Bent Polishing

Please note that electees are NOT required to polish a bent for initiation into TBP.

Electees who wish to be eligible for the "Best Bent" award at banquet can use the instructions below as a guide.

A bent takes on average 8-10 hours to complete, so start early! Trying to rush the job causes damage to the bent, which means it will actually take longer to polish. The main objective is a good shiny finish. Pits on the back are acceptable if they are too deep to be removed without altering the geometry of the bent. The instructions below are the recommended steps to take, you may choose to use different tools or methods.


  • Metal files
  • Various grade sandpaper
  • Work gloves
  • Goggles
  • Jeweler's saws (optional)
  • Jeweler's bench pins (optional)

Most of these tools can be found at any hardware store. If you need additional assistance with proper use of equipment, ask the officers, specifically the VPs of Electees, for guidance.

3 Steps in Polishing


  1. Sawing:
    • Saw away any large extra pieces from casting. These usually stick out from the piece where the sprue or gate was located.
    • When using the saw blade teeth make sure to point the teeth downward and outward.
    • You can also use a large metal file to saw away the excess metal.
  2. Filing:
    • You will want to start with large flat files for large pits and progess down to finer files.
    • While filing, you may find it handy to use a jeweler's bench pin and clamp for this process to hold the casting in place.
    • Make sure to file conscientiously, since extreme pressure while filing can cause more scratches.
    • Also, files tend to clog up with metal filings and may be cleaned with a brush file.
    • Be aware that filing is usually the longest step in the polishing process.
  3. Sanding:
    • Start with a coarse dry sandpaper (#220) and work slowly into the finer, wet-dry papers (#320, #400, #600).
    • The finest grades will render faster and yield better results if they are wet.
    • Again, you may want to use a jeweler's bench and clamp for this step.
    • Be careful not to use too coarse a grade. Many people have scratched their bents by using a coarser grade or more force than necessary.