Need Help with Scratch Removal on Metal

by Rachael.

Need Help with Scratch Removal on Metal  - Discussion on Jewelry Making Journal

I’ve used files for smoothing out things like excess solder and scratches, but I’ve found that the files always scratch my metal badly, leaving lots of fine but noticeable scratches.

Sandpaper / buffing compounds haven’t been sufficient remove the original or the new scratches.

Can anyone suggest some quality but basic / necessary files and methods to remove different types of scratches (aside from scratch prevention, which I’m working on)?

(I checked for similar posts and didn’t find any, so I apologize if there’s already a similar post here.)


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  1. Rachael, have you tried using fine steel wool to buff out the scratches on your metal?

  2. Sarah Small says:

    it really depends on how big and deep the scratch is. for small shallow scratches, you may be able to use some steel wool and buffing. For larger deeper scratches, you will need to break out the files, file the metal even, and then start finishing with sandpapers, going up grits until you get the finish you want.

    It truly is easier to not makes marks in the metal than to try to get them out. Sucks when you are learning, but true

  3. I’ve never heard of using steel wool; thanks

    My files always make things worse. I’ve tried rough then up to fine sandpapers and the scratches always remain. My files may be the problem.

  4. Judy Bjorkman says:

    Rachael, I use a file with cut #2 for starting to remove marks; I hope you have at least one small file with a finer cut. Don’t use a metal file that is more coarse than #2. Beyond that, do you have a Dremel tool? You can probably get one reasonably priced in a Harbor Freight store, if it’s nearby (the Dremel brand name would be available in a hardware store). These tools have a variety of small buffs and grinders in coarse, medium, fine, and very fine which would probably be of help. Keep us posted.

  5. Hi, Rachel, are you using diamond files or the kind with the cross-cuts on them? That might be your problem. I use my diamond files for everything and have never had a problem with gouging.

  6. Hi Rachel,
    One problem many people have when trying to remove a scratch with files is that they file the wrong way! Use a fine cut file and if your scratch is going up and down then you need to file across it, so you would be going side to side. Once you have removed the scratch then start with a 200 grit sanding stick to remove the file marks. Again going the opposite direction of the file marks (now you should be going up and down.) Continue with a 400 grit and then 600 through 1000 grit sanding sticks, alternating directions with each grit. I hope this helps and makes sense to you!

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