Buffing and finishing??

Buffing and finishing??

Post by Chazzzz » Tue, 23 Jan 1996 04:00:00



What is the best method and tool for final buffing and finishing of
polymer clay beads and projects?  I have already gone through sandpaper
(240 to 1500) and would like a way of smoothing the acrylic finish.  Even
sprayed on it seems to have an "orange peel" look.  

Am I correct in assuming that a buffing wheel attached to an electric
drill or grinder would be the best tool for this job?  A bead shop here in
Houston told me that Fimo was too delicate for this, but I don't think
this is correct.  Are there any advantages to Dremel-style motorized tools
or special jeweler's buffers?

I look forward to any and all input.  Thanks in advance.

Sally Tilson

 
 
 

Buffing and finishing??

Post by Lorraine Weber » Wed, 24 Jan 1996 04:00:00


Without a doubt, I'd have to say the best buffing and finishing comes
from using a buffing wheel.  I finally splurged and gave myself one for
Christmas, and I've been buffing everything in sight.  There is no
comparison between a buffed finish and one that is applied from a
bottle.  Buffing gives regular polyclay a finish like porcelain or
ceramic tile, and transparent clays end up looking like glass.

Polymer clay is not too delicate for the wheel, but you do have to be
careful.  I use a Foredom jeweler's bench grinder, fitted with a 5-inch
diameter cotton muslin wheel.  It's extremely soft, even at higher
speeds.  Secret 1 (stressed by Tory Hughes) is to sand the surface of
your piece as smooth as possible, using wet sandings of progressively
higher grits.  This will give you a beautiful polish in a very short
time on the wheel.  Secret 2 is to approach the wheel cautiously, hang
on to your piece so it doesn't torque out of your hand and slam down
into the table top or wall (or God forbid your face).  Keep the piece
moving at all times, so that fibers from the wheel don't embed
themselves into the surface as it heats.  Experience will show you how
much pressure to use in holding the piece to the wheel.

As always, be extremely careful of your own health and safety.  Wear a
mask while buffing, to prevent breathing in those fibers!

Happy buffing,
Lorraine


writes:

Quote:

>What is the best method and tool for final buffing and finishing of
>polymer clay beads and projects?  I have already gone through
sandpaper
>(240 to 1500) and would like a way of smoothing the acrylic finish.
Even
>sprayed on it seems to have an "orange peel" look.  

>Am I correct in assuming that a buffing wheel attached to an electric
>drill or grinder would be the best tool for this job?  A bead shop
here in
>Houston told me that Fimo was too delicate for this, but I don't think
>this is correct.  Are there any advantages to Dremel-style motorized
tools
>or special jeweler's buffers?

>I look forward to any and all input.  Thanks in advance.

>Sally Tilson


 
 
 

Buffing and finishing??

Post by Sherry Bail » Fri, 26 Jan 1996 04:00:00


Any bench tool that goes round and round (pretty much) can be fitted with a
buffing wheel. I hear they cost maybe five dollars (the wheel only). If you
already have a drill (clampin place securely) or a bench grinder or something
(I only have a dremel -- works but too tiny!) get a wheel and try it out. Then
you will get hooked and will, as do I and many otherw who have experimented,
not be happy until you can get a nice jeweler's variable speed buffer!
(Foredom, as Lorraine mantioned, is the favored brand.) The main difference is
control and speed -- but the other tools work, you just have to personally
watch the pressure and time and movement of the buffed piece.

I suppose some poly clay pieces, especially thin ones or ones with spindly
projections, wouldn't hold up to buffing, but beads and firmly built things
are great. You don't treat soft plastic the same as hard stone or metal for
buffing, but buffing is actually the nicest looking surface, and makes the
most of the color of the clay, particularly anything made with metallics or
art transparent. (Someone mailed me a sample once -- I couldn't believe
it. Then I took a Tory Hughes workshope and REALLY fell in love with it!)

(Take a nicely buffed piece in to that uninformed bead shop person, by the way
-- educate the masses!!)

Sherry

 
 
 

Buffing and finishing??

Post by Dorothy Mcmill » Fri, 26 Jan 1996 04:00:00


What is the best method and tool for final buffing and finishing of

Quote:
>polymer clay beads and projects?
>Sally Tilson

Hi Sally;  I agree with the advice that Lorraine gave you.  Just wanted
to add that if you don't have a wheel yet you can do the following.  Sand
your piece and then give it a coat of Future floor wax.  This gives a
smoother, nicer finish than the Fimo or Sculpey or other acrylic  
finishes.  Remember, too, that not everything can be buffed and/or sanded.
  Items with delicate areas, or hard to reach spots don't lend themselves
to this technique.  Experimenting will soon show you what works well and
what doesn't.  
-

 
 
 

Buffing and finishing??

Post by Helen Fleisch » Sun, 28 Jan 1996 04:00:00


 Sherry

When you buff the clay do you use any sort of buffing compound on the
wheel?  When I took a short workshop in amber polishing, the method was
much like that used for poly clay.  It was a progression of finer and
finer sandpaper grits, moving to wet sanding at about grit 600, then
finished off with buffing using a muslin wheel on a Dremel flexible
shaft tool.

The instructor did that for everyone and she used a white, waxy paste
that was in a push-up tube.  I don't recall the name, offhand, but I
think I wrote it in my sketchbook.  Fabuluster, perhaps?  It made quite
a difference in the finished look of the amber, even after 1500 grit wet
sanding.  Does that sound familiar?

... Just another fiber artist, bobbin and weavin'.


 
 
 

Buffing and finishing??

