply aren't as efficient.
Always mark your respirator with the date the cartridges were installed. Also, clean the respirator often, especially after a cold or other sickness.
If you need help with finishing, call SAS for experienced advice. For respirator selection, contact 3M Occupational Health & Environmental Safety Division, 3M Center Bldg., 275-6W-01, PO Box 3325, St. Paul, MN 55133, 800/243-4630. Purchase from safety supply companies.
Moisture and steel. Bad combination. On my hammers, I use gun bluing then burnish the surface with 0000 steel wool to give it a shine. The bluing helps keep rust at bay, but to insure that my tools remain pristine, I use, sparingly, Butcher's Wax or Renaissance Wax for the final hard finish. In my rather humid workshop, my tools rarely rust. When they do, it is on the working surfaces that I forgot to recoat. I also wax my surface plates, heads, stakes, band saw and drill press tables, lathe ways, bench pin, mandrels, scratch brush extension spindle, and other assorted steel tools. Before bluing and waxing, I make sure all moisture has been eliminated from the tool by heating it on top of a radiator or with a heat gun. My tools need extra protection, for they are all exposed for quick and easy access. Oil and penetrating fluids tend to attract too much dust and abrasive elements that may be planished into a pristine piece of silver. Though most penetrating fluids do a good job driving moisture away, they can be toxic.
© Jeffrey Herman