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You have just started on your new hobby of creating hand-stamped jewelry. You have applied the oxidization solution with a cotton swab and the item has turned dark brown to black. Now you need to polish away the oxidization from the raised areas and leave the recessed areas black.

You will need a motor-driven polisher. One inexpensive tool you can purchase is a Dremel handheld tool. It is a handy little device that is very versatile and allows you to change out the tool you are using easily. For instance, you can use mini sanding drums, polishing wheels, buffers, wire brushes, there are so many to choose from!

You would hold the Dremel in one hand with your jewelry item in the other hand. Be careful, the Dremel does rotate much faster than is needed for polishing. Your jewelry item will heat up quite quickly because of the friction and be hot to the touch. You may have to take a few seconds to allow the jewelry item to cool off so it can be handled again. Begin by polishing the raised areas; the oxidization should quickly come off. You can polish the recessed areas as much you can, most of the oxidization will stay in the recessed area and be unable to remove.

You can also use a bench polisher. These are much heavier and have bigger polishing wheels. They sit on top of a work bench or other sturdy tabletop. One recommended brand is Foredom. They are a benefit over the Dremel because you can use both hands to hold the jewelry. They also have variable rotation speed, and can be outfitted with various sizes of polishing wheels.

For beginners, I would recommend white muslin polishing wheels. They are very inexpensive and often come packaged in multiples.

You will also need a polishing compound to remove the oxidization. Polishing compounds come in many strengths depending on what job you are doing. To remove oxidization you would want a rough, first-stage compound such as Tripoli or Red Rouge. After the oxidization is removed, move onto a finer compound such as Zam or Fabulustre, these will really bring out the shine of the metal.

Use one wheel per polishing compound. You do not want to mix compounds on the same wheel because it will lessen the effectiveness of each compound. This is why it’s good to buy muslin wheels in bulk. Removing oxidization causes the wheels to get loaded very quickly, so you will be changing them out frequently depending on how much polishing you are doing.

Source by M. Bear

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