How to Use a tumbler to polish metal
Magazine associate editor, Jill Erickson, demonstrates how to use a rotary tumbler with stainless steel shot to both polish and harden metal. Jill explains the benefit of stainless steel shot, which is resistant to rusting unlike standard steel. Using shot of various shapes and sizes will make polishing in crevices more effective, providing a more even shine. The process: Add enough shot to cover the bottom of the tumbler, then add a small amount of water. Just enough to cover the shot will do. A pinch of powered burnishing agent is the last ingredient needed. Tip: You can use a drop of dish washing liquid if you don't have a burnishing agent. For best results, allow the metal to tumble for several hours. Some professional jewelers even allow the process to go overnight! This method works well for various metals, from sterling/fine silver to copper and more. Remember to protect your tools by cleaning out the tumbler once polishing is done. For quick and easy clean-up, pour the shot into a strainer over a bowl or the sink and rinse it thoroughly. Dry the shot, with paper towels for example, to help prevent rusting. Now you're ready for next time!