Tips & Tricks
I want you to get the most out of this media, and to do that, there are a few additional things I want to share with you. Please make sure that in addition to this page, you thoroughly review the "FAQ" page of this website. Check back often for updates and additions, as the more response I get from this media, the more I'll be able to educate others about its abilities and limitations.
- H&H is meant for rotary tumblers only. While any rotary tumbler will work, I recommend Lortone Tumblers, which are durable, run quietly, and come in a variety of sizes. Here are my top picks:
A word about tumbler barrels. Tumblers are meant to hold a certain capacity, usually dictated by pounds and determined by the manufacturer. This capacity includes your tumbling media, the work being tumbled, water, and any additives you may include such as soap. A three pound capacity barrel is therefore not meant to hold three pounds of tumbling media alone!
One pound of H&H media is enough to use in a 3lb capacity barrel, with some to spare.
- I recommend Midas brand Liver of Sulphur. This is the only patina I use and that I can guarantee will work well with H&H.
- I use a stiff steel brush to scrub my work thoroughly once it comes out of the pickle. The brush, soap and water will burnish the metal and remove all traces of pickle and flux, priming the metal to take the best patina it can. Brushes that have an extra fluff of bristles at the tip make me especially happy, as they get into all the tight spaces of a design better than traditional flat brushes.
Should you find that the stiff steel brush leaves scratch marks on your work where the H&H was not able to access the metal (so in the areas where patina remains), you may want to try a softer brush such as brass. This is also a friendlier approach to pieces made of metal clay.
H&H is meant in part to create contrast on your metal surface. The space up against a bezel wall will be left with a shadow bordering it. Visually attractive but not always appealing on the inside of a bezel meant to be set with a transparent stone, it can sometimes be desirable to remove that inner shadow. To do this, I will either use a polishing pin or a diamond bur. (Note: Polishing pins are nice to have on hand for accessing extra low recesses in your work until your media is small enough to do it on its own.) These are the only two methods of follow up finishing I personally do on my own work once it's tumbled in Hone & Highlight.
If you don't want the mostly matte finish left behind by using Hone & Highlight alone, you can do a number of things. Gentle use of a fine sanding sponge, steel brush, nail buff, or polishing pad will all heighten the gleam on your metal. Additionally, work can tumbled in steel shot, which will give it an even polish without leaving tool marks. My personal preference is a steel shot blend that combines numerous shapes, effectively helping it reach all areas of your work.
For a light shine or satin finish, follow up the H&H with a round of steel shot and tumble for approximately five minutes.
For a high shine, tumble fifteen to thirty minutes, or for as long as needed until desired results are achieved.
NOTE: Please see the FAQ page for additional information on using both H&H and steel shot.
If you follow up H&H with steel shot and inadvertently get your work shinier than you intended, it may be placed back into the Hone & Highlight for a small amount of time. This will eliminate the extra shine in all areas where the media can access the metal.