scuff marks

by Nicole

Hi, after putting our sterling silver discs in the tumbler and letting them tumble for a few hours or up to 24hrs they come out sticking together, or have scuff/scratch marks in the centre of the discs only. The washers come out nice. We are using a burnishing compound in the tumbler that was recommended with the purchase of the tumbler. Do you have any idea as to why the centre of these discs wont polish up like the outside of them or the washers?

Stacy's Answer:

Hi Nichole!

I hate it when that happens! Been there, done that. Thin discs especially, have a tendency to stick together in the tumbler. This leaves one side (outfacing side) polished and the inner-facing sides to rub together causing a circular scratch or dull pattern in their centers. (think about putting your hands together and rubbing them -this is what is happening with the discs in the tumbler)

I've had some success with tumbling smaller qualities of the thin discs and also tumbling them with other things so they don't have much opportunity to find "each other." Another solution is to polish one-at-a-time using a polishing wheel for a rotary tool such as a flexshaft or dremel. A pain to be sure, but you can get very nice mirror-like polish with a rotary-style tool like buffers, flexshafts and dremels. You might also have better luck using dish-soap instead of the burnishing compound as it's more slippery.

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