Does stainless steel shot need replacing?

by Robin Hallett
(Chicago, IL )

Hi there, just wondering if I need to replace my jewelry shot? I use the Lortone 3A tumbler and have 1-lb of stainless steel jewelry mix shot in it, have used the shot for a few years on a twice monthly basis. I make earwires and clasps and headpins and the tumbler used to smooth the edges nicely. Lately, the cut ends still feel scratchy after 1 hour or more of tumbling. Should I replace the shot? Thanks!

Stacy's Answer:

Hi Robin!

I wouldn't think that your shot would need replacing......stuff seems to last forever. Especially if you're only using it 2x per month. Also, one hour is not much time in the tumbler for smoothing a slightly rough edge. You might try tumbling your findings for a longer period.

If you haven't replaced the belt on your tumbler, it may be time to do so. It's possible that your barrel is not spinning like it used to which could affect the polishing effectiveness/efficiency. The rubber belts do wear out or sometimes go soft from just sitting.

As to scratchy ends on ear wires, I find that I must file and smooth by hand before tumbling to ensure a nicely finished ends.

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