Newby – please HELP!

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    Dearest daguerreotype makers of the world – please HELP!
    I’m just starting to make mercury dags and let’s just say it’s coming out hit and miss…. I seriously think buffing is the major issue, so let’s start there.
    I am a big fan of using random orbital sander, so I would like to direct this question to those of you who use power tools – I have seen spectacular results with those things and so I know it can be done. I’m using chamois cloth with rouge and lamp black and then a clean buff with microfiber cloth. I think sometimes I heat the plate up by friction too much and that somehow prevents the image from developing. Also all my plates are coming out with a strong rouge hue to them (and I have already tried doing buffing with JUST lamp black and no rouge at all – still freaking orange!). Now, I have not yet gilded my plates and I did hear that the orange may go away – anyone had that happen on consistent basis?

    Could some of you random orbital sander users weigh in here and let me know:
    • What materials do you use? Chamois, cotton, something else?
    • How long do you buff and how hard to you puck on the plate?
    • Is there anything else I should be using besides rouge/lamp black?
    • How many different buffs to do you have and how do they vary? (when I watched a master at work once he had 3-4 different buffs and they had finer abrasives and finally a clean one)

    Thank you in advance!

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