Ring cuts and what they look like at 40x magnification
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Joined: January 17, 2013
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Ring cuts and what they look like at 40x magnification
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Posted on Sat Aug 23, 2014 12:32 am
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With the hopes of putting this all together some day as a complete article once I've gone through the process with enough different metals. Until then here is the beginnings of my attempt to document what effect different cutting tools have on a ring closure, in this case with 16g aluminum rings.

The tools.


Jewelers Saw with 0.01 blade, Bergeon Watchband Cutters, cheap side cutters (came in a $20 toolkit with 15 other tools), slightly more expensive end nippers ($30 toolkit with 7 other tools), Stanley FatMax straight aviation shears and a Bergeon Ring Cutting Tool (blade kerf 0.013). The red handled side cutter are in rough shape and the effect is easily noted, otherwise the other tools are in good working order.

The rings.


The rings are made from 16g aluminum electric fence wire, 0.322/0.066 AR 4.8, I'd guess around half-hard once formed. I closed each ring prior to photos just enough to align the tips. The saw cut ring fell a small distance when cut, I subjected the ring cut with the ring cutter to a similar drop to allow any loose burs to fall off.

Now for the close ups. In the same progression as above, here are 40x magnified images taken using my old Canon camera through the eye piece of a scientific microscope with a 10x eye piece while using the 4x mag lens. I was pretty surprised by some of them.

Saw cut with a jewelers saw, nice clean cut, seam barely visible.


Watchband cutters, very aggressive cross cutters but some V deformation is still present, a pretty decent pinch cut seam.


Old side cutters, worn, dull and deformed, explains the seam... Yikes! The end flaring (up/down relative to image, thus not shown) is quite pronounced.


End nippers or cross cutters, similar cut to the watchband cutters only more V deformation on the top and bottom along with having flared the ends.


Aviation shears, well they do live up to their name notice how one tip is flat from being sheared off while the other tip gets deformed into a V shape. Also note the off-set of the ring tips, these shears are too big for this size of ring and the blade pushed the one tip outwards.


This ring cutter is the kind that would be used to cut off jewelery in a hospital. It's incredibly easy to use and cuts Al like butter but you have to clear it after three rings so it would take a long time to cut a whole batch of rings with.


Keep in mind the effects shown here are with aluminum. Different metals cut in different ways, I'll probably document copper next as it's in the queue to be cut.

I know, I know, I don't have any Knippex or any other decent side cutters in the round-up but I just don't have any such pliers at the moment. I plan on adding hacksaw cut and mini-hacksaw cut to the mix to help show the effects of a larger kerf.

As I said earlier I'd like to keep going with this and would love to hear suggestions on how to make it better.

Let me know what you think.


Mostly Harmless

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Posted on Sat Aug 23, 2014 1:23 am
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Awesome, thanks. This is exactly the type of info I was hoping for before I got to the point of buying tools.

I'm currently using a wire cutter with a flat back and wedged on the front. This gives a |< joint unless I try to do score and break, but these are only made for soft metal (I'm using them on copper) so...

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Posted on Sat Aug 23, 2014 1:29 am
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Maybe collaborate with someone else who has a good set of knipex side cutters and a suitable camera?

I'm eager to see the growth of this article-in-the-making.

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Posted on Sun Aug 24, 2014 12:42 am
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Fascinating.

Would it be possible to include an example of score-and-break in the set?


Craft isn't cheaper than therapy, but it's more fun.
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Posted on Sun Aug 24, 2014 1:40 am
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Hmmm. The first image looks like not only sawcut, but also a bit tumbled, while the last one looks like sawcut with a too fast and/or dull blade, and a comparably soft wire material. Note that I made some microscope images of my own, for different materials, to optimise sawcutting and especially tumbling processes, to tumble enough to get rid of burrs, but not too much what were wasted tumbler time and energy, but also making the cuts already more visible again, due to more edge rounding as necessary.

-ZiLi-


Maille Code V2.0 T7.1 R5.6 Ep Fper MAl Ws$ Cpbsw$ G0.3-6.4 I1.0-30.0 N28.25 Ps Dacdejst Xagtw S08 Hip

Human societies are like chain mail.
A single link will be worth nothing.
A chain is of use, but will break at the weakest link.
A weak weave will have the need to replace weak links.
A strong weave will survive even with weak links included.
-'me

Joined: January 17, 2013
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Location: Probably in the garage...

