Design A Day, materials, New work, Tool Box
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A Design a Day – Day 231 (My Rotary Tumbler is On the Way…)

Ooh, I’m so excited!

After researching and discussing at length the pros and cons of a rotary tumbler with the excellent and helpful technicians at Rio Grande Jewelry Supply Company, I took the plunge and ordered my very own rotary tumbler.  I’m eagerly anticipating its arrival and will be sure to post a before and after picture (of the finished jewelry – not of me).  My dream and hope is that I can cut a HUGE amount of time from the polishing and finishing process at the bench.

The anticipated benefits (if all goes as described) will be significant…namely, I can bring you pieces at the affordable price points I’m striving for, I won’t go around with black grease under my fingernails, AND I just might live longer (at the very least, I hope not to be done in by breathing in the silica dust present in the polishing compounds I currently use.)

I hear that rotary polishers work beautifully with chain.  Here is an earring rendering done tonight with my new toy in mind:

Pencil and Gouache Simple Sketch of Chain and Pearl Earring

Pencil and Gouache Quick Sketch of Chain and Pearl Earring by Joana Miranda


  1. John Ward says

    Tumblers are ok and have their place but not in final finishing of jewellery.
    They cannot do what a polishing mop can.
    40 + years of bench work and a lot of compound under the nails the gleam of a hand made piece after hand polishing you cant beat.

    Final hand polish is still necessary .

    • Hi John,

      Thanks for writing and sharing your experience with me. I guess at the very least if I can narrow down the number of steps to getting the mirror finish I’m after, I’ll be better off. (I usually use a sequence of blue, black, red and green rubber wheels followed by rouge, then black silver compound.) With the compounds I’ve been using bristle brushes followed by muslin buffs. Since I don’t have a polishing cabinet, all of these operations are done with the flex shaft. Any suggestions?


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