High Speed Finishing

High Speed Finishing

There is an old axiom; “Time is Money”. When working with precious metals; this axiom aptly applies. Process time of jewelry products equates to a time-cost-of-money calculation. The higher the metals cost and the longer the process time, the more cost to the manufacture. High speed finishing shortens the process time to manufacture products.

For high speed finishing; G&S Jewelry Mfg has a large model HZ-120 Centrifugal Barrel Tumbler manufactured by Mass Finishing, Inc. (MFI) of Howard Lake, MN. This system has four sealed tubes that spin in a planetary system very dynamically. So much so that it can reduce a typical two day tumbling cycle to less than 7 hours.

Handling Issues

However, the size of the system presented some issues with handling small parts with intrinsic high value. This was most manifest with unloading the tubs after tumbling is complete. We made contact with the technical team at Mass Finishing to solve this issue. They suggested an elegant solution to our problem.


A sealed insert canister was their solution.  The frame around the canister could be securely inserted into each tub. The parts, media and solution would be loaded into the canister. A pair of “o” rings seal the plug in place. The pictures below show these attributes in detail.

Insert Horizontal 300x225 High Speed Finishing
Sealed Insert Canister With Frame

Maintaining control of the parts is easy with this design. Opening the canister and removing plug makes for easy emptying into rinse basket.

Insert Upright 300x225 High Speed Finishing
Insert Canister Sealed After Loading

The canister is placed in the tub and the cover of the tub locked in place. The frame is held tightly under the tub lid. The frame is clamped securely between the lid and the lining of the tub.


Insert Installed 300x225 High Speed Finishing
Insert Canister Installed In Tub



Our system has four tubs. Tub loading is sequential. First the tub marked “1” is unloaded.  Similarly, the tub marked “2”; second and so forth.  Tub tracking ensures that system balance is maintained. This in fact will minimize vibration. Furthermore the MFI system has an excellent jogging control function. This reduces the loading time between tubs. Before long, the system is fully loaded. Finally the safety lid is lowered and locked in place and the system started.

Meanwhile when system is running, previously unloaded material can be rinsed. The canisters are then reloaded and prepared for the next lot to be finished. That is to say having multiple canisters in back of those operating increases throughput dramatically. We believe a second complete set besides the set in the machine to be perfect for handling long runs.


After the parts were removed we compared to our previously tumbled samples. The results were exceptional. To clarify; the tumbling time will vary depending upon the process step and finish requirement. First stage is cut media, followed by a second stage of burnishing. Lastly a third stage of ceramic media to deliver a mirror finish.


To sum up; the use of these canisters has shortened process times dramatically. Before our avalanche barrel tumbling took two or three days to complete. Today we have shortened times around 60% across the board. Now our planning is centered around how best to leverage this time savings.

For more information; please contact us.  If you are manufacturer; we highly recommend contacting Mass Finishing, Inc. Lastly, we wish to thank Cole Mathison and his team at MFI for their able assistance and for using our project as a case study for their equipment and problem solving abilities.

Case Study- G&S Jewelry Manufacturing

G&S Jewelry Mfg is a small woman owned business located in Albuquerque, NM.

Green Manufacturing

Green Manufacturing at G&S Jewelry Mfg

Remember when you were a kid and someone would ask you: “What’s your favorite color?” At G&S Jewelry Mfg we have many favorite colors, but we all agree that we love green; as in green manufacturing!

Our Focus

Being that we live in the beautiful, but dry New Mexico climate; water is always a concern. From drought conditions in the worst of years to the normal low humidity, water is always at a premium.


Our Process Technology Roadmap

Because we are an investment caster; our technology roadmap shows water employed in four main areas:

First, water is used to mix with dry Ransom & Randolph investment. Rinsing the mixing machine completes this operation.

Secondly, water cools our vacuum induction casting systems.

Third, we use high pressure water in a blasting cabinet to devest the castings to remove the investm

Fourth, rinse water for tumbling operations to rinse the parts and the media.


Our Remedies

Investment Water – Pumping rinse water to a separation tank using a double diaphragm pump.  The solids settle and the water is filtered for reuse.

Casting System – Acquisition of a recirculating system from Rio Grande.  Water management problem is resolved by delivering cooling water at a consistent temperature and flow rate. At this time we are contemplating purchasing an additional unit for other cooling application. These systems immediately reduce water consumption to nearly zero.