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Posted on Sun Aug 24, 2014 5:53 am
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Thanks for the comments everyone.

ZiLi wrote:
Hmmm. The first image looks like not only sawcut, but also a bit tumbled, while the last one looks like sawcut with a too fast and/or dull blade, and a comparably soft wire material.

Nope, no tumbling and all the same wire. I didn't have the same lighting for the first two shoots which may be why you have that impression. The ring cutter used for the last ring just tore through the rings in less than a 1/4 turn. It was quick and certainly not clean. I may have been applying to much pressure to the handles but it's aluminum doesn't take much.
Levi wrote:
The saw cut ring fell a small distance when cut, I subjected the ring cut with the ring cutter to a similar drop to allow any loose burs to fall off.
I mentioned it in relation to the burs that are still present on the last ring, I'm sure they'd tumble off but the other saw cut came out clean as shown, any burs that may have been present fell of after the ring fell about 8 inches from the tip of my cutting mandrel to the bottom of my plastic bucket used to catch rings. I'll cut a few more rings with the ring cutter to see if I can get better results but overall but I'm expecting it's just a case of the aluminum being too soft, I'll have to get on the stainless rings next as they should cut nicely in it but overall I don't think the tool is all that viable for most people.

I'm trying to keep the variables to minimum on my side of things (my bad on the image lighting) but I don't have any reason to mislead anyone about the results. I'm not attempting to skew one methods results over any another methods, I'm just showing what my tools, when used by myself, in this case on this particular type of fencing wire, ends up creating.

An image is worth a thousand words and given most people don't have a microscope to see the effects that closely, not to mention I've seen many more than a thousand words spent explaining the difference between saw cut or pinch cut around here (possibly in this post alone), there's also the ensuing bitterness and hostilities that seem to follow after people present their views, I hoped this would help people decide for themselves and quell that "passion" a bit.

To get it out of the way now. Yes, I do saw cut most of my rings and that's my personal preference, I have the tools, the space and a fairly decent process that makes saw cutting easy for me which also happens to provide nice results. I realize not everyone has the time/space/tools to saw cut which is why I'm doing this, so people can make a decision for themselves based on the images as to what's acceptable to them or not. I also realize it's not a complete list of tools and it's only based on a single metal so it's a very narrow sample at the moment for which the results may turn out to be unique or rare making them essentially invalid to the average user, which is why I intend on repeating the process with as many different types of metals and methods as possible. Until then, I figured I'd share what little I did have on hand.

I'll redo the pictures with all the same lighting in the next few days to help clear things up.

kerravonsen wrote:
Would it be possible to include an example of score-and-break in the set?

Sure, I did quick test using the watchband cutters to score and it created a better than just using the watchband cutters seam. It does look jagged at 40x but with the naked eye it's one of the nicer seams. I'll add it to the next batch of pictures.

Tedronai wrote:
a suitable camera

It's not so much about the camera as it is about the microscope. Camera zoom and optical magnification are not the same thing. The microscope I'm using is a "low end" 1000x microscope but it's still a cellular microscope worth a few hundred dollars. Not many camera's are going to be able to get that close even with a good macro function and a nice big lens. 40x is the lowest setting on this microscope, at 100x the ring is larger than the viewable field and only tiny portions or layers of it can be focused in on at time. The thickness of the metal will prevent me from getting pictures at 1000x but I'll get a few at 40x, 100x and 250x to show the difference in the metals surface, smooth is a relative term.

Kegas76 wrote:
This is exactly the type of info I was hoping for before I got to the point of buying tools.

If you can wait a bit, let me get the results from a few other metal types posted, this is only one sample made out of cheap ($9/164ft) fencing wire. As I'm expecting to document certain tools/methods will produce differing results depending on the metal.


Mostly Harmless

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Posted on Sun Aug 24, 2014 9:42 am
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Your sawcut photo looks unusual though, as it shows slightly rounded edges. When I did photos of sawcut (circular saw, lubricated, harder as pure Alu wire), I found always sharp corner edges.

Sawcut Bright Alu AlMg5 with circular saw, at maybe a bit high RPM.


SLIGHTLY tumbled BA from same batch (not more than a 5-minute wash run) - rounded edges can not be seen, but burrs that are already 'hammered flat around corner' - unexpected, when I saw that the first time.


Here tumbled for half an hour, showing already clearly rounded edges - but also showing, that some burrs stayed in place!


