Tumble Scratches

by Selena Kruer
(Columbus, Ohio)

I tumbled some silver pieces last night and they are all the same size and shape pretty much. One piece came out with some scratches in one area but the rest is all shiny and great. Any ideas on what might have happened and what I should to to fix the scratches.

Stacy's Answer:

Hi Selena!

Sometimes things can get stuck to the flat bottom of the tumbler, especially flat discs. Instead of tumbling in the shot and getting polished, the other items sort of constantly rub it in one spot causing mild scratching. And, sometimes pieces get only partially polished (don't know why, but it happens to me occasionally too) and what you're seeing as "scratched" is actually just not polished. I'm sure it has to do with placement in the tumbler and the placement of the stars and moon too! :) (just kidding)

I would suggest that you put the scratched item back into your tumbler and let it tumble alone for about 2-3 hours or so. Check it and if it seems to be polishing up, put it back in until you have the desired finish.

You can also polish by hand using your flex-shaft if you have one or a Dremel fitted with a buffing wheel. I use a product called Fabulustre Polishing Compound (available at jewelry supply companies) to put a really smooth sheen on the metal. I'm sure that there are other products for polishing that will work equally as well.

The scratches should be minor and tumble right back out!

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