Cutting Stainless for Jewelry
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Joined: July 10, 2007
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Location: Corpus Christi, Texas

Cutting Stainless for Jewelry
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Posted on Sat Jul 21, 2007 4:49 pm
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I have some 20GA stainless wire, and I've wound up a few 3/16" ID coils for a HP4:1 bracelet, but when I went at it with my jewelers saw, the thing just laughed at me, saying, "Ooh, that tickles!"

I wore the blade down in nothing flat, and hardly made a dent in the stainless. Might as well have been using a plastic butter knife.

I've tried some aviation shears, but they distorted the rings, if they cut them at all. Most of the time, the blades just separated and slid across the surface, binding up and ruining several rows.

I'd like to work in stainless using 20, 18 and 16 gauges, but I'll definitely need a better way to cut the stuff.

I have a Dremel, and have used the abrasive wheel on 16GA galvy (I didn't inhale) but the thickness of the wheel seems too thick for the small diameters I want to cut.

Any ideas would be muchly appreciated.

Joined: February 02, 2007
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Location: England

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Posted on Sat Jul 21, 2007 5:45 pm
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ye has come across the nastyness of stainless steel. the one who have ruined my sidecutters.


dremel saw should be ok thickness for cutting, but you will need to build a enclosure to keep the dremel or drill or whatever turning mechanism in place. if you have been cutting galvy then you might be ahead of this bit.


be warned... stainless is tougher than galvy, and if you notice that the blades die fairly quickly on galvy ( although the cuts you get are delicious.) be warned.

Actually it may be suitable as jewellery needs much fewer, much better quality rings than armour.

hope this helps

Joined: July 03, 2003
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Posted on Sun Jul 22, 2007 12:42 am
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Buy or make some modified hard wire cutters. I started with a pair of 8" "mini" bolt cutters and also own a pair of Stanley sidecutters that work fairly well but modified hard wire shears or modified cable shears make much better cuts/closures for jewelry.

Joined: February 02, 2007
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Posted on Sun Jul 22, 2007 11:47 am
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what about these?

http://www.malolotackle.com/GIFs/120.jpg

Joined: July 10, 2007
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Location: Corpus Christi, Texas

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Posted on Sun Jul 22, 2007 6:07 pm
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I found some little shear cutters for memory wire at the local hobby store. They're about ten bucks, and they'd prob'ly work for 20GA, but I'm not sure about the thicker stuff.

It's funny, because I had gotten some 18GA stainless wire from a friend the other day. He said he'd gotten the roll back in the '80s. Anyway, I was able to cut over 60 rings of 18GA stainless with my jewelers saw with no problems. Then I get this roll of new 20GA and I ruin two blades without even one ring. Obviously there are different hardnesses of stainless.

I found some 18 and 16GA stainless tie wire at a local hardware store, and I want to take my jewelers saw with me and see if it'll cut a piece off the end, if they'll let me.

If my jewelers saw will cut it, I'll buy a roll of the 18GA and forget this hard 20GA. I think 18 would make nicer jewelry in stainless anyway.

So far, all of my finished jewelry has been in silver. I can get 20GA locally for about a buck a foot. I'm on a complete shoestring with this stuff, so I get five or ten bucks worth at a time.

I want to sell some pieces, so I can buy a significant amount of wire, but I have to build up a bit of stock for a decent display. Kind of a catch 22, but lucky for me, I'm doing this for fun. I just got 10 feet of 20GA silver and my next one will be a full persian bracelet.

I think I can sell stainless stuff in some of the punky shops around here, so I really want to get this stainless thing working. I'll let you know how it goes.

Joined: July 15, 2007
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Posted on Thu Jul 26, 2007 12:19 pm
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Tweeker, did you perchance get your hands on some spring steel instead of ordinary stainless, I've not used it but I've heard it's tough stuff?

Joined: August 23, 2004
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Posted on Thu Jul 26, 2007 3:12 pm
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Ummm, a buck a foot for 20g stainless wire? Ouch! TRL sells 20g stainless for $7.68 per pound with 369 feet per pound, or you can buy a 100' spool for about $4.20. Instead of saving your money to buy this stuff at a buck a foot, I'd say spend $5.00 on a spool from Jon.

Joined: May 13, 2006
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Posted on Thu Jul 26, 2007 4:04 pm
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i think she meant a buck a foot for Sterling Silver deirdre.

those cable cutters will not work, ive tryed them, and the stainless laughed at them as well, you can cut SSteel with a jewelers saw, but its so slow as to be completly ineffective (it took me 4 min a ring in 18g 1/8"). also make sure your blades are the right size, cause 2/0 dosent work. and keep your blades well lubed, ive used candle wax and the stick lube from TRL and they both work fine...

flare

P.S. i hope you succede


If I am, then death is not. If death is, then I am not. Why should I fear that which cannot exist when I do?

Joined: July 10, 2007
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Location: Corpus Christi, Texas

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Posted on Thu Jul 26, 2007 5:23 pm
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Yeah, I meant that Silver wire was a buck a foot for 20GA.

The 20GA stainless I got was motorcycle safety wire. It just says "Stainless Steel" on the label, but it's much harder than the thicker wire my friend gave me.

I'm going tomorrow to look at the 18GA SS Tie wire. Gonna take my jeweler's saw and test it before I buy.

I would like to know more about that $5 roll from Jon.

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