spitfire

tumbling anodized niobium

4 posts in this topic

Hi,

I am thinking about mixing anodized niobium with sterling silver to add color. I always tumble my sterling with stainless steel shot. Will this process remove the color from the niobium rings?

Thank you!

Spitfire

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Hi,

I am thinking about mixing anodized niobium with sterling silver to add color. I always tumble my sterling with stainless steel shot. Will this process remove the color from the niobium rings?

Thank you!

Spitfire

Should be fine if the shot is broken in and you don't go for prolonged tumbling sessions. Rice will work as well. It will take longer but it is near impossible to over tumble in rice.

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Should be fine if the shot is broken in and you don't go for prolonged tumbling sessions. Rice will work as well. It will take longer but it is near impossible to over tumble in rice.

Hi,

Depending on the piece I tend to leave sterling in stainless shot and burnishing compound between 3-5 hours. Would that be too much for anodized niobium

Thanks for your help,

Spitfire

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Hi,

Depending on the piece I tend to leave sterling in stainless shot and burnishing compound between 3-5 hours. Would that be too much for anodized niobium

Thanks for your help,

Spitfire

I don't use any compounds as they really are just a way to speed up what the mediums will do on their own eventually. I would be surprised that you would need to tumble in stainless for more then an hour period(less even). If your silver needs that much attention(perhaps a matte finish that needs to be beaten to a shine, or the wire was drawn rough) I suggest you tumble the silver rings in advance of weaving so the final polish of the piece is a cleaning and finishing touch, not a workout. Just take your silver rings and string them on a wire and toss them in the tumbler as long as you need till they shine the way you want them. Make your piece and then do a twenty minute tumble and check the results. If it needs more repeat.

What happens with anodized Niobium and Titanium when tumbled long enough isn't so much as damage but color shifts. As you change the anodized layer enough over time you will change the way light is refracted and hence the color that is represented. The thinner the layer becomes the color will shift to one you would expect from a lesser voltage or sometimes the layer doesn't so much thin as it can loose some of it's vibrancy as the layer has natural structure pounded flat. Conservative tumbling will not often harm a ring that hasn't been abused(opened and closed too many times) but you can avoid risking them by prolonged tumbling. There really is no reason to.

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