Aluminum disk tumbling

by Kristina
(Derby, Ks)

I create hand stamped jewelry and the main metal I use is aluminum. We just purchased a tumbler from HF and I do not want to ruin a batch of my blanks by not tumbling them correctly. Can you please help me and advise me on what solution to use on the disks to get them shinny? I have heard not to use steel shot on them, but am still confused as to what to use.

Thanks, Kristina

Stacy's Answer:

Hi Kristina!

The tumbling needs for aluminum are different than those of say copper or Sterling silver. I personally do not work with or use aluminum for jewelry making. So, I'm sending you to a link of a Lizz Barnes who uses aluminum a lot.(just copy and paste in your browser window)

With aluminum being so soft, what Lizz says about using only round stainless steel shot - no pins - makes sense. I know that aluminum is especially sensitive to salts and chemicals commonly found in water as it pits easily. Distilled water might be a good idea as it has had all chemicals and minerals removed.

I hope you find the information on Lizz's site helpful and have success in achieving a high polish finish on your aluminum pieces!

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