Pivot polishing, stones and burnishers

clockpoor

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Jul 31, 2007
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As I progress with my first clock movement cleaning and overhaul I have some questions regarding pivot polishing and burnishing.

I have read a couple of books on the subject and have watched a couple of VHS tapes on the subject of polishing and they all make statements or show examples of various stones that can be used to accomplish this. Broad statements have also been made about the availability of such things "through your local supply house".

I have searched thru both TS & Merritts catelogs and found virtually nothing in the way of polishing stones. I visited my local Lowes and looked through the tool department and all I could come up with was an "Arkansas Stone". So where do you get this stuff from?

Also, is there something else that can be used for burnishing the pivots besides a dedicated tool. Heck Merritts want's near $34. for a simple burnisher. Thar seems alful steep to me.

Clockpoor now and getting poorer every day as I try to assemble all these tools.
 

David Robertson

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Jan 6, 2003
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cp,

I recommend you read Dave LaBounty's article on burnishing.

See it at: http://www.abouttime-clockmaking.com/downloads.shtml

I believe he shows how to make one from a piece of tool steel.. that will do.. you don't have to have a "store bought" one, although the parallelogram shape of the "store bought" ones make it easier to get in corners.. not entirely necessary at this point, however.

Stones and files are generally used to work out grooves.. not for polishing. A burnisher will be a better tool for that.

I personally like a pivot file for getting the grooves out.

I don't personally use stones or buff sticks (wood sticks with abrasive paper glued on) for pivot work. Some do and are quite satisfied. Some also use a Dremmel tool with a soft buff and jeweler's rouge to polish pivots. I don't care for that method either, but some do.

I try to keep abrasive particles away from pivot work.. yes they can probably be cleaned up.. but I don't try to do it.

Burnishing also imparts a harder surface than polishing with a fine abrasive.

Another interesting article is written by Bob Whiteman and does scanning electron microscopy on various pivot finishes. It is here:

http://abc.eznettools.net/D304430/X353088/Pivots.pdf

 

clockpoor

Registered User
Jul 31, 2007
822
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David said:
cp,

I recommend you read Dave LaBounty's article on burnishing.

See it at: http://www.abouttime-clockmaking.com/downloads.shtml

I believe he shows how to make one from a piece of tool steel.. that will do.. you don't have to have a "store bought" one, although the parallelogram shape of the "store bought" ones make it easier to get in corners.. not entirely necessary at this point, however.

Stones and files are generally used to work out grooves.. not for polishing. A burnisher will be a better tool for that.

I personally like a pivot file for getting the grooves out.

I don't personally use stones or buff sticks (wood sticks with abrasive paper glued on) for pivot work. Some do and are quite satisfied. Some also use a Dremmel tool with a soft buff and jeweler's rouge to polish pivots. I don't care for that method either, but some do.

I try to keep abrasive particles away from pivot work.. yes they can probably be cleaned up.. but I don't try to do it.

Burnishing also imparts a harder surface than polishing with a fine abrasive.

Another interesting article is written by Bob Whiteman and does scanning electron microscopy on various pivot finishes. It is here:

http://abc.eznettools.net/D304430/X353088/Pivots.pdf
Thanks David,

I am going off to read these articles.

CP
 

Scottie-TX

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Apr 6, 2004
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I also do not use stones. I MUCH prefer abrasive paper and seldom use more abrasive than 1000 grit.
As for the burnisher; Spend the thirty four bucks and find out what it's all about. I bought it, dressed it according to LAB's tutorial, and tried it several times. Now I haven't given up on it because I believe it truly is a beneficial process to understand, master, and use. I simply haven't got the hang of it.
 

EmmaR

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Jun 29, 2007
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www.taswatchhospital.com
honestly, use a burnisher, and try to learn to finnish to size with a sharp graver.

u can get one cheap off the auction houses, you can dress them up again, unless they are broken, they really dont wear out.

often new tools are expensive, many of mine cost very little, you just need to watch bargains and then sell the other stuff back when you upgrade. if you list it honestly, there will always be someone happy to have your stuff when u find a better one.
otherwise, www.eternaltools.co.uk has a really good range of this stuff.
hope this helps,

*EMMA*
Plumbing the depths of useless knowledge!
 

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