Professional Jeweler Archive: Tool Time

April 2000

Precious Metals & Bench/News

Tool Time

3M’s Radial Bristle Disc removes less metal during finishing and polishing

The busy bench jeweler always looks for a product to make an everyday job easier. Now 3M has introduced a tool that satisfies that need if you do much finishing and polishing. It’s a flexible abrasive bristle disc that takes the place of compounds, sanding discs, wheels and chemicals.

The patented abrasive-filled bristles apply a continuous fresh supply of mineral polish to the jewelry while being gentle to the base material and surrounding detail. Bristles offer a greater degree of control and remove less metal than other polishing methods, such as the buff or solid wheel. This makes it ideal for prepolishing, blending and texturing, semifinishing and fine finishing delicate pieces and heirlooms.

The discs eliminate the need to apply polishing rouge or other mineral polish and allow you to remove oxides without messy compounds. They’re good also for delicate and heat-sensitive joints because they run cooler than a buff and compound or solid wheel. They reduce the risk of rouge flying off the buffing or solid wheel into your face.

The 3/4-in. discs are available in grit grades of 80 (yellow), 220 (red), 400 (blue) and pumice (light gray). The colors allow easy identification while working. The discs come with instructions indicating the recommended and maximum speeds for your flex-shaft tool and which disc is best for which application.

The company is about to introduce two new disc sizes: 9/16 inch (with grit grades of 120, 220, 400, pumice, 1 micron and 6 microns) and 1 inch (with grit grades of 36, 50, 80 and 120). The discs are suitable for use on gold, silver, copper, pewter or brass.

  • 3M Abrasive Systems, St. Paul, MN; (800) 742-9546.

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