Cooler Mounted on J15 225x300 Green Manufacturing
RC6 Cooler Mounted On J-15 Automatic Vacuum Casting System

Devesting – Generally speaking devesting is the least technical water requirement. Our blasting cabinet is located adjacent to our casting and tumbling areas. Therefore, plumbing of recycled water from a filtered source is simplified.

Serial Filtration 225x300 Green Manufacturing
Removal of Solids From Process Water

Tumbling Operations – Installation of a rinsing part separator with a closed loop water system.

Neutec Wet Part Media Separator e1493575689340 225x300 Green Manufacturing
Neutec Wet-Media Flow Separator


Summing up; Green Manufacturing is good for the environment and results in more “Green” wallet share.  Hence, this is a key part of G&S Jewelry Mfg commitment to sustainable manufacturing. In the long run it is the best for our customers and our industry!

Customized Tagging For Your Products – G&S Can Deliver The Goods!

Branding & Customized Tagging

Of course we all know that branding is a very important part of a successful sales campaign. As a consequence standing out from the crowd can be challenging.  Especially when shelf space may regrettably put your competitors right next to you. Consequently, being able to tag your product with your logo or name can help identify your product at a glance. In fact; albeit small in size tags can ironically be the first reason for a customer to select your product first.

“What looks good; is good” is an old axiom that applies to many consumer items. Tagging your product consistently raises brand recognition. A recent article by the brand strategy company RBL;  6 Ways Brand Will Add Value To Your Business   covers important aspects for successful branding in a very succinct manner. First and foremost; tags need to deliver recognition of your product that is consistent with customer expectations. Finally, tags can shape the personality of your product.

First Steps

G&S Jewelry Mfg has invested in a number of technologies to customize your tags. They range from 3D Printing, Laser Engraving, Laser Welding & 3D Milling. The image below illustrates the CAD work done to create a series of different sized letters. Moreover a shape like this can be used for a tag to differentiate from the crowd. Whether it is the first, second or third piece the customer has purchased, they will look for it on their NEXT purchase.

CAD Design 300x225 Customized Tagging For Your Products   G&S Can Deliver The Goods!
CAD Designs Can Be Readily Developed


Design Options

Here is a short list of design options for customized tagging your products:

  • Material Selection – Karat Gold, Sterling, Bronze & Lead-Free Pewter
  • Shape – Round, Square, Rectangular, Open or Closed, Irregular
  • Background Texture – Smooth, Uniform, Chaotic, Combinations
  • Message – Logo, Wording, Combinations
  • Image Features – Engraved, Embossed, Combinations
  • Location – Single Side or Both Side
Laser Engraved Tag 300x225 Customized Tagging For Your Products   G&S Can Deliver The Goods!
Laser Engraved & Laser Embossed Tags

Process Management

  • Develop concept
  • Deliver artwork for discussion and/or approval
  • Develop pro forma cost estimate for approval
  • Upon agreement, at this point we create a master
  • Manufacture the tag


In conclusion; G&S Jewelry Mfg has the knowledge, technical resources and artistic ability to deliver customized tagging for your products. Therefore there will be no doubt in the customers’ will recognize your products at a glance. Furthermore, a customized tagging campaign adds personality to your products that is consistent.





Dynamic High Speed Tumbling For Small Size Parts

G&S Jewelry high speed tumbling equipment significantly shortens tumbling time of small parts. Our system is designed by Mass Finishing Inc. located in Howard Lake, MN. Tumbling is a common mass finishing technique employed throughout the metal processing industry. Large and heavy pieces require a long tumbling process, this is understood. In contrast, small parts can be tumbled faster. Likewise customers routinely want their product as soon as possible and they want parts finished equally.

Part Size

The overall dimensions of the part have bearing on what tumbling technique will deliver the best results. Large parts require more care in handling than small parts.  On the other hand small parts fit the high speed process perfectly. The small size and weight reduces part to part impact energy below the critical threshold.

How High Speed Tumbling Works

The high speed tumbling process at G&S Jewelry Mfg is comprised of four tubs rotating in a planetary system. This planetary system in turn rotates around a center axis. As a result, the compound effect creates high velocity of one element to another. The energy creates so much friction that room temperature starting solution can reach 140 degrees Fahrenheit. The schematic drawing below shows how the parts tubs rotate around their center axis while they rotate around the center axis of the drum. Adding together the parts, media and water solution  in each tub; the spinning action creates a high level of interaction in the spinning tub.

