Buffing out silver

Discussion in 'Finishing Techniques' started by israelu, Jun 10, 2012.

  1. israelu
    israelu New Member
    Hello Shapeways community. I received my silver print the other day, which is a pendant that's just a simple extrusion of a sillouhette - so the front and the back are just flat, is what I'm getting at. The print arrived, and awesome as it is, it has a grooved texture to it. Perhaps it's inherent to the process, but it's different from what I was imaging. I was picturing a smooth, more traditionally "silvery" silver.

    What I was wondering then, is can the lines be buffed (sanded?) out, and would that leave me with a shiny result? Also, if this is something that can be done, I could use some insight, or clues to the process, never really having done anything similar.

    Thanks all. I appreciate any help,

    - Israel
  2. Youknowwho4eva
    Youknowwho4eva Shapeways Employee Community Team
    Did you order regular silver or glossy silver? What I've done is used my Dremel (cheapest Chinese made Dremel I could buy at Walmart) and it comes with a polishing wheel, and a polishing material. It's very easy to get a nice shiny surface.
  3. israelu
    israelu New Member
    Thank you for your reply. I did get the shiny silver (which is why I was surprised when it arrived not what I would consider shiny). Following your advice, I do see that I can purchase a dremel from Walmart for, like $20, so I might give that a shot.

    I guess the real crux of my question is whether the silver prints have all the same physical attributes as any silver jewelry - therefore enabling any of the same traditional jewelry making techniques. The pendant won't fall apart, will it, if I either buff it myself, or hand it over to a jeweler to? From the reading I found on Shapeways' website, it seems the silver prints ARE as silver as anything else (the print aspect just being the wax mould, with the silver being poured after the fact). Is my understanding correct?
  4. Youknowwho4eva
    Youknowwho4eva Shapeways Employee Community Team
    You are correct, it is the same/similar to any silver jewelry you'll buy, and you are correct about the method for production.
  5. silencia
    silencia New Member

    I would start with grade 360 sandpaper and then 600, then 1200 (very fine). If it is a flat object then sand in one direction and then sand horizontal to that direction so the directions that you sand should be left to right and then up and down...(sand more against the grain)

    Then do as the other poster suggested - buy a dremmel, with a mandrel piece on the end. ...you can use cotton wool on the end of the dremmel and then jewellers rouge to polish.

    Depending on how thin your object is you could potentially sand it down to the point where if weakens but I would say that you would be able to tell if this is going to be an issue by looking at the thickness.

  6. silencia
    silencia New Member

    I just realised I was 4 years too late with posting the above!!! Hope you managed to resolve the issue by now!
  7. israelu
    israelu New Member
    Thank you very much for your reply. There's some great, very useful information in it. All's well that ends well - I ended up taking the piece to a jeweler and it came out AMAZING, but for future projects that are less time sensitive I would love to handle buffing and polishing myself.

    Thanks again