BAMS – Medal project – More polishingPosted: May 20, 2015
Thankfully this week the delivery of sanding belts has arrived, so no more filing by hand for me! Using the electric sander I have managed to get the surface a lot more smooth much quicker than I would have been able by hand, and they are now almost free of imperfections.
As well as the back, I also started on polishing the flat surface on the front of the medals, although this took a bit more delicate work using a hand file and a dremel.
As well as polishing the surface, I also decided it would be a good idea to polish the finger nails. This is not for the polished colour, as I plan to patina over the hands again at a later point, but to remove any small imperfections that had come about through the casting process and make them perfectly smooth as fingernails should be.
In order to do the patina, I first need to clean off all (or at least most of) the corrosion on the surface of the hands. However, I have been hesitant to clean them as I am concerned about rubbing off any of the detail of the skin, or make scratches on them. It had been suggested to me that white spirit could remove the dirt, which seemed to me like a good solution as it doesn’t involve any abrasion, but the technician assured me that I wouldn’t need to use that and instead I should use the sand blaster. Thankfully, I had my spare medals which I don’t feel precious towards and so I used one of them in the sand blaster, but strangely found that there was very little effect on the surface even after holding it under the sand blaster for at least a minute. I can only assume that it was something I was doing wrong, but regardless the technician then told me to try the wire brushes. This I was even more hesitant of, as I was convinced that the hard wire brushes especially on the electric rotary tools would scratch and wear away all the detail, so again I tested it on one of my spare medals.
Thankfully, I was proved wrong and the wire brush did clean off the majority of the dirt without leaving any marks on the medal itself, and so I used it to clean up my good pair of medals.
There are also quite a lot of imperfections in between and underneath the fingers, which I presume occurred during coating the wax trees and not having removed all the small air bubbles. So I have now have to proceed with the delicate process of filing these down with a small pointed dremel head.