High Speed Tumbler Schematic End View Drawing 300x169 Dynamic High Speed Tumbling For Small Size Parts
High Speed Tumbling Schematic End View Drawing

High Speed Tumbling Media

Our high speed tumbling system works with all types of wet media. Cut down impregnated plastic, burnishing and ceramic media all work well in our system.


The resulting finish for small parts really sparkles!

If you have questions on how this process will benefit you, by all means please contact us here for more information.

G&S Jewelry is a small woman-owned business located in Albuquerque, NM

Experience Matters

Experience matters. How often do we hear that in all phases of life? It is important in jewelry manufacturing as well. The twenty-one full and part-time employees at G&S Jewelry Mfg have over 425 years of combined jewelry experience! This experience stretches through the entire process of cast jewelry manufacturing. Each of our process steps are staffed by personnel with combined experience greater than 15 years. Our steps include:


Wax injection



Clipping and Grinding

Application of Oxidation and Patina


Inlay and Painting


Order Fulfillment


Let us put our 425 years of experience to work for YOU! If interested, contact us here.  G&S Jewelry Mfg has 100% of its manufacturing facilities in the USA. We are a small woman-owned business that specializes in jewelry design, manufacturing and finishing with special emphasis on investment casting.


loga1 Experience Matters
G&S Jewelry Mfg – Albuquerque, NM


Belt Buckles – Southwest Style!

G&S Jewelry Mfg offers a wide variety of belt buckles with a distinct Southwest Style to them! Made from lead-free pewter, these pieces have stainless steel and nickel silver hardware on the back for durability and strength. Available in many different styles and colors, they can be worn on the range or to a special event! Many having matching bolo ties so that you can really look the part! Here are some examples of our popular designs.

BUR 5689 300x201 Belt Buckles   Southwest Style!

BUR 5684 300x201 Belt Buckles   Southwest Style!
Southwest Belt Buckle with Chip Inlay
495B 300x214 Belt Buckles   Southwest Style!
Belt Buckles

All are 100% Made in The USA by A Small Woman Owned Business.

Types of Tumbling Media & The Finishes They Deliver

Standard Operating Practice Media

Most investment casters of sterling silver and bronzes will employ tumbling to polish the surfaces of the cast product. G&S Jewelry Mfg employs a three stage tumbling process for about 90% of what we cast in sterling and/or bronze. There are many types of media and they each have their place in the process.

Cut Media – This media is aggressive and is designed to remove the as-cast surface, removing high spots and return a matte; omnidirectional surface finish. The type of media we use for this is consumed in the process and has to be added to maintain the volume.

Burnishing Media – This media is less aggressive and used to burnish the surface, further smoothing the matte finish from the first step. It is also consumed but at a lower rate.

Finishing Media – This last media is designed to polish the surface up to and including a mirror finish. G&S employs a high density alumina spherical media. We have several diameters to choose from. Our sizes range from 1mm to 4mm in nominal diameter. The small media will be able to penetrate small radius to bring the polish to a greater surface area. It is also important in some cases to size the media to orifices in the piece to prevent wedging in the piece. This media is not consumed by the process.

Specialty Practice Media

Some additional media can be used for very specific finishes. The following are two medias that we use to reach a particular look.

Plastic Cylindrical Noodles – Very mild burnishing media. Useful when organic look is sought with little metal removal.

Magnetic Media – G&S produces a wide variety of products for the Southwest market. We receive requests for producing weathered appearances. To reach this look, we use cylindrical needles in a magnetic tumbler to scratch the surfaces with a random, chaotic pattern.


Sustainable Manufacturing

The processes we employ allow us to capture much of the by-products of the tumbling steps. G&S recycles as much of effluent as we can to reduce the impact on the environment. We have cut our water usage significantly in the last three years and have plans to further reduce our water consumption. We are committed to be good corporate neighbors and custodians of our resources.


If you have questions or comments regarding the final appearance that you are looking for in your pieces; please feel free to contact us here.

G&S Jewelry Mfg is a small woman-owned business with 100% of its operations in the USA.


G&S Jewelry Mfg – Your One Stop Sterling Silver Casting Partner

G&S Jewelry Mfg offers our customers a one stop solution to sterling silver investment casting! Here is a short summary of what we can provide in terms of products and services:

Products – Earrings, Pendants, Charms, Bracelets, Bolos, Belt Buckles, Belt Tips, Rings, Pins and Concho Components

DSCN0617 300x225 G&S Jewelry Mfg   Your One Stop Sterling Silver Casting Partner
Irish Knot Ring

Services – Design & Mastering, Mold Making, Wax Injection, Vacuum Investment Casting, 3 Stage Tumbling, Hand Buffing, Silversmithing, Assembly, Inlay, Laser Welding, Laser Engraving and Antiquing.

