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Jade Finishing by Bill Myers

Bill Meyers of formerly Myers Rapid Polish, #61 sent us some tips on jade finishing back in 2002. He is no longer in business, but we hope some of these tips will help since jade can be difficult to polish. "The procedure that we use to finish jade is to sand dry on any nephrite jade cabs that are 25 x 18 mm or smaller.  If larger, sand wet in the 100, 200 stage first then finish dry. Most quality WY jades and some other quality jades are bonded tightly, (molecules) and have both a uniform rate of heat dispersion and expansion.  This will allow you to have a stone that you are working that is so hot that it will almost burn you on touch.  If jade, (nephrite) is  heated too hot, it will show a white spot in the areas that have reached critical temperature.  This usually can be easily sanded off.  When sanding dry on jade, always look for a bright waxy look in fresh sanded area.  This tell you that the sand paper is cutting the scratches out.  Any fuzzy spot when viewed either with the naked eye or a lens is a small spot that that has not been sanded to the bottom of the original scratch. Sanding stages: (using an 8" disc sander, 1750 rpm rotating cc (counter clockwise) if right handed or cw if left handed are 280, 320, 600, then polish.  All sanding is started at about the 4" dia., and work in such a manner that you maintain a constant surface inches per minute of travel.  Dull sandpaper will not cut jade.  It will give you a polish effect and when you see that, go to a new sanding disc, or go to an area of disc that has not been used.  On all stages, after sanding is complete go back to a slower per minute travel in worn areas and polish for that grit.  When you do this on the last 600 stage,  you will have a stone that is easy to get that premium polish on.  Polishing can be done on a hard slick pad with good results, but for jade, we prefer the back, (not grit) side of a disc of 3M wet or dry sand paper.  All grit sizes are available from any auto parts house that sells paint.  We always use all the disc completely, starting in the 4" area and finishing there also.  Inboard is the slow cutting area of new grit and outboard for fast cutting, always finish each stage in the worn area near the 4" area.  Always sand down against the upstroke of the disc as that will give better performance."  We thank Bill and Helen Myers for this information.