Aloha, fun & authoritative answers -- no cost, no registration, no passwords, no popups
(as an eBay Partner & Amazon Affiliate we earn from qualifying purchases)

Home /
Site 🔍
pub  Where the
world gathers for metal finishing
Q&As since 1989


What to do with 1,000 1/8" diameter gold plated steel spheres?



I've been hunting around for new finishing effects by using metal tumbling media. Recently I came across gold-plated spheres for a reasonable price. The question is:
what effect would it have on, say, sterling silver?
I've seen similar spheres employed in low-resistance magnetic "Duraswitches".
They're also used in electrode tips for various medical apparatus.
So, what would they do in my vibration tumbler?
They're 1/8" diameter, 24k gold-plated steel. Would the steel "rub off" onto my workpieces?
Would it simply burnish as would normal stainless tumbling media, except I wouldn't have to worry so much about drying the media afterwards due to the corrosion resistance of the gold plating?

Your creativity is most welcome--what would you use a 1,000 count bag of gold-plated ball bearings for, finishing wise?

Thanks! --Christopher

Christopher Carver
jeweler - Abilene, Texas

I don't think media plated with a soft metal such as gold would be much good in a tumbling operation because the plating would quickly wear off.

They might possibly be used as conductive filler (ballast) in a barrel plating operation for tiny semiconductor components. Sometimes the ends of such parts are plated for soldering onto PWBs; it is hard or impossible to plate the ends without conductive media in the barrel because you can't get electricity to the parts otherwise.

Unfortunately, most of us have junk drawers full of stuff that sounds useful but is hard to apply to anything, so listing it on eBay may be the thing to do :-)

Ted Mooney,
Ted Mooney, P.E.
Striving to live Aloha - Pine Beach, New Jersey

August 30, 2009

I lost the silver front sight on my browning model 12 shotgun.
I cannot find any 1/8 dia silver balls. The gold plated balls would be an ideal replacement. Do you have a few that I could purchase?

harry charnetsky
- endicott, new york

Ed. note: Christopher's posting was from years ago, Harry, and is on-line only for its technical content, not as an offer to sell. Unfortunately we cannot be a free eBay or we would be quickly swamped. Sorry.

(No "dead threads" here! If this page isn't currently on the Hotline your Q, A, or Comment will restore it)

Q, A, or Comment on THIS thread -or- Start a NEW Thread

Disclaimer: It's not possible to fully diagnose a finishing problem or the hazards of an operation via these pages. All information presented is for general reference and does not represent a professional opinion nor the policy of an author's employer. The internet is largely anonymous & unvetted; some names may be fictitious and some recommendations might be harmful.

If you are seeking a product or service related to metal finishing, please check these Directories:

Chemicals &
Consult'g, Train'g
& Software

About/Contact  -  Privacy Policy  -  ©1995-2024, Pine Beach, New Jersey, USA  -  about "affil links"