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Polishing with 3M Cerium Impregnated Belts

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Author Topic: Polishing with 3M Cerium Impregnated Belts  (Read 1121 times)
« on: December 10, 2008, 08:02:46 am »

Just a tid bit to share, These are for glass/crystal, but works for lapidary use as well.
" Now you can use your expanding to move your pieces all the way to a bright clear polish with minimul muss and fuss.
The 3M cerium impregnated Trizact material just needs water to begin activating the cerium and gives you just enough cerium to polish your pieces without a large slurry mess and without contamination from other materials like felt belts. The belt won't shrink or expand and gives a quick polish with little effort from the user."

I use these on my Raytech Glass restoration machine to bring the crystal and glassware that I repair to a high polish and works equally as well on my cabochons.

3M makes them for 6",8" expando and 42" belt sanders
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« Reply #1 on: December 10, 2008, 11:35:42 am »

Thanks for the great tip
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« Reply #2 on: December 10, 2008, 03:17:25 pm »

Not sure if it is the same when using with rock, but they show a lot of water use when using with glass.

It is very important to avoid generating too much heat. A carefully controlled water flow will
keep the glass cool and reduce the chance of breakage. Water also helps to start the cutting action
of the aluminum oxide grades and to form the slurry for the final polishing step. Too much water
on the final polishing step, however, will wash the cerium oxide particles that form the slurry
away and no polishing action will occur.

Cleanliness, cleanliness, cleanliness.

3M Glass Defect Repair System utilizes a sequence of progressively finer grades of abrasives.
Contamination from abrasive particles leftover from previous grades can cause micro-scratches
that are visible after the polishing step. Cleanliness is the key to such scratch prevention.

A few tips to prevent scratching:

Keep tools and work area clean. When not in use, set the sander on itís side so dirt is not
picked up on the working surface.

Use an ample amount of water from the tool, or spray bottle, and a soft paper towel to
thoroughly remove any residue and loose particles from the entire glass surface between
each abrasive step. Use clean paper towels each time.

Wipe the debris off the sander frequently. Pay special attention to the center hole area, the
sander shaft, and the casing.

Always designate a separate backup pad for the final polishing step (white, 3M 568XA).
Residual abrasive and glass particles from previous grades (A35, A10, A5) may contaminate
the pad and cause scratching.

Always use the recommended water filter and water supply tank.

Letís not forget about technique.

There are a few polishing techniques that should be followed to get optimal results from this

A few tips on technique:

Always begin polishing by applying a small amount of water to the surface. With the sander
running, gently contact the surface. Apply firm, even pressure sufficient to comfortably
maintain surface contact. Sanding should be done with small overlapping strokes of the tool.
Moving the sander in a clockwise circular pattern helps to reduce jerking. Do not dwell in
one area.

Maintain continuous contact with the glass. Avoid lifting the abrasive off and on the glass

Lift sander off the glass before stopping it.

Controlled water flow helps reduce heat and keep the glass cooler. If the glass gets hot, lift
pad off the glass. Apply more water and fan the glass with the pad running 1-2Ē above the

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« Reply #3 on: December 10, 2008, 11:47:52 pm »


I repair crystal/glassware for several different Antique malls and shops in Houston and Dallas. http:/deninaglassrepair.googlepages.com . I donít use any water in grinding and polishing. I use the Raytech Glass Restoration System. I use a wax/grease stick for lubrication. I go from 100 grit to220 to 600 and if needed I finish polishing with 3,000. On some pieces I will then use the cerium belt with just a small amount of water from a spray bottle to activate the cerium.

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« Reply #4 on: December 11, 2008, 02:51:36 am »

This is the third time I have had to type our a response to this thread. AARGGG !! My computer kept on going haywire !

I wonder if the exact same polish can be accomplished by just using the Linde A Cerium oxide polishing paste as one would get with one of the impregnated belts?

Someone at our last club meeting commented about how he liked the Cerium oxide better than the other oxides.

I am going to have to give it a whirl. Have always used the tin only.

I do remember reading how these impregnated belts needed water or they would end up ruined. I believe they are sorta like a diamond belt in that the grits are very fine. Seemed like they started at several thousand and worked up to something like 30 or 50,000.

The 8" are pretty cheap at 6.00. But I don't see the grit that they come in at this particular site.

Now that I am searching again, I will be darned if I can even find to be able and verify the grits of these 3M impregnated belts !

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« Reply #5 on: December 11, 2008, 09:31:07 am »

Mark at his glassworks stated there is no grit size on cerium only partical size. It sure saves me from having to a rain suit and goggles (ha ha)

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