Getting into those "hard to reach" places

by Dianna
(Lehigh Acres, Florida)

I'm having an issue with cleaning off some oxidized places on my pendants. I've made a wire woven piece with several layers and some tight spots. I cannot seem to reach that area to buff off the darkened wire. Do you have any suggestions for this issue?

Stacy's Answer:

Hi Dianna!

I like using an artificial steel wool scrubbie pad made by 3M for removing excess liver-of-sulfur patinas. I prefer the grey pads as their texture is much like 0000 steel wool without the issues of steel wool. Lowe's sells them in a 2-pack in the paint department. For accessing those really tight spots, I wrap very fine (1000 grit to 1200 grit) sandpaper cloth around a toothpick and work into those areas. It's slow going.

There is a product available called, Poliluster Sticks which are small ceramic sticks designed for getting into tight areas. You can buy them in different grits from 120 - 1200 from jewelry supply companies. But even those are rectangle in shape which is not the best for delving into wire layers. I always tumble-polish/clean my wire jewelry items which removes excess LOS and other dirty residue, even in those hard-to-reach places while polishing them up.

Lastly, you can oxidize and clean your wire BEFORE fabricating a piece. This can be a bit tedious, but works pretty well. That being said, you would not want to tumble said wire before using as this causes work-hardening, making the wire stiffish and difficult to manipulate.

Usually at least one of these methods or a combo of them work to get that wire clean!

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Jul 05, 2014
Finishing Work
by: Stacy

You are so right Dianna! I often say that the finishing work can take as long or longer than the actual fabrication of a piece. Sounds like with the attention to detail you give your jewelry, it will turn out beautifully!

Jul 05, 2014
cleaning tight spaces
by: Dianna

Thanks for your help. I guess that there isn't really away around it other than TIME and patience. I have los wire previous to wrapping. I should have planned better.

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