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Tips, Techniques, and Questions -- Technical questions or tips

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  #1  
Old 2009-08-20, 4:49pm
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Default Tumbling questions!

(I posted this in the metal room but I guess it doesn't get very many visitors)

So I'm taking a PMC class this weekend (yay!) and I'm planning on doing quite a bit of work with this. I also know that my cored beads could stand to be tumble polished. I'm also wanting to tumble etch my beads from now on instead of using chemicals.

I've done quite a bit of reading & searching on LE and elsewhere, so I know that I cannot use the same barrel for polishing metal and etching glass.

1. Does this mean I have to buy a tumbler with 2 barrels? Or can I buy 1 tumbler and just buy an extra barrel to keep them all separate?

2. I know I need SS shot for the metal polishing. I've read several things on etching glass though. Is there a certain grit I need to buy? I've read where people just used regular sand. What is recommended for that?

3. How long should I tumble to get my coring shiny, and how long should I tumble to etch the beads?

4. After reading everything, I'm assuming a Lortone is what I need to buy. Where is the best place to buy everything I need to both etch glass and tumble metal?

Thanks in advance
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  #2  
Old 2009-08-20, 8:28pm
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1) Yes. And yes.

2) Correct. Yes. These people are not smart. Silicon Carbide.

3) About 24 hours. About 24 hours.

4) Lortone is good for the cheep. Diamond Pacific is a more resourceful source.
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  #3  
Old 2009-08-21, 3:48am
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LOL LOVE answers like this!
Jen
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  #4  
Old 2009-08-21, 6:11am
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I'll throw my two cents in here as far as etching the glass goes....
1. No and yes (sorry to disagree, HWC ) I have a single barrel tumbler with three barrels. One for shot, two for different grits abrasive
2. No sand here. One barrel has 600 grit Silicon Carbide, the other 1000 grit SC. My personal preference for etched glass is the 1000.
3. Time varies (don't you hate answers like this? ) It depends on the type of glass being etched and what end look I want.
4. I have a Lortone (ok, so I am cheap....or is that frugal? ). If you decide to go with one of them, you can check out Kingsley North for units and replacement parts.

Are you planning on etching your beads first, coring, and then polishing the metal?
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  #5  
Old 2009-08-21, 7:12am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kim V View Post
Are you planning on etching your beads first, coring, and then polishing the metal?
I don't know! Which do you recommend?

Thanks for all the answers so far, it's been really helpful.
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  #6  
Old 2009-08-21, 7:56am
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If you core the bead and then do the etching, the metal will become all scratched. In my mind, I'd try the etched bead, core, and then polish. I haven't done any this way, so don't know what effect the SS shot would have on the etched glass. Worth a try. And you have to let us know how it works out!!!
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  #7  
Old 2009-08-21, 8:16am
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Hi Kim,

I can't seem to find any 1000 SC grit anywhere. The highest I could find was 500 here http://therockshed.com/grit1.html

I'm assuming the higher the number, the finer the grit is?
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  #8  
Old 2009-08-21, 8:40am
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Hi Traci,
I got both 600 and 1000 from Kingsley North http://www.kingsleynorth.com/skshop/....php?catID=141. Phoenix from here also has it. http://phoenixartsupplies.com/products.php?cat=25 But, I'm sure there are other places too.
Yes, the higher the number, the finer the grit.
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  #9  
Old 2009-08-21, 9:04am
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I have a vibrating tumbler with different bowls for different purposes.

You need the grit for etching. The steel shot works best for polishing your silver and doesn't seem to do much to the glass beads....just in case you need to polish with the beads already in place. To be on the safe side I have only tumbled both together for short periods of time. Supposedly the vibrating tumblers work faster than the rolling type.

My tumbler is too big. If and when I ever replace or get an additional one it will be a small one.

