Previous posts about the basics of silverware burnishing (Part 1 and Part 2) described the process through which silverware and flatware are restored in a barrel tumbling process. The basic outline described the flowing of the metal to ‘fill’ the scratches and the removal of the oxidation on the surface. Below is a picture showing an extreme example of what can be accomplished.
- Far left – Before sample with heavy oxidation, scratches and some pitting on the surface
- 2nd from left – Tumbled in Steel Media and a polishing compound. Sometimes testing is required to determine if the combination of media and compound will discolor the surface even though the process removed the scratches and pitting.
- 3rd from left– Tumbled in steel media with an alternative compound. While it is difficult to tell, both the 2nd and 3rd pieces are similarly polished The proper compound (for this application) clearly resulted in a brighter, polished finish.
- Far right – Tumbled with the same compound as the 3rd part but with a Precision Ceramic polishing media. The surface is clean and bright but not quite as good as the Steel Media. This process would be best if the tumbling equipment being used is not designed for heavy media.