Due to abrasions and vibrations caused by the cutting machines, the surface of the REC can appear foggy after eight weeks of intricate machining. To restore the vivid green colour we spent so long developing, each case must be polished and buffed. Each facet must be impeccable. It is a process that must be done entirely by hand by a single craftsman.
While pressure is needed to polish the crystal case, it is the amount of pressure that can cause disaster. Too little pressure prevents the abrasives from cutting through the hard variations on the crystal's surface. In the case of too much pressure, the crystal can shatter, edge details can be lost, and the symmetry and sharp design of the piece will be distorted.
It can be devastating and expensive to lose a REC crystal case at this stage. To prevent this, a single craftsperson polishes the case by hand from beginning to end. Only the touch of a knowledgeable craftsman can ensure the correct amount of pressure is applied to every surface.
Polishing occurs in two stages:
After the machining process, the polishing process begins using fine sandpaper to even out any inconsistency or marks on the material.
Wax and Lambs wool
Wax is applied to a lambs wool polishing wheel and is used to perfect each facet of the REC case; buffing the crystal to its most brilliant form. The wax acts as a gentle cutting compound between the lambs wool and crystal to remove an extremely thin layer. Within the wax, there are microscopic abrasive particles capable of cutting and perfecting the surface of the crystal to a perfectly flat finish.
What are the risks?
- Before polishing, it is challenging to see any micro-cracks or splits in the crystal material. Polishing can expose any of these faults, or the faults can cause shattering caused by the high-frequency vibrations of the polishing wheel.
- The Perfect amount of pressure must be applied to each facet of the case; too little and it won’t polish, too much... and disaster!