Be careful with your shot. Keep it covered with water with plenty of ivory soap in it. I have found that easier than drying between uses. I always get rust when I try to dry it out. I wonder if I just got a lousy quality of shot or if this is normal?
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  #10  
Old 2009-08-21, 10:30am
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WoW ! Great information. For the first time I actually understand what I need to get started. Thanks so much for all the great info.
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  #11  
Old 2009-08-21, 11:31am
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http://www.diamondpacific.com/

very nice people. a few orders, and still nice people. after ten years i find them to be nice people.
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  #12  
Old 2009-08-21, 3:48pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Laurie L View Post
WoW ! Great information. For the first time I actually understand what I need to get started. Thanks so much for all the great info.
I know, right? Completely agreed, you guys are awesome. Hubby is gone for the weekend so I'm treating myself to a PMC class tomorrow, and apparently a tumbler shopping spree too, lol.

So I need:

Lortone 33B Tumbler (the one with 2 barrels)
1lb (?) stainless steel jewelers shot
1lb (?) 1000 SC grit
Ivory soap

Is that it? I won't be using this for high volume items. Just a few pandora beads at a time. Will 1lb of each cover it?

Also, how "quiet" is this thing? Will I be able to run it in the house, or will it be banging around everywhere?
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  #13  
Old 2009-08-21, 3:49pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HWCGlass View Post
http://www.diamondpacific.com/

very nice people. a few orders, and still nice people. after ten years i find them to be nice people.
But are they nice people?
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  #14  
Old 2009-09-03, 2:55pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HWCGlass View Post
1) Yes. And yes.

2) Correct. Yes. These people are not smart. Silicon Carbide.

3) About 24 hours. About 24 hours.

4) Lortone is good for the cheep. Diamond Pacific is a more resourceful source.


24 hours to tumble etch beads??? Really???
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  #15  
Old 2009-09-03, 3:07pm
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Is that a 3lb barrel? If so, 2 lbs of stainless steel shot would probably be better. Also, the person I took my metalworking class with said to get the mix without pins because the pins get stuck in everything.
-elaine
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Old 2009-09-03, 4:46pm
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Actually you can probably get a nice polish on the silver in a couple of hours. I never tumble my metal work for 24 hours. A couple of hours tops unless I am doing head pins or ear wires in dead soft. Then its closer to four or five hours simply to harden the metal so it keeps its shape.

I use about a half a pound of shot and fill the water to cover the shot and whatever pieces are in the tumbler by about an inch or two. You don't really need to fill it full, it makes the motor in the tumbler wear out a lot faster and it doesn't make any difference as far as the polishing time or effects go.

If you silver shot is rusting at all its not stainless and I would replace it. My stainless steel shot has been left half covered for days (not on purpose and not by me lol) and there isn't a speck of rust on it after two years.

I am new to making beads but not to metal smithing in case anyone was wondering lol!

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  #17  
Old 2009-09-04, 6:20am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SilverRiverJewelry View Post
Actually you can probably get a nice polish on the silver in a couple of hours. I never tumble my metal work for 24 hours. A couple of hours tops


I meant to tumble etch glass beads . . . . HWC wrote 24 hours to etch glass.
That seems like a looooong time in the tumbler!!
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  #18  
Old 2009-09-04, 9:38am
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I got my tumbler, btw. The Lortone with 2 barrels. I've used it to polish my silver cored beads, and to be honest I'm not really seeing a difference. It's very likely I'm doing something wrong, though. I haven't tried it to etch beads yet.
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  #19  
Old 2009-09-04, 10:15am
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I've gotten a decent etch in less than 8 hours. With sand, though because (I went for easy, and didn't want to wait to order the silicon carbide). not sure I agree with the "smart" assessment...