I have just no photo available of a ring that has been a complete cycle in the barrel, but I know that the burrs are then mostly removed, as any 'hammering' on the edge makes the material thinner there, what leads to falling the burr off, in the end.

-ZiLi-


Maille Code V2.0 T7.1 R5.6 Ep Fper MAl Ws$ Cpbsw$ G0.3-6.4 I1.0-30.0 N28.25 Ps Dacdejst Xagtw S08 Hip

Human societies are like chain mail.
A single link will be worth nothing.
A chain is of use, but will break at the weakest link.
A weak weave will have the need to replace weak links.
A strong weave will survive even with weak links included.
-'me

Joined: January 17, 2013
Posts: 373
Submissions: 5
Location: Probably in the garage...

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Posted on Sun Aug 24, 2014 3:34 pm
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ZiLi wrote:
Your sawcut photo looks unusual though, as it shows slightly rounded edges.


I get why you'd think that but as the new sets of images will show, what you think is a rounded edge is in reality a large (very relative term at 100x), sharp burr that runs along the edge of the cut, almost forming a tiny rim that's sitting off at enough of an angle to "look" like a rounded edge if not inspected properly.

Of note, my jewelers saw blade has around three times as many teeth per inch compared to the circular blade on the ring cutter so it's going to create a much smoother and cleaner cut, it's removing much smaller chunks at a time, with less friction, little to no compression but it takes a lot more effort.

To help try and put things into perspective, what size of wire is that in those pictures? 5g as in 0.212"? How big was kerf on the blade?

Due to the nature of a circular saw you're going to get burrs, circular blades compress and tear, the angle of the teeth to the circular ring edge changes as the cut progresses. The harder the metal the less likely burring is to occur but that's highly variable. In general the top front edge (where the blade first starts cutting) will be clean maybe a bit rounded in, the bottom front will form burrs at the exit point due to the above noted compression and tearing. The top back edge will burr on the down slope, the bottom back edge will burr even more as it slopes upward towards the mid-point of the ring as the cut finishes. This is all perfectly expected with a circular saw, wood behaves in nearly the same way, it's just the physics of cutting with a circular blade. If you have a tumbler it's no big deal they'll clean up just fine but the average person doesn't have a tumbler (I only recently acquired on for myself) so the fewer burrs present from the get go the better. Power cutting which is most often done with a circular blade setup sacrifices some quality (which is later offset by tumbling) for the vastly increased production rate (even with tumbling it's fast). If you have a power cutting setup, you probably also have a tumbler but neither are normally within reach for someone starting out or only wanting to maille casually on the side. A $14 jewelers saw on the other hand is pretty affordable. As always, time is money. Either way you're going to spend one of them, it's up to you to figure out which you're willing to part with.


Mostly Harmless

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Posted on Sun Aug 24, 2014 5:41 pm
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For scale: My photos were made of 16swg wire rings, with a cheap USB microscope. The wire was medium-hard BA, either ER5356 or ER5183, probably the latter, as this was my main 16swg wire type I used in 16swg, when these photos were shot, more than a year ago. I cut these rings with a Ringinator, with a standard 0.010" (0.25mm) blade, paraffin oil based lube splash/sump cooled, at around 650 rpm.

Nowadays I cut most times with a 'tuned' water/oil emulsion (bore milk plus 'secret sauce' additive) and constant coolant replenish/overflow, usually at just shy of 1000 rpm for BA, or 250-400 for my Bronze rings, depending on Bronze type used. I must shoot new photos somewhen, for comparison, and probable tumble process optimization (tumble time adjustments), as I found that the new lube made a difference also for burring tendencies, due to the more effective cooling.

-ZiLi-


Maille Code V2.0 T7.1 R5.6 Ep Fper MAl Ws$ Cpbsw$ G0.3-6.4 I1.0-30.0 N28.25 Ps Dacdejst Xagtw S08 Hip

Human societies are like chain mail.
A single link will be worth nothing.
A chain is of use, but will break at the weakest link.
A weak weave will have the need to replace weak links.
A strong weave will survive even with weak links included.
-'me

Joined: January 17, 2013
Posts: 373
Submissions: 5
Location: Probably in the garage...

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Posted on Mon Aug 25, 2014 11:35 pm
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The first image is of that same saw cut ring (jewelers saw), at 40x with better lighting and the ring seam rotated from 8:45 to 11:45. The second image is of the same ring again only this time at 100x magnification.

