Wednesday, August 26, 2009
Sanding and Buffing
I tried using biodegradable styrofoam to create hollow beads. They turned out pretty good. I hand sanded these beads, and after sanding I decided to try something new. I strung the beads together and then used my buffing bench grinder to buff one of the beads. The buffing gave a nice shine and the string kept the bead from flying off while buffing. I suggest that if you decide to string beads together for buffing that you hold the string in your hand while buffing. If the bead gets caught in the buffing wheel the string will keep the bead from flying away.
In my quest for new techniques I acquired a vibratory tumbler. I had a set of color samples beads that were already strung together. I decided that I didn't want to restring them after tumbling - so I left them strung together, as I placed them in the tumbler. These beads were strung together using plain fishing line. The strand of beads tumbled through the tumbler without any problems. After I tumbled the beads in the vibratory I used the buffer to buff the beads. The last two oval teal beads were not buffed, but all the other beads on this strand were buffed. I think they turned out okay, but I still would like to see a little more shine. I think my next test will be to tumble the beads with fabric squares to see if I can achieve more of a shine.
Sorry, I did have one concern about tumbling. I added a little water to the tumbler, just enough to wet the beads and rocks. While tumbling I did notice that there were brown marks on the light colored beads. I thought this happened because I did not wash the rock. I stopped the process and washed the rinsed the rocks off with water. I resumed tumbling for a total of three hours. I beads were smooth to the touch. In the bottom and middle side of the small bowl was this nasty looking brown sludge. I needed a brillo pad to remove most of it, a stain remained. I wonder if anyone else has experienced this scenario.