Barrelling

  • Hobby Level
  • Workshop Level
  • Commercial Level

Save time and money with the barrelling process using Cousins Material House range of Bench Top and Rota Barrelling Machines.

What is the barrelling process?

The process of barrelling is a quick and economical way of polishing small and large quantities of jewellery and components in two stages. A wide variety of metals can be finished in barrelling machines such as gold, silver, platinum, copper, brass, pewter and bronze. The barrel burnish process can take up to 2 to 4 hours depending on the metal. To get used to the finishing time, run the machine for an hour, review your piece and then repeat. This will give you an idea of the times you will need to burnish your different types of metal

Stage 1 -
Deburring – produces a matt surface, removes marks, scratches and surface defects and can also be used to remove sharp edges.

Stage 2 -
Polishing – produces a semi bright finish on many metals, reduces work on polishing wheels and does not damage delicate items.

In barrelling, the pieces and polishing media mix as the barrel drum rotates; the de burring or polishing action is due to the surfaces of the article and media sliding over each other under the pressure exerted by the mass of the media.

Modern barrelling processes involve the use of barrelling compound (C4365) which is mixed with water together with media. The barrelling compound mixed with water acts as a lubricant between components and the media. It prevents the media from glazing and also keeps the components and tumbling media in good condition.

It is most important to keep your various types of metals separated with additional drums. For example using silver in a drum you usually use for gold will cause your metal to look yellowish. Please note for ease of use we have approximately calculated media, solution, and component capacity in both stages for all our range of Barrelling Machines.

Tips:
Please note platinum is a metal you can use with the first stage of the barrelling process but hand finishing will achieve the best results replacing the second stage process. Cousins supply a large range of mops, compositions and abrasives for the ultimate high mirror finish.

When polishing platinum casts or handmade items use at least three grades of abrasive paper to level the metal and then follow the barrelling stages above. Remember platinum is a hard metal so ideally it needs these three stages of polishing to attain an expert finish.

If you plate over an item you have barrelled the item will not give as high a finish compared to hand finishing; the piece maybe pitted or marks. Please remember barrelling is a burnishing process, it does not remove the surface area like a mop finish does.

All our barrelling machines can be used with steel, plastic or ceramic media. Please be aware however that harder media such as ceramic and steel will wear the barrel quicker than the plastic media

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