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polishing using dremel tool

Posted: Wed Jul 31, 2013 9:08 pm
by CMWarren
I just got, and played around with some diamond hand pads ranging from 50 grit, all the way to 3000 grit, and they worked well to flatten the surface of a glass pyramid. I had intended to have a inland 8 inch swap top lap wheel, but the retailer cancelled my order, and inland wont tell me when they will get more made.

the hand held pads worked well, and I found it to be a rather enjoyably experince, strangely zen like. Now the one side of the pyramid I was grinding is silky smooth, with what look like a few scratch lines in it, and I am resting before working it a bit more with the 3000 grit to try to minimse those. but now I need to find a way to polish it to a glossy sheen.

is it possible to polish glass by hand using a dremel tool with a felt tip, dipped in a polishing compound like cerum oxide?

I have a dremel minimite tool *trying to figure out where the charger went*, and though this is more labour and time intensive than using a lap wheel, I am hoping to translate my paperweights into some sale so that I might be able to afford a better lapwheel than the one I was going to get, until the manafacturer decided to putter out on making them.

Re: polishing using dremel tool

Posted: Thu Aug 01, 2013 7:18 am
by Jeanne
Rubber polishing wheels on the dremel work fairly well to minimize the appearance of fine scratches. They also make rubber polishing points. You can try the felt with cerium after. Try practicing on some scrap glass first.

Re: polishing using dremel tool

Posted: Thu Aug 01, 2013 7:59 am
by Marty
Forget the swap-whatever. The host of this fine site (among other retailers) sells small amounts of loose grit. Get some scrap 1/4" plate glass and experiment. I think Helios has something on the method as well.
3000 grit handpads will not get your scratches out- you need to do that way back at 220 or earlier.

Re: polishing using dremel tool

Posted: Thu Aug 01, 2013 10:31 am
by David Jenkins
I tried using a Dremel and Cerium and ended up slinging white gook all over the place. If I slowed it down to minimize the slinging, I didn't get much done. I'm a big believer in using the float and grit - it's easy and effective. You'll be surprised at how fast it goes.

Re: polishing using dremel tool

Posted: Fri Aug 02, 2013 3:41 am
by RHunter
Hi All,

While I can't swear to it's grit size ,in the jewelry world, there are a number of products, the one that comes to mind is is a proprietary alumina polishing compound for making metals shiny....I would guess the grit size is 600-800, it isn't a loose grit but some formula that makes it behave somewhat like a wax, thus it stays on when applied to a buff or rubber polishing thingy.....and would prevent the flying wet grit you were using...

this link gives a boatload of info on buff and polish as it applies to jewelry, but some of it can be adapted ... terial.htm

hope this is of some help


Re: polishing using dremel tool

Posted: Fri Aug 02, 2013 3:00 pm
by Tom Fuhrman
find a second hand potter's wheel and convert it over to use for different grits and use the foot speed control to adjust the speed depending on what grit you are using. You can cut steel circles to affix to it and peel them off and change them as you progress thru the grits. It's a good answer to a grinding/ lap machine. cerium as the final grit really makes a big difference.

Re: polishing using dremel tool

Posted: Fri Aug 02, 2013 3:59 pm
by Morganica
I found the swaptoppy things weren't much use in getting real work done anyway, too little motor, too much fuss. I love big foot-driven wheels with grit, especially if you've got a lot of shaping to do. Grit wheels give a lot more control over the grind than a fast-moving diamond wheel, which can chomp through too much glass before you can stop it. I have a 12-inch diamond lap that I'll probably be getting rid of at some point in favor of a big grit wheel, in fact.

But don't underestimate the power of a thick sheet of plate glass, a little grit and some water. It will flatten a glass face in surprisingly little time. There's a nice how-to video about it on Bullseye's website, if you've got a subscription.

The problem with using a dremel tool is that it's hard to keep the wheel on a perfectly flat plane all the way across the glass face. You'll tend to follow the contours of the glass, or make gouges, instead.

And it's a lot of work to use a little wheel on a bigger piece of glass, kinda like scrubbing the floor of a Costco's with a toothbrush. You can make it work, but you'll go through a lot of toothbrushes in the process.

Dremel and Foredom wheels have their place, but it's usually do smaller pieces, like jewelry, or to work on textured/shaped pieces where the smaller wheel is the only thing that will get into the detail.

Re: polishing using dremel tool

Posted: Sat Aug 03, 2013 12:48 am
by CMWarren
I have found that I can get a certain degree of polish with the 50 to 3000 grit granite/glass diamond hand pads, but not a perfect optical clarity.

I mainly am using it for pyramid paperweights, so they have a flat surface to begin with that the hand pads refine and smooth out.

would it be possible to use cerium oxide and a felt pad, and rub them together to polish the glass. the swap top was about all I could have afford, and no one is having any lucky getting any from the manafacturer. the next price up was another 700 dollars, and I have used a glastar polisher at a patty grey workshop, and it did a real good job, but I only just had the 300 dollars, cant afford another 700.