Post by Ryan Thompso » Sun, 28 Jan 1996 04:00:00


I've never tried this, but the idea just popped into my head, so I'm
wondering if anyone else has had the same thought:  Can you polish P-clay
in a rock tumbler?  With decreasing grit sizes, I thought it might work
like easy-sandpapering.

Unfortunatly, I don't have a tumbler... does anyone else want to give
this a try?  :)  I'm dying to know!

X.

 
 
 

Buffing and finishing??

Post by Holly Sto » Sun, 28 Jan 1996 04:00:00


Re: Mention of the Foredom Tools

Anyone interested in the Foredom tools, must be made aware that there
has been a problem with 'melt down' on some of the flexible shaft
tools. It seems there is a heat or fiction problem with some models
which causes the cable sheath to melt.

If you are going to buy this item talk to the vendor.  I recently saw
a post on rec.crafts.jewelry regarding a recall on some models.  I
tried to find the original post, but was unsuccessful.

As always have fun,

Holly

 
 
 

Buffing and finishing??

Post by Paula Trej » Tue, 30 Jan 1996 04:00:00


Quote:

> Re: Mention of the Foredom Tools

> Anyone interested in the Foredom tools, must be made aware that there
> has been a problem with 'melt down' on some of the flexible shaft
> tools. It seems there is a heat or fiction problem with some models
> which causes the cable sheath to melt.

> If you are going to buy this item talk to the vendor.  I recently saw
> a post on rec.crafts.jewelry regarding a recall on some models.  I
> tried to find the original post, but was unsuccessful.

> As always have fun,

> Holly

Hi All,
The mention of recall of the Foredom tool in the rec.crafts.jewelry
newsgroup was regarding the flexible shaft machine model 'H'.

I beleive that the mention of Foredom in an earlier posting to this
newsgroup was about Foredom's benchtop polisher which is different
than a flexible shaft machine.  The Foredom becnch top polisher has
two spindles for attaching buffing/polishing wheels and, I think,
grinding wheels as well.  

Hope this helps.

Paula

 
 
 

Buffing and finishing??

Post by Sherry Bail » Wed, 31 Jan 1996 04:00:00


Hi,

No polishing compound is needed with poly clay when buffing, it is soft enough
to achieve it's own shine when buffed. (Actually, the bigger danger is that
you will scuff the surface by not keeping the clay in constant motion while
buffing, so the edges of the muslin wheel eat their way into the clay.) In
other words, buff dry. keep in motion. (Watch the heat buildup due to
friction, too -- that can soften the clay and make it take your fingerprint,
for example.)

Rock tumblers have not yet been described by anyone here as successful for
polishing poly clay, again, I believe because the clay is so much softer than
the stuff rock tumbers normally handle. The available grits are too
harsh. (Perhaps if people continue to be interested, someone will come out with
grits FOR poly clay and we will be all set!) (People HAVE tried this, but not
been happy with the currently available grits.)

Sherry

 
 
 

Buffing and finishing??

Post by bjo.. » Fri, 02 Feb 1996 04:00:00


If regular rock tumbling medium is too hard (most likely for poly clay)!
You can tumble with softer mediums like ground up walnut shells, etc...

Regards & Good Luck,
Billy

 
 
 

Buffing and finishing??

Post by Dorothy Mcmill » Sat, 03 Feb 1996 04:00:00


Hi;  Sherry is right, it doesn't work to use the tumbler.  I had this
question sometime back and finally did try it.  No luck.  It didn't
polish.  Sherry's idea that the grits aren't fine enough is probably
right.  Maybe one day they WILL come up with some that does work.  We
could make Faux Fimo stones and then just tumble them and drill or set
them.  That would be great
-

 
 
 

Buffing and finishing??

Post by Judy Anders » Thu, 08 Feb 1996 04:00:00


: Hi;  Sherry is right, it doesn't work to use the tumbler.  I had this
: question sometime back and finally did try it.  No luck.  It didn't
: polish.  Sherry's idea that the grits aren't fine enough is probably
: right.  Maybe one day they WILL come up with some that does work.  We
: could make Faux Fimo stones and then just tumble them and drill or set
: them.  That would be great
: -

I wonder if something like good old baking soda is too course...or maybe
even cornstarch...something tells me you'd have to let it tumble a *long*
time, though.

Judy

 
 
 

Buffing and finishing??

Post by Helen Fleisch » Fri, 09 Feb 1996 04:00:00


Ja> I wonder if something like good old baking soda is too course...or
Ja> maybe even cornstarch...something tells me you'd have to let it
Ja> tumble a *long* time, though.

Hello Judy,
Do be careful if you try cornstarch dry in any sort of buffing
situation.  That sort of starchy powder is prone to dust explosions.
Kick up a puff of it and the slightest spark could make it burst into
impressive flames.

Some movie company got the idea that it would be safer than talc for one
of their special effects, without consulting anyone about the fire
safety aspect and the results were quite ***.

... Is a cafe latte a lot of coffee?


 
 
 

Buffing and finishing??

Post by violette laport » Tue, 13 Feb 1996 04:00:00


Quote:

> Ja> I wonder if something like good old baking soda is too course...or
> Ja> maybe even cornstarch...something tells me you'd have to let it
> Ja> tumble a *long* time, though.
> Hi,

Just a thought: wouldn't Fimo itself be the best grit for polishing Fimo? I could be collected
when you sand by hand. Sounds like one long process to me. Will stick to good old hand sanding
and machine buffing(when I get a machine).

"To lurk is to learn."
Salut, Violette