May 28, 2014

R&D - Saw-Cut Niobium Rings

This is something I had wanted to do even before I got my Ringinator :D


Niobium (yes, my favorite metal), 20 gauge AWG, half-hard, 0.2 oz, 144 coils on 3/32" mandrel, quick dips 3 times in anodizing bath, voltage 102, 85, 60, run thru Ringinator on 0.010" blade, with only soapy water and Rio Grande's Bur Life stick, loose rings anodized again at 35 volt for cut ends.

Counted 96 good ones.  Not bad for a first try.

What have I learned?
  1. Get some real cutting fluid for the Ringinator.  Niobium loads up very fast on the blade, even at this thin gauge...
  2. When cut by hand with a jeweler's saw, 8/o blades will do.  But do it in short coils, wrapped in masking tape; they heat up fast!
  3. Use low speed on the drill.  Gauge for gauge, temper for temper, niobium is harder to cut than bronze or sterling silver.
  4. Up the last anodizing voltage before cutting, to above 63, maybe, so that the final dip after cutting have more choices.
  5. For large volume of rings in common sizes, it's still more economical to buy them!!
I thoroughly enjoyed this experiment, and will definitely do it again.

What do you think? ;-)


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