3D Printing a Master Piece 300x225 G&S Jewelry Mfg   Your One Stop Sterling Silver Casting Partner
G&S 3D Printing System Growing A Cylindrical Design

We can work with you from a hand drawn sketch to a complete set of tools and everything in between!

G&S Jewelry Mfg is also a very green casting company! We have reduced our water consumption and effluent discharges considerably and will continue our programs for reduction, recycle and reuse. We want to be a market leader in sustainable manufacturing.

GS Recycling Logo 225x300 G&S Jewelry Mfg   Your One Stop Sterling Silver Casting Partner
G&S Jewelry Mfg Is Serious About Recycling

G&S Jewelry Mfg is a small woman owned business with our operations solely in the USA.

We hope that you will give us the opportunity to work with you to make your designs a reality!


Taking Pewter Casting for A Spin

Pewter casting is normally done using a centrifugal casting system where metal is poured or ladled into a spinning casting system with a rubber mold clamped in place. The picture below show the round opening of the top half of the mold. Metal will be poured into the hole and distributed radially outward to to fill each cavity of the belt buckle shown. The hot metal flows through the channels shown and is forced against the outer extremes of the mold. This continues until all of the cavities in the mold are completely full.


Pewter Mold Top e1491144035859 225x300 Taking Pewter Casting for A Spin
Mold Top Showing Negative Cavity

The mold itself is a two piece or more design. The mold is more or less split, approximately 50% of the design is in one half and the the remaining in the bottom half. Alignment between the two is accomplished by the use of the nuts or pins as shown above.


Pewter Mold Bottom e1491144066296 225x300 Taking Pewter Casting for A Spin
Bottom Half of Pewter Mold

When assembled, the mold is then placed in the caster, centered on a spinning platform. A clamping plate is placed on top and turned slightly to engage the pins on the locking fixture stands. Air pressure is applied beneath the platform to lift the plate and securely squeeze the mold against the clamp. This seals the mold to prevent metal from weeping out radially.


Pewter Mold in Caster 300x225 Taking Pewter Casting for A Spin
Pewter Mold Centered on Spin Plate
Top Clamp In Pewter Caster 300x225 Taking Pewter Casting for A Spin
Clamp in Place With Clamp Ears Under Locking Pins

Once the metal is at the right temperature, and the mold is warmed up and in place, we are ready to cast. Air is applied to the clamp, the lid to the caster closed and metal poured into the tapered tundish tube opening shown in the middle of the lid in the photo below.


Closed Centrifugal Casting System 300x225 Taking Pewter Casting for A Spin
Closed Centrifugal System Showing Tundish Tube


After the fill is complete; the spinning mold is given time to cool. The mold is removed and the pieces lifted from their cavities and parted from the feed sprues. A quick grind of the sprued area and the piece is not ready for the next step in finiahing. This can include polishing, inlay and applying a darkening patina or painting to give the part color and contrast. The photo below shows the piece after cast clean-up.

Raw Pewter Casting Ready for Finishing 300x225 Taking Pewter Casting for A Spin
Raw Casting Ready for Finishing

As a sustainable manufacturer; G&S Jewelry Mfg only uses lead-free pewter, we care about our customers’ health and the health of the environment. We stress reduce, recycle and reuse throughout our pewter processing to ensure that minimize environmental impact on our community. Let us show you what we can do for you in pewter!

G&S Jewelry Mfg is a small woman owned business with operations solely in the USA.

Silversmithing Services

G&S Jewelry Mfg has talented and experienced silversmithing resources on staff. Our team can help you with:


Assembly – Bezels, Pendants, Bracelets, Posting, Jump Rings, Bolo Tie Components, Bails

Custom Ring Sizing


Hallmark or Logo Stamping



Our hourly rates vary depending upon the requirements and the resources. But generally $50 to $75 per hour for most services. We can provide cost estimates in advance for most jobs. Others may require some evaluation on a few pieces to be sure we fully understand the requirements and customer expectations.

Let us help you achieve your goals!

GS Company Logo 12 29 14 Silversmithing Services