Polishing compounds are abrasive or burnishing compounds composed of polishing powder mixed with a binder of fats and waxes to form wax-like bars or cakes. Polishing compounds fall into three major categories: tripolis (cutting compounds), intermediates (combination compounds that cut and also impart some luster) and finishing rouges (burnishing compounds).
The term "cut", used when describing a polishing compound, refers to how fast the compound removes metal (cuts) to produce a smooth surface. A "high" cut removes much metal. A "low" cut removes very little metal. A cutting compound is a fast-cutting abrasive used to remove emery marks and fine dull scratches. It leaves metal surfaces very smooth, although dull in appearance. It is used with felt ring buffs, felt wheels, polishing brushes and yellow treated buffs.
The term color refers to the luster or shine jewelry has after polishing. A polishing compound with a low color, such as some intermediate compounds, will cut more than it polishes. A medium color, characteristic of most intermediate compounds, indicates the compound will yield a fair amount of shine, but not a final finish. Polishing compounds with high color, imparted by Shor's finest rouges, give jewelry the highest shine.
The usual method of polishing occurs in two steps: cutting with bobbing tripoli and shining with a rouge. Polishing in three steps by using an intermediate compound between the tripoli and rouge, will produce a shine superior to that produced by the two step process.
Shor MX Wheels remain the best way to remove sprues, parting lines and other grinding work. They give a better quality result as well as being faster. MX Wheels will not clog or load as ordinary grinding wheels do. In addition, gold recovery is much more efficient when using a polishing or grind hood (call Shor to ask for gold recovery and /or refining brochures for information on gold recovery and refining).
When using the Whirlwind Flanged arbor with a drum sander, the flanges should not be used. The removal of the flanges will allow the tightening nut of the arbor to have sufficient grip to hold the sander tightly closed.