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Polishing Jewel Settings

From Horology magazine, December, 1937

Polishing Jewel Settings 

OFTEN when cleaning watches you have felt the need for a brighter finish to your jewel settings. Some settings come out quite clean but dull, others seem to retain a tarnish that does not seem to come off. In fact, you would be better pleased if the jewel settings could have that factory-like finish bright, sparkling. It makes the sensitive workman feel as though his cleaning job has been neatly done. Settings that are marred, or pitted or show some sign of corrosion, need special treatment besides ordinary cleaning. For jewel settings that are really bad you need only three things, which I believe all are familiar with. Sharp knife, hard pith wood, which is usually used for cleaning pivots and pinions, and very fine sapphirine or diamantine, used for polishing balance pivots, arbors, etc. You merely cut the hard pith wood to a cone, tapered to fit into the smallest jewel setting first. Place a very small amount of polishing compound, thinned with oil, near the point of the sharpened cone and place into the setting, rotate with fingers and thumb. See sketch. While doing this, the cone compresses somewhat and prepares itself for the next larger setting in which it should be rotated again, then the next larger and finally the largest.  You next resharpen another piece of pith and go over the process using no polishing compound. At this time your setting will show a brighter appearance, and you may repeat a third time if necessary. If the used cones are in good condition, save them for the next job. A few trials will convince you that it does the job well and requires less time than it does to explain how. Cleaning jewel settings should at all times be done before the regular cleaning methods are begun, since the adhering polishing compound must be cleaned out of the jewels and settings. Preferably scrubbed out with brush and benzine. If you do not use pith or any of the polishing compounds, you may if you have on hand, use cone shaped felt or paper stomps, although neither work as well. You can also polish with vienna lime, tripoli, and rouge.

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