Also, with a new barrel, sometimes it needs to sort of get cleaned out before the silver comes out really shiny. You'll want to rinse the barrel several times, and possibly run it for a while with the soap and shot to get it all nice and cleaned out.
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  #20  
Old 2009-09-04, 11:04am
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How much water should I be putting in it? I only have 1lb of SS shot (it didn't come with pins).
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Old 2009-09-04, 3:40pm
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I add enough water to cover the shot by half an inch.
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Old 2009-09-04, 7:24pm
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That sounds right. Too much water = bad etching.
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Old 2009-09-04, 7:34pm
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lol sorry, I have no idea how long to tumble for etched glass, just the metal. I use a couple of drops of Dawn (original only) instead of Ivory soap though. Don't know if it matters or not.
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Old 2009-09-05, 12:02am
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Default Vibrating, tumblers, et al ;)

Quote:
Originally Posted by bousky View Post
I have a vibrating tumbler with different bowls for different purposes.

You need the grit for etching. The steel shot works best for polishing your silver and doesn't seem to do much to the glass beads....just in case you need to polish with the beads already in place. To be on the safe side I have only tumbled both together for short periods of time. Supposedly the vibrating tumblers work faster than the rolling type.

My tumbler is too big. If and when I ever replace or get an additional one it will be a small one.

Be careful with your shot. Keep it covered with water with plenty of ivory soap in it. I have found that easier than drying between uses. I always get rust when I try to dry it out. I wonder if I just got a lousy quality of shot or if this is normal?
I am also fairly new to lampworking but have been making silver jewelry off and on for over (OMGS!) 30 years...

Don't give up on your large vibrating tumbler!!! I am *so* jealous. All you need to do is buy and fill up the extra space w/plastic pellets!
They take up the space not being used by whatever would fill the bowl up enough to satisfy and are completely benign. They are, literally, just spacers.
Just the same sort of plastic pellets used to stuff various bean bags, etc. although I used to buy them from a jewelry supplier (sorry.. been so long I can't remember who it was) The mind really is the first thing to go I guess...

But... if you *really* don't want that vibratory tumbler... just let me know and I'd be happy to help you free yourself of it! <slygrin> anytime

Really though.. vibratory polishers are superior in nearly every way IMNSHO.

Plus.. (can't remember now who was asking about regular barrel tumbler) ..see above re: the mind ...but wanted to add to all the great advice here that filling your tumbler just over 1/3 and under 1/2 full will always ensure most favorable results (picture the inside.. the media and your beauties sliding over and over each other as they turn inside the barrel). That much I *am* sure of.. all kidding aside.

Rachel the firekat
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Old 2009-09-07, 7:29am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GinnyHampton View Post
I meant to tumble etch glass beads . . . . HWC wrote 24 hours to etch glass.
That seems like a looooong time in the tumbler!!
Harold tumbles boro, so it takes longer.
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Old 2009-09-07, 8:12am
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Rachel, If I was to replace my large vibrating tumbler, I'd do so with a small vibrating tumbler. I love the one I got.....just too big. If you were close I'd let you use it!
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  #27  
Old 2009-09-12, 10:29pm
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If anyone is interested, here are my first etched beads using the tumbler (Forgive the wonky purple bead and coring in the front)

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Old 2009-09-12, 11:16pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bousky View Post
Rachel, If I was to replace my large vibrating tumbler, I'd do so with a small vibrating tumbler. I love the one I got.....just too big. If you were close I'd let you use it!
Michelle.. makes sense to me, those things are wunnerful. Have coveted them for (like) ever! lol
And thanks for the generous offer.. I'd weld stuff for you if ya needed it if we were closer too!

Rachel the firekat
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Old 2009-09-12, 11:40pm
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Great looking beads Traci! Everyone thanks for all the info on the tumblers. It is something I'd like to try in the future.
Terri
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Old 2009-09-13, 2:35pm
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Traci, those are really nice!

Quote:
Originally Posted by RCB23 View Post
Michelle.. makes sense to me, those things are wunnerful. Have coveted them for (like) ever! lol
And thanks for the generous offer.. I'd weld stuff for you if ya needed it if we were closer too!

Rachel the firekat
Rachel.....I covet your welding abilities. I really wish we lived closer!
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