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How to polish a tungsten ring

If your tungsten ring becomes dull or "cloudy", and regular cleaning with soap solution does not restore its shine, you may need to polish it. To polish your tungsten ring, all you need are diamond polishing compound and a cotton polishing wheel, mounted either on a polishing machine or on a rotary tool. For demonstration purpose, we took a picture of a tungsten wedding band that had been left at the bottom of a swimming pool for a week. If you ever wondered "can I wear my tungsten wedding band in a swimming pool", here is the answer. tarnished tungsten wedding band Note that only because the ring was left in the swimming pool for a prolonged period of time, the chlorine in the water had such a significant effect on the finish. Normally, if you swim only for an hour and rinse the ring with clear water immediately afterwards, it should not affect the ring at all.

1. Prepare the tools

The first thing you need before polishing your tungsten ring is a pair of safety goggles. Some of the polishing paste will get slingshot away from the wheel and it is always a good idea to wear safety goggle when working with hand tools. goggle If you are doing it correctly, the polishing will heat the ring up very quickly. It will be so hot that you can get burnt by even trying to touch it. Even if you don't have leather gloves, try to use cotton ones and it will at least let you hold the ring without getting burnt. gloves The key to polishing a tungsten carbide ring is to get the right polishing compound. What we will be using is a paste form polishing compound that is used in the final stage of polishing a loose diamond. The compound comes in different micron, which is similar to the grit number of sandpapers. To achieve a glossy shine, you will need a 0.5 micron polishing compound. Search for "diamond polishing paste" and buy one with 0.5 micron. polishing compound If you already have a polishing machine, all you need is a cotton buffing wheel. The larger the diameter of the wheel, the shorter time it will take to polish your ring back to the original shine. jewelry buffing machine If you are going to use a handheld rotary tool, you will need to buy a buffing wheel with an arbor on it. jewelry buffing machine

2. Apply the paste on the ring

You may apply the compound on the ring or on the polish wheel. If you apply it on the polishing wheel, you will have to spread it and rub it into the wheel so that it won't fly off the wheel the moment you start the motor. If you use the dremel tool with varying speed, you could start at a low speed just so the compound can spread on the surface of the ring and the wheel without flying off first.

3. Polish the ring

When you do the actual polishing, apply pressure on the ring and polish a small area until it becomes shiny before moving on to the next area. The paste will become black and it is a sign of the compound working to remove some tungsten carbide on the surface. Remember that the ring is very hot at this point and wear a glove to rotate of change its position. Use paper towel to wipe the darkened paste off an area just got polished to inspect the progress after a minute. Re-apply the polishing compound and polish it again if the finish is not satisfactory. Keep working around the whole ring. Here is a video showing how it works.
The tungsten ring that had been at the bottom of a swimming pool was polished for 20 seconds, and here is the result for that polished section. polished tungsten ring If you need to polish the interior of the ring, and the wheel you are using is too large, you will need to purchase a felt polishing tip. felt polishing tips

4. Clean it with soap

Put a few drop of dish detergent on the ring and rub it thoroughly. Then rinse it using tape water and wipe it dry with a clean cloth afterwards. The ring should just look brand new.

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