Monday, July 20, 2009


As I promised before, today I will explain how to polish your sculpting tool tips. Because polishing isn’t such a complicated thing, I won’t make many words about it; just some hints.

Before polishing, make sure, that you’ve cleaned up the surface of the tool the best you can, by removing all scratches with fine abrasive paper. Fine scratches can be polished away, but deeper ones have to be removed with the abrasive paper. Even better than abrasive paper are abrasive pads.

For the polishing you need some kind of polishing tool (pic 1).

If you really want to do a lot of tool tips, maybe you should get a cheap polishing machine. That’s a machine similar to the grinding-machine that I’ve talked about before, but just with two felt-wheels instead of the grinding stones. If you already own such a grinding machine, it’s most likely, that you can buy separate felt-wheels to replace the grinding stones on your machine. That would be cheaper than buying a second machine.

But if you just want to make a few tool tips for yourself, you won’t need that.
If you got a rotary tool, you can find small polishing wheels to fit into it that makes the job quite well and they aren’t very expensive.

If you haven’t got a rotary tool (Dremel or Proxxon or something like that), you can also find such a polishing wheel made of felt to fit in an ordinary electrical drilling machine (power drill), that can be found in most houses.

I prefer the polishing machine or the rotary tool over the drilling machine because of the higher rotation speed (and the lesser noise they produce).

Second you need some kind of Polishing Agent. For the small rotary tools, it is usually available in small plastic boxes. For polishing with the larger polishing machine, they are also available in form of a bar, like you can see on pic.1. If there are different types of those polishing agents in the shop and you are unsure which one to take, ask someone from the store which is the best for polishing steel.

All the tools and the polishing agent can be found at hardware stores or building centres.

If you got your polishing tool, let it rotate.
Then first press the polishing agent slightly onto the rotating wheel, so the felt can take up some of it.

Now take your tool tip and slightly press it onto the polishing wheel (pic. 2). Be sure, the tool tip point into the same direction as the rotation of the wheel. If you have problems to hold the small sculpting tool tip in your hand without letting it fly around, you can fix it in some kind of pin vice to get a better handle.

Soon you will see that the polishing agent gets fluid and turns into a dark grey colour because of the steel particles that were polished off. That’s good because it means that it works.

Once again, wear safety glasses and NOT your best shirt while polishing, because this black fluid drops (and sometimes even the tool tip) tends to fly around.

Check your progress from time to time, by whipping off the black fluid from the tool tip with a tissue or some fabric to see the surface under it. If the surface is perfectly shiny and no scratches can be seen anymore, your tool tip is done and you can start polishing the next one.

That’s all about polishing from my side.

No comments:

Post a Comment