40x Mag


100x Mag


Given the angles I use to cut the ring, the rim would be on the last portion to cut on the pull side so it makes sense that it's there. The blade starts cutting the ring at around 11 o'clock and finishes cutting through the ring at around 5 o'clock, the ring is currently laying on it's side so 3 o'clock is facing up. That bottom section of ring with the longer rim is in that 5 o'clock range, the rim that I focused in on at 100x which is more around the 3:30/4 o'clock area is probably from me either pausing for a second or pulling a bit off center around half way through the ring. Neither of these imperfections is readily visible to the eye (20/20 vision here), the bump shown at 100x is barely the size of a pin tip at normal scale. I'm a bit of a perfectionist at times but even I can live with minor imperfections like that, for now...

Here is a quick shot of the score and break ring.



I've also concluded that I used different optical zoom levels on my camera while taking some of the shots at 40x, for example the first and third images (in this post) are both at 40x but in the first the camera is at 3.7x, whereas in the third shot it's at 2x. This means the effective magnification will be greater than 40x for most of the images, I'll have to redo all the images at fixed setting with a proper magnification rating, this is what happens when I don't do them all at once... at least I noticed, sorry if this causes any confusion.

More to come.


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Posted on Mon Aug 25, 2014 11:53 pm
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this thread is like a house of horrors Sad I'll never look at cuts the same way again.

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Posted on Tue Aug 26, 2014 1:30 am
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This thread reminds me of the time I had to show an inspector the thickness of the end of a cut spring coil. In a nut shell we had to show that the end of the cut wasn't greater than .015" Mad

Madness I say,
Jesse


"When good men die there goodness does not perish/ But lives though they are gone."

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Re: Ring cuts and what they look like at 40x magnification
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Posted on Wed Aug 27, 2014 3:24 am
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Levi wrote:
Aviation shears, well they do live up to their name notice how one tip is flat from being sheared off while the other tip gets deformed into a V shape. Also note the off-set of the ring tips, these shears are too big for this size of ring and the blade pushed the one tip outwards.


Ugh, I didn't understand this statement until today.

I bought some 17ga galv at the farm supply shop and a cheap pair of av shears. The shears completely open the gap between the ends and it is hard to line them back up while keeping the ring a circle. Of course it doesn't help that my rings are a smaller AR.

It appears that the ring twists while cutting, not sure if that is what is causing the spreading.

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Posted on Wed Aug 27, 2014 3:57 pm
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A facinating study. Thank you very much for sharing these photographs. Given how important closures are to maille, and how important the type of cut is to closures, this will definitely be a useful study!

I'd love to see photos of these methods done to different metals. We all know that aluminum responds differently to bolt cutters than stainless, for example, and it would be interesting to see close-up. If it were me, I'd set up a grid, with cut type on the vertical axis and metal on the horizontal, to make for easy reference.

I don't mean that as criticism--far, far from it! This is a facinating series of photos, and I'm just saying what it's made me curious about! If you provide the pictures I'll make my own grid. Very Happy

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Posted on Wed Aug 27, 2014 5:01 pm
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Dinwar, That's perfect and no offense taken. I'm going to need a decent way of listing the various cuts and metal types and a table would be a simple enough way to compile and show the data. This is very much in the alpha phases at the moment but feedback like that helps.

Kegas76, It's the jaw tips themselves when shears are closed both side sit flat to each other, for sheet metal this is perfect. The gap or spread in the ring will be roughly WDx2, as the bottom of each tip rests at that flat point, either above or below the respective jaw. The trick to using large shears like that is not fully closing them. Easier said than done, with stainless or something that shears well it's do able but with copper or something soft that doesn't shear as well they don't work very well. Of course the smaller the AR the worse the issue of tip spreading will get. The twist you noted is from the ring tips spreading.

ogrefrommotl, I'll try to slip a hair in the interior side of closure that's open a pinch and grab a picture. We'll teach that inspector. Wink

djgm, I know, isn't it great!

Current Progress Inhibitor: I promised the wife a curtain to cover the void that used to be a dishwasher... anyway, I have to finish saw cutting another 25 x 8" 16g AR 4.8 coils (started with 43) so I can start tumbling and finally weave said curtains. As the plan stands it'll be 16g Al and 14g copper in a J6-1 around 3ft x 4ft in two panels. Due to this I don't want to swap out my current tool/cutting setup until I'm finished with these Al rings. I expect I should be done in the next day or two then I'll start cutting some copper and stainless.


Mostly Harmless

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