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Polishing backs, stupid things i do or things i forget to do

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Author Topic: Polishing backs, stupid things i do or things i forget to do  (Read 282 times)
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« on: February 16, 2015, 12:55:07 pm »

This started on another thread where Jeremy posted a really nice pendant that had a really kool back and i was complaining about my work on pendant backs.  So here goes. 

I am one of those people that don't exactly believe that all backs should be perfectly polished.  I prefer a brushed finish on the back and i know people will say i am being lazy because i don't polish it.  I spend a lot of time on the front making it as perfect as possible and if i spent that much time on the back, i would never finish anything.  I would also like to know how to get a perfect finish on a back after you solder a finding on the back and it is right in the middle and keeps you from getting close with any sanding/polishing equipment.  I always polish the back before soldering the finding on, but you still need to go back and grind the firescale off and re-polish at least part of the back.

What do you all think, is it more professional to make a loop at the top for the chain, or solder a piece of tube on the back for the chain?  I never considered it before, but i am leaning to better pieces having a loop at the top and not a soldered tube on the back.   

Once i solder on a tube, i can never get close enough to polish right up against the tube so even if i polish the whole back to a perfect finish, right around the tube there is an area of not perfect polish and the size varies on your choice of sanding/polishing medium and tool.  I guess i could get closer if i polished perpendicular to the long axis of the pendant, but i always polish parallel to the long axis.  Which now that i think of it, i could do it either perpendicular or parallel as it should not matter if its a final mirror polish, as there will be no lines like with a brushed finish.  Duh!  My stupidity or inexperience. 

It seems that most every time i make a jewelry piece, i do something stupid or forget something.  One big one is grinding down the solder on the bezel join and then when i solder the bezel to the backing, sometimes the bezel join solder will melt away and you can see the line.  This is a horrible to fix situation and adding more solder to re-cover the join almost always ends up making a mess as its really hard to get rid of all the extra solder and make it look perfect.  So i really need to remember to leave the solder on the join until after the bezel is soldered to the backing.  This is probably due to the fact that i only use hard solder on the front of a piece.  I do not like the off color of medium and soft solder and hate the yellowish look, so i only use hard solder.

I guess if i did more jewelry work i would get into a process where i thought things out better and would not forget things. 

One day after i am back to work, i will probably try Argentium and/or some of the other special firescale resistant silvers.  I am also going to buy a tiny amount of gold and try some tiny details in gold occasionally to try and spruce something up.
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When you cultivate man, you turn up all the clods

« Reply #1 on: February 16, 2015, 09:34:08 pm »

Both front and back are important. Complete is the word. I like the clean look.

* 20141230_225234-1.jpg (864.34 KB, 1393x1001 - viewed 13 times.)
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Dave, a certified Rockaholic

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Somewhere over the rainbow... way up high

« Reply #2 on: February 17, 2015, 04:16:56 pm »

Very smooth and elegant Dave:)
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