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Ray Grossman's JumpRinger - Tips & Review
Article © MAIL User: sakredchao

Ray Grossmans' Jumpringer tips & product review
Last updated: March 31, 2006

One of the only real drawbacks I see to buying this ring cutting setup is the initial cost.
The foredom flexshaft runs about 230$.
The production cutting block & jump ringer runs about 300$.
(If you're a mailler, don't waste your time with the 4" cutting block. That block is for people who don't use many rings.)
By the time you have it set up and working you've spent upwards of 600$.

The other major drawback is that it will only cut softer metals. This means no steel and titanium.

However, the upside is that you have an -awesome- tool, not even considering the jump ringer. I have gotten 50% raises because of the amount of time I've saved on jobs using the flexshaft, and my employer was still spending less than if she'd hired someone at the base rate of pay. I've found numerous uses for the flexshaft. If you are a jeweler, it is a worthwhile investment.

Now, factor in the jump ringer. When I used to cut coils by hand, with a jewelers saw, I might spend hours cutting rings. It was a significant amount of the time i spent. Now, winding, lubricating and cutting takes less than 5 minutes per coil. Now, figure what you make an hour. I charge 20$/hr wholesale and upwards of 30$/hr retail. If you save yourself 20-30 hours, you pay for the machine.

One thing I like about the jumpringer is the small amount of space it packs into. I can carry my winding rig & jump ringer in 2 camera cases measuring 5"x10"x11" and 8"x9"x14", and that includes a drill.

I also plan on reviewing the multisize block when I have a little more experience using it.

I know there are other ring cutting machines available. Ray Grossman also has the All Metals Saw. Dave Arens has the "Koil Kutter". There are drill press setups available, if you want to have a construction project. Jon Daniels (of is designing "The Ring Machine". I've never driven any of these, and I'd love to see articles on these tools.

Image: jump3.jpg
Usage Tips:

Don't prestretch your coils, you need them as tight as possble to cut right.

In order to use the Jump Ringer you need to have a place to hang your flexshaft. I just chained it to this treadmill, but anything will work. Foredom makes a benchtop model that uses a stand, and perhaps this is a better option, but it wasn't availble to me where I purchased my tool. i would be interested in hearing from anyone who uses one of the benchtop models.

Image: jump2.jpg
When installing the handpiece on the flexshaft, make sure to line up the tab on the crank with the slot on the handpiece. Insert the crank in the handpiece and turn the chuck to make sure you have positive contact, then push it home. Test the motor lightly. If you hear a clicking noise, remove the handpiece and try again. If you can't get rid of that noise, call the Foredom people.

Remember to maintain your tool. The flexshaft needs to be greased every 40 or so hours of use.

Set the cutting depth by loosening the 2 bottom screws in the Guard/Guide that goes on the #30 handpiece, connected to the flexshaft. Loosen them all the way. Tighten the top screw as far as it will go. (This is the one resting on the table in the picture.) If the blade touches the Guard/Guide, loosen a little. Tighten the bottom 2 screws. This is how you set your cutting depth. If the 2 lower screws are tightened first, it won't cut as deep. Remember to check these screws periodically during use.

Image: jump1.jpg

To set the arbor positioning, remove the top plate from the cutting block. Slide the Guard/Guide over the handpiece. Put the arbor/blade in the chuck as far as it will go and tighten firmly, but do not overtighten. Slide the handpiece up so the blade is roughly centered in the Guard/Guide notch. Lay the top plate in the groove, with the blade sticking through, and try to center the blade in the slot, and tighten the 3 set screws on the guide. Remember, these screws set the blade depth.

When you screw on the top plate, it's a little hard to tell when to stop. Ray says, "until plate begins to bend,". I usually wiggle the plate back and forth at the screws.. if it wiggles, tighten more. If it's stable, then you're good to go.

When I got my jump ringer I had some problems. The biggest one was that at the end of the coil the blade was running up on the top of the coil, and not cutting all the way through. Honestly, I don't know exactly what was causing this. It could be a number of things.

One thing to try: more lubricant. Do not use beeswax lubricant. Burr-life, Pro-cut and Acculube all seem to be satisfacory lubricants. You want to make sure that there is a -lot- of lubricant on there. Lubricant is cheaper than blades are.

Make sure your saw is reaching maximum speed before you start your cut. Try slowing down your feed rate a little, don't pull the Guard/Guide through the coil so fast. You'll get a feel for how fast you can cut a coil of a certain wire gauge.

Try holding the Guard/Guide with more downward pressure. A smidgeon of lubricant on the top of the top plate will allow for slightly smoother pulling. A little goes a long way.
Still having cutting problems? Check your blade. You may have damaged it learning to use the machine. You need a sharp blade.

If you get a "chatter" while cutting, keep your motor at full speed, and slow down your feed rate. If you catch the chatter early this isn't a problem, just don't cut through the coil so fast.

If the flex shaft goes all wonky on you (twists up), stop the motor. Bring it back up to speed, in place, and then finish the cut. One way to reduce this is to keep the flexible shaft as straight as possible. This may mean trying to cut so that the handpiece stays roughly the same distance from the motor the entire cut. I know, it's a "flex" shaft, but that's the way it is.

