Gesswein Tool TipsJewelry

Shine Bright: Navigating Polishing Compounds and Rotary Accessories

Hands of jeweler polishing a jewelry piece with flex shaft.

Step-up your polishing game with this Luxor Flexshaft Finishing Kit designed by the talented metalsmith, Melissa Muir! With decades of experience in the jewelry industry, Melissa has curated a set of essential flex shaft attachments and her four favorite Luxor® compounds to help you achieve stunning finishes on your jewelry.

Melissa Muir Metalsmith Portait Image

Delve into the details with us! Keep reading to learn what each compound is for and pick up plenty of tricks along the way to make the most of each tool and achieve a final finish you’re proud of!

Luxor Polishing Compounds

Luxor® compounds by Merard are a cut above the rest. They’re manufactured in France using top-quality aluminum oxide and are entirely silica-free.

  • Efficient: Aluminum oxide reduces work time to achieve results quickly.
  • Economical: Highly effective when used in smaller amounts.
  • Easy Clean-up: Non-Greasy Formula can be efficiently cleaned from metal surfaces between stages and after the final polishing.

First Steps: Cutting Compounds

Cutting compounds are aggressive, and remove material. They are used to remove remaining marks and scratches from sanding.

Pink Luxor® Compound: Preparation and Imperfection Removal
  • Use For: Removing tough, deep scratches, and imperfections.
  • Ideal Metals: All metals, including gold, platinum and silver.
  • Grit Size: 6.5 Micron.
  • Recommended Buff: Opt for a rigid or coarse buff for best results.
Green Luxor® Compound: Medium Preparation and Blending
  • Use For: Eliminating medium scratches, imperfections, and blending surfaces.
  • Ideal Metals: Gold and Silver.
  • Grit Size: 3 Micron
  • Recommended Buff: Stitched or firm buffs work well with this compound.

Final Stages: Polishing Compounds

These are the compounds you use during the last step of polishing to produce an immaculate finish. Polishing compounds do not remove material like cutting compounds do, instead they “burnish” the surface. (Which means they can ruin surface textures and crisp edges on a piece if you’re too aggressive with them.)  

White Luxor® Compound: Fine Polishing and Finishing
  • Use For: Achieving a smooth, polished finish.
  • Ideal Metals: Precious metal, stainless steel, titanium, brass, and copper alloys.
  • Grit: 0.3 Micron
  • Recommended Buff: This compound pairs perfectly with soft, loose buffs.
Orange Luxor® Compound: Mirror Finish and Final Polishing
  • Use For: Achieving a mirror-like finish during the final polishing stages.
  • Ideal Metals: Precious metal, stainless steel, titanium, brass and copper alloys, as well as lacquers and resins.
  • Grit: 0.1 Micron
  • Recommended Buff: Ideal for very soft, loose, buffs.

Polishing Tips for Rotary Accessories

Let’s take a look at the accompanying rotary tools in this kit and how to make the most of them. All attachments are mounted on a 3/32 shank to accommodate a flex shaft or micromotor.

Yellow Stitched 1" Diameter Muslin Buffs
  • Use For: Cutting and shaping metal surfaces.
  • Tip: These firm, stitched buffs provide excellent control for removing deep scratches. Be careful not to push too hard because you could create waves or end up with drag marks on the surface.
White Loose 1" Diameter Muslin Buffs
  • Use For: Polishing and achieving a fine finish. These soft, loose buffs are gentle on your jewelry’s surface and for use for fine polishing.
  • Tip: Be sure to trim any loose or flying ends as they can leave drag marks on your metal too.  
7/8" Hard Felt Wheel
  • Use For: Aggressive cutting action when needed. Perfect for tough imperfections or initial shaping.
  • Tip:  These wheels are stiff and do not round corners like the stitched buffs do and work especially well for things that contain text or recessed designs that you do not want to polish.
Soft Felt Plastic-Hub Wheel - 3/32" Shank
  • Use For: Cutting and polishing without scratching.
  • Tip: Use with a cutting compound for maximum scratch and surface imperfection removal. Make sure you constantly keep the piece moving in different directions and keep the wheel loaded up with compound at all times—if you keep going in the same direction or use too little compound, your lettering or design can develop drag marks.
Cotton String Buff, Mounted 1"
  • Use For: For final finishing. Very popular and Ideal for achieving a lustrous shine while being gentle on delicate pieces.
  • Tip: Use care and very soft pressure. Let the buff just touch the surface for a nice high polish on your metals.  
Double Row Mounted Wheel Brush – 3/32" Shank
  • Use For: Applying rouge and final compounds.
  • Tip: The very soft, white goat hair bristles ensure gentle application, making them ideal for polishing textures and accessing intricate details with ease.

Need Larger Buffs?

We also put together this set of 4 compounds and four 4″ buffs to provide what you need to start polishing on with a variety of larger motors.

Luxor® Polishing Set with Buffs
  •  50 ply, fine-weave, muslin buff with 3 rows of stitching and a pin hole, shellac injected, leather center.  The stitching on these buffs provides a firmer surface so this buff and generally used with cutting compounds.
  • 50 ply, fine-weave, loose muslin buff with a pin hole, shellac injected, leather center. These loose buffs can more readily follow contours and are generally used for final polishing.   

Recent Work by Melissa Muir

Melissa is a skilled jewelry artist and passionate instructor with a thriving YouTube Channel and Facebook Group where she shares tips and tutorials on all things jewelry. She is devoted to sharing knowledge through online and in-person teaching. Her classes are known for their lively atmosphere and her commitment to ensuring every student leaves with newfound skills and confidence. We’re thrilled to partner with Melissa and offer her expertise to our community!

Learn More

Deep dive into more polishing & texturing tools in this YouTube video!

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