Daily Wire Tip Jan. 28: Metal Jump Rings in a Tumbler

By on January 28, 2010
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Daily Wire Jewelry Making Tip
January 28, 2010


What kind of media do I use in my new tumbler when working with metal pieces such as jump rings?


For working with just metal like jump rings in a tumbler, everyone I spoke with uses mixed stainless steel shot. For the procedure: https://wire-sculpture.com/jewelry-making-blog/1384/tumbling-your-jewelry/

Answer contributed by Dale “Cougar” Armstrong

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  1. avatar


    January 28, 2010 at 9:00 am

    The article, that is linked, is a good one to read and get added information from as well as the link to rock tumbling for beginners. I think most would enjoy it.

  2. avatar


    January 28, 2010 at 9:08 am

    I make chain maille jewelry and work with lots of jump rings. What I use in my tumbler is ceramic beads, it works great and doesn’t hurt any stones that are on my jewelry.

  3. avatar

    nancy beegle

    January 28, 2010 at 3:17 pm

    Hello, Dale et al:

    Just wanted to pop in and thank all of you for the most informative discussion on tumbling. I truly appreciate all the information contained in it, along with the additional comments.
    I have a tumbler now, with some stones in it which are currently polishing, but I have a question about a piece I’ve created and have a problem with.
    I followed one of Preston’s tuts on the birthstone ring, (I have your new book, Dale, and it’s lovely, but this was from before I got it. :) Anyway, it’s aabout a 1.72 ctw oval ruby, and it’s done in what I thought was 1/2 hard squ.20g gold filled from your site. I made a sort of looping floral pattern around each side of the stone with the loose wire ends, and wrapped each end down on the shank. The ruby is in a snapset. I can’t (for one thing) seem to pull the wires tight enough to fasten the snapset securely enough so that it doesn’t eventually move a bit, after the wire stretches over time. Also, I was unable to work harden the ends which I made into the pattern around the stone, and the loops are also somewhat loose, no matter how hard and tightly I tried to make it.

    I was curious as to whether this could be tumbled. I know that corundum is hard enough (there won’t be any more of that in the tumbler, to be sure! :) ), but will it ruin the gold-filled wire? I really don’t want to waste the wire I got from you and start over, but I also want my ruby to be shown off as nicely as possibly.

    I’ve been learning so much from you, Dale, starting back when you first did your Jewel School dvds on JTV. I have them all, and your book, as well, and I just want you to know that you’re awesome, and when I grow up, I want to be just like you!! LOL! :) Of course, I’m already older than you, I think, or very close.

    Anyway, I was also wondering, (as if you have nothig else to do with your time), did you do a show a few years ago in Winston-Salem, NC, I think around the fall of 2007? I’m having trouble remembering if it was atually you with whom I had spoken, but she had a set-up very similar to the way you set up, but even more, she looked and spoke like you, and her creations were strikingly similar, as well. I asked to see an emerald cut ametrine of several carats, which was beautifully wrapped in 14k gf wire. It was a stunning iece, and we had a nice conversation regarding getting started on getting where you were. At the time, I had just begun collecting wonderful and some fairly exotic faceted stones from JTV, as well as the cabs, and the beginning Jewel School kit. I still can’t swear that it was you, but I like to think it was. Do you remember doing the show? I doubt you’d remember me, of course, and don’t expect for you t osay so. Just the show?

    Either way, it’s such a great pleasure to have your dvds and book, and I do strive to be closer to where you are, yet (of course) with my own style and “trademark”.

    Thanks again so very much for all your help and encouragement.