Professional Jeweler Archive: Foredom's New Platinum Finishing Products

October 2003

Professional Bench/Tool Tips


Foredom's New Platinum Finishing Products

New platinum prefinishing wheels, polishing bobs and compounds add luster to your bottom line


JA® Certified Master Bench Jeweler Linda Steinke uses Foredom’s new prefinishing wheels and polishing compound to finish fabricated and cast platinum pieces. “Using these new products has eliminated the multiple-step process I formerly used,” she says. “I’m able to accomplish my prefinishing and polishing in half the time.”

Michael Dickey, also certified by JA, agrees. “In my operation, time is money and we are thrilled to benefit from using these quality products to speed up our finishing procedures,” he says.

This platinum ring is fabricated and was carefully prefinished and polished throughout the process. Final prefinishing and polishing are required. Shown here, the top wires are carefully detailed using the gray extra fine 1000 grit Foredom Ceramic Polishing wheel. Next, the white super fine 1500 grit wheel will be used.
The Foredom Ceramic Polishing Wheels are supplied unmounted in packets of 10; grits are identified by color (shown mounted and unmounted here in the Foredom Rotating Bur and Tool Holder). They range from the coarse 120 grit (blue) to a super fine 1500 grit (white).

“These wheels are resilient to wear, hold an edge and generate less heat than wheels I have used previously,” says Dickey. “I have two sets: one contains full-sized wheels for all applications; the other contains smaller used wheels I use for inside rings.”

The inside of the ring is prepolished using Foredom’s mounted medium felt bobs and Foredom’s Platinum Blue compound. The felt bobs come in a packet of various shapes and sizes and are mounted permanently on 1/8-in. shanks.
The felt bobs are available in a variety of sizes and shapes in medium, hard and rock-hard surface hardnesses.
The flat shank and flat tapered top wires of the design were prepolished using the same materials. JA Certified Master William Holman likes using Foredom’s Platinum Blue with a stitched yellow treated muslin buff. He uses the 7-stitch buff, which provides the firm polishing surface he prefers.
The ring is placed in an ultrasonic cleaner then polished using Foredom’s Platinum White compound. “I like the 8000 grit Platinum White compound because it quickly polishes the piece to an unmistakable finished bright luster,” says Steinke. “The two steps I use with this buffing and polishing process accomplish an equivalent and better finish than my old six-step process and in half the time.”

Adds Holman, “Using these compounds saves me time, and I’m able to retain intricate detail.” Both note to be careful using Foredom Blue near excessively soft gems.

Steinke uses the Foredom Platinum Blue and Platinum White (8000 grit) compounds available in 5-ounce bars for all jewelry finishing. “I use these compounds for my gold and silver buffing and polishing requirements,” she says. Both compounds were introduced in 2003 and are available only from Foredom.
Shown here are Foredom’s TF Points, appropriate for titanium and platinum group metals. They are impregnated aluminum oxide points that are good for smoothing and prepolishing and can be reshaped with a dressing stone.
Because they’re small and have superior metal-removal quality, these points are good for the reduction of excess platinum at the sprue junction and for prefinishing this platinum cast wire setting.

– by Mark B. Mann

Technical contributions by Michael Dickey of Dickey Designs, Linda Steinke of LBS Designs and Manufacturing and William Holman of Holman Design Group

Each technical contributor is certified by JA and operates a national trade shop performing repair and custom order to retailers:

  • Michael Dickey, Redlands, CA; (909) 335-9919.
  • Linda Steinke, Newark, DE; (302) 983-9898.
  • William Holman, Dallas, TX; (972) 702-0606.

This installment of Tool Tips was sponsored by Foredom, Bethel, CT. For information on Foredom tools, equipment and accessories or for a list of distributors, contact Michael Zagielski at (203) 792-8622 or sales@foredom.com or visit www.foredom.com and click on the “Accessories” page.

Photographs by Mark B. Mann
©2003 Visual Communications

Copyright © 2003 by Bond Communications