A Tip On Finishing PMC from Tim McCreight

Straight from the PMC Guild archives! Here's a great how to tip on finishing PMC and other metal clays from PMC guru Tim McCreight: Manicure sanding sticks are affordable, lightweight, easy to find, offer a range of grits and, perhaps best of all, have the perfect level of sponginess for use on metal clay.

Last edited: 10/31/2018

Use this easy finishing tip by PMC guru Tim McCreight, for you metal clay designs. 

Most PMC artists I know rely heavily on salon boards to clean up edges, remove scratches and, in some cases, create a final finish. These manicure sanding sticks are affordable, lightweight, easy to find, offer a range of grits and, perhaps best of all, have the perfect level of sponginess. Files are rigid, and sandpaper by itself has no structure, but salon boards offer the best of both.

Because of this, I often use these boards to back up polishing papers when I move on to very fine abrasive grits. This works well, except for those times when the paper tears or slips away to expose the original abrasive on the board. I tried just stripping off the sandpaper layer the next time I’d worn out a salon board; what I found underneath was a piece of smooth white plastic that turns out to be very useful.

I wrap polishing paper around this to improve leverage and to provide a flat surface, now free of the worry of making accidental scratches. The boards also make convenient spacers for rolling sheets of PMC. The plastic board measures 0.065" (65 thousandths, or 1.65mm) and is equivalent to about five playing cards.

The plastic can be cut with scissors or a jeweler's saw to make durable templates, and cut into small strips to reach into tight areas. That's what I’ve come up with so far, and I’ll bet there are other uses just waiting to be discovered.

Besides offering a range of sanding grits, salon boards provide a handy piece of plastic when you pull off the abrasive papers.

Courtesy of the PMC Guild archives. 


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