Professional Jeweler Archive: Polished Performance

April 2002

Professional Bench/Path to Proficiency

Polished Performance

Polishing tricks for finishing those hard-to-reach areas

Tim Felts professionally finishes every piece of jewelry he works on. He polishes the finest detail, whether it’s a reconstruction or a custom piece. Here are two methods he uses to reach hard-to-access areas.

Stuller in Lafayette, LA, includes a lollipop with every order, and Felts quickly puts it to use as a polishing probe. He shortens the lollipop stick and inserts it into his flexible shaft handpiece.
He spins his new polishing probe over the surface of sharpening stone and fashions a slender point on one end.
Felts selects the appropriate polishing compound for the material he’s working with, charges the pointed portion of the probe and begins to polish.
He uses kite string for this technique, often referred to as thrumming. First, he drags it back and forth in the polishing compound to charge it.
Then he threads the string through the small opening in the piece he’s polishing and pulls the string back and forth, applying light pressure. He likes kite string because it’s readily available and holds together during the process. Kite string is typically three or four strands of intertwined string. For super-small areas, Felts unravels the string and uses a single strand in the same manner.

– Mark B. Mann, Director of Trade Programs, Jewelers of America

Featured procedures by JA® Certified Master Bench Jeweler™ Tim Felts, Felts Fine Jewelry and Design, Tulsa, OK

Photographs courtesy of Jewelers of America

© 2002 Jewelers of America

Copyright © 2002 by Bond Communications