Also remember, if you are using your flexshaft –only- for the jumpringer, make sure you retighten the arbor in the handpiece each time you use the tool. Failure to do so may result in permanent damage to the arbor and the handpiece. If the arbor wobbles in the chuck, you're sad x2.

The Jump Ringer produces a lot of metal dust. Unfortunately this dust also has bits of lubricant in it. I believe it is worthwhile to collect this dust, and save it for art projects such as sand painting. Or just fill bottles you’ve wrapped with maille, for the pretty. *sparkle sparkle*

When cutting you'll notice smoke. I believe this is the lubricant being burned through friction heat, although I could be wrong. I think it's a good idea to keep a fan going, or a window open, some sort of ventilation. You never know, it might cause cancer in the state of california.

I've found the easiest way to empty the block is to just upend it into a jar, using my hand as a "backsplash". Sometimes the coils will begin to stick in the groove, or to the top plate. Wipe the block and top plate down. This is your friendly lubricant.

This leads to the next part of the ring issue, what to do about the lubricant all over the rings. If the rings have acceptable cuts, you can add some warm soapy water to that jar you just plopped them into, and shake vigorously. Or, if you are so inclined, tumble them in soapy water, no other media.

If your rings have burrs on them after cutting there are several things to try. A sharper blade will give you better cuts. A slower feed rate might help those burrs. Honestly, a certain amount of burring is acceptable. Just drop the rings in a tumbler and put in some warm soapy water. No other tumbling media is required. Tumble the rings for a few hours, and those burrs should become metal dust in the bottom of your tumbler.

if you have anything to add, or questions to ask, comments are welcome at:

- kim

The following is a transcription from the instructions* which came with my jump ringer, in case you didn't get any.
(*reprinted with permission)
CAUTION! Never operate cutter without safety saw gaurd/guide in place and secured! Failure to do so may cause serious injury!

Specifications: Minimum: Maximum:
Coil length (Standard Holder) --- 3.0" (7.6cm.)
Coil length (Long Holder) --- 15.0" (38.1cm.)
Wire diameter .010" (0.25mm, 30ga.) .082" (2.08cm, 12ga.)
Mandrel diameter .063" (1.5mm.) .469" (12mm)
Thickness of blade (kerf) .008 (fixed)

For stability, the drill stand must be securely mounted to a bench or other rigid surface!
suggested accessories: Foredom FCT foot control or equivalent, 1/2" (12mm) portable electric drill.
(must use house current and be variable speed and reversible).

To wind jump ring coils, insert mandrel in drill's chuck and lock in place. Form a 90* bend approximately 1/2" (12mm) from end of wire. Insert this end between jaws of chuck. Start winding at slow speed. When coil is running smoothly, speed may be increased. Free end of thin mandrels tend to whip at high speed. Hold this end loosely with left hand. Slip coil off mandrel. Clip excess wire from both ends.

Mount sawblade securely in blade arbor (see diagrams for correct blade orientation and feed direction). Slide Guard/Guide over your 1" diameter hand piece so that its chuck is exposed. Secure blade arbor tightly in hand piece. Move Guard/Guide forward until saw is approximately in center of guide opening. Place guide over blade slot and adjust it so blade fits into slot. Hand tighten three screws. DO NOT OVER TIGHTEN!

Remove coil from steel mandrel and clip off excess wire at both ends. There are four grooves in the coil holder. Place your coil in the largest one in which the top of the coil is above the flat surface of the coil holder. Move the coil as far as it will go tward one end. This will be your STOP end.

Rub a high quality stick lubricant (ask your tool supplier) along the length of the coil where cut will be. This assures a constant supply to prolong blade life. Screw plate back in place loosely.

Finger tighten the two screws until plate begins to bend. (DO NOT OVER-TIGHTEN! For jump rings wound on mandrels smaller than 3mm, plate may be turned over. Large diameter rings made from thin wire will normally collapse under the top plate. to support these coils, slip them onto a length of wooden dowel and cut them on the dowel.

Place coil holder on a flat surface. Place guide onto holder at end of slot away from the STOP. Run your flex shaft machine at HIGH SPEED and QUICKLY FEED the blade through the coil while maintaining a downward pressure on the Guard/Guide/ CUT IN ONE PASS. DO NOT GO BACK. Always start your motor after the blade is in place. Stop it immediately after the Guard/Guide contacts the hold-down screw at end of cut. Wait for blade to stop completely and lift it out of slot. NEVER ATTEMPT TO PLACE BLADE IN SLOT OR REMOVE IT WHILE MOTOR IS RUNNING!

If when cutting very small rings, it cuts through the reverse side of the rings, simply turn the steel top plate over to that the recess is facing up. This raises the blade .030" (0.76mm).

The long jump ringer comes with a stand for mounting a drill. The small jump ringer comes with a hand crank. Someone is welcome to review these aspects of this product, however I feel there is enough information available on this website to successfully wind a spring.


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