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Jewelers Rouge and Polishing Compounds

Jewelers Rouge and Polishing Compound Uses

Jewelers rouge and buffing and polishing compounds can be used to smooth and/or shine metals, plastic, wood, and other materials. The names buffing compound and polishing compound are used interchangeably and refer to fine abrasive fillers combined with greases which are formed into solid bars or liquid.

Jewelers Rouge (also known as polishing rouge or jewellers rouge) is a very fine compound originally developed by the jewelry trade for buffing precious metals. Jewelers rouge will bring out the maximum luster and a mirror like finish in jewelry and other items made of soft metals. Other polishing compounds can be used to finish harder metals and materials to a mirror like finish.

Choosing the Right Compound

Polishing Compounds are similar to sandpaper in that they are used from coarse to fine. A work piece that is severely scratched may need to be sanded down with sandpaper before polishing. Once the scratch depth is minimal on the work piece it is advised to start with the coarsest compound that is applicable to the material being polished. From there one should than move down to the next buffing compound and so on until the desired finish is achieved.

Many times a mirror finish may be achieved by using just one compound. For example, a scratch free piece of aluminum, which has some haze from oxidation, could be polished to a high luster with only the White Rouge Polishing Compound.

Applying the Compound

Apply polishing compound or jewelers rouge to a buffing wheel by spinning a buffing wheel on either a bench grinder or electric drill and lightly press the compound or jewelry rouge onto the wheel. The heat and friction of the spinning buffing wheel will be enough to transfer the compound to the buff. There is NO need to soften or moisten the compound by heating or adding water to the compounds. Only a small amount of compound is needed on the buffing wheel for it to work properly.

Compounds (Coarse to Fine)
  Black Emery Brown Tripoli White Rouge Green Stainless Jewelers Rouge Blue All Purpose
Acrylics           x
Aluminum x x x x   x
Brass x x x x x x
Copper x x x x x x
Gold   x x   x x
Iron x     x   x
Nickel x     x   x
Pewter x x     x x
Platinum     x x   x
Sterling or Silver Plate   x x   x x
Steel x     x   x
Nickel or Chrome Plate         x x
Brass or Copper Plate   x x   x x
Stainless Steel x x x x   x
Thermosetting Plastic (Bakelite, Formica)   x x   x x
Hard Rubber   x       x
Horn   x       x
Wood   x       x

Jewelers Rouge & All Polishing Compounds are available in 1 oz., 4 oz. and 1 lb. bars.

Other Buffing and Polishing Resources

How To Polish Metal- Basic Instructions

Detailed Buffing & Polishing Instructions

Buffing & Polishing Terms

About Buffing Wheels

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