Springback, half-hard/soft wire...
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Joined: August 11, 2006
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Springback, half-hard/soft wire...
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Posted on Thu Apr 26, 2007 2:23 am
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And they're saying... oh know, it's HER again; does she EVER go away? Sorry for asking all these questions. Confused

I purchased a Koil Kutter to cut my rings and was reading something about springback when using half-hard wire, etc. However, sometime back I was e-mailing back and forth with Spider and she told me that it's better to use half-hard wire (at least I think that's what she says... so much to remember).

What's springback, how do I know what size mandrel to use if I have springback? The wire I've been purchasing has been half-hard, but I can purchase soft the next time I order from my wholesale supplier.

Also, I've heard that it helps to polish the rings in a tumbler. Would this be right after I cut them and before I join the rings together, after I make my jewelry, or BOTH?

I'm so confused........

I promise, I'm really not a dunce (you're thinking - yeah, I bet - this muste be some dumb woman here), just learning something new and wanting to get everything right - to avoid costly mistakes.

Thanks again and I really do appreciate ALL the replies that everyone takes the time to send me!

Beth
maltesergr8
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Joined: August 23, 2004
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Posted on Thu Apr 26, 2007 3:11 am
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Hi Beth! There are no stupid questions, and we all started somewhere and all had the same questions, so don't apologize for anything. The great thing about M.A.I.L. is that people here are very friendly and readily help out other members whenever and wherever they can.

So, let's get to your questions now: Yes, it's definitely better to use half hard wire when using a motorized ring cutting system; dead soft will dull your blade pretty quick, and you'll end up with nasty burrs on your rings. You can also use 1/4 hard wire if half isn't available, or you can simply wrap your wire, unwrap it and wrap it again to work harden it if all you can get your hands on is dead soft.

Spring back is what happens when you release the tension on your wire and mandrel after winding it. When you're winding the wire is tight against the mandrel, when you stop and the wire is cut off the spool the tension is released; you may have already experienced spring back if you've wound any of your own coils, the coiled wire seems to "spin" a bit and makes a distinctive sound. Depending on the type of wire and it's hardness spring back will vary, so it's hard to say what size mandrel for what gauge and hardness will give you the exact size you need. In the case of sterling silver spring back is generally negligible, so you're probably safe there. The spring back between say 16 gauge 1/2 hard stainless steel and 16 gauge 1/2 sterling silver would be pretty big though, so you can see that it's a little hard to say for sure what's going to work where and how. Dealing with spring back is really a lot of trial and error; but don't get frustrated, once you've dealt with it a few times it's not so scary.

I tumble my pieces when they're finished, but you can do it either way. The only reason I personally see to tumble rings before you work them is to remove burrs. Some people prefer to tumble before though, so really you just need to experiment and figure out what method you prefer.

Joined: June 21, 2002
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Posted on Thu Apr 26, 2007 3:26 am
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Quote:
Sorry for asking all these questions.


Hey, that's what we're here for.

Quote:
What's springback, how do I know what size mandrel to use if I have springback?


As per the handy MAIL glossary: Springback: The tendency of a tightly wound coil to expand after the coiling tension is released. This causes the coil to expand slightly, making the completed rings larger than the mandrel they were originally wound on. This can be a serious problem with very small rings not being a standard size.

Making jewelry, you're probably using silver and other non-ferrous metals, right? If so, I don't think you'll have any problem with springback. Ferrous metals are a bit different. I've wound 1/2 hard stainless and 1/2 hard brass, and the stainless has much more springback. The brass springback wasn't significant at all. For comparison, my 19ga 1/2 hard stainless has an average springback of +/- 1/64", while the brass springs back just enough to slide off from the mandrel.

Quote:
The wire I've been purchasing has been half-hard, but I can purchase soft the next time I order from my wholesale supplier.


I'd recommend staying with the 1/2 hard. In fact, I'd go for the hardest, but maybe that's just me. Soft wires are usually far too weak to be practical.

Quote:
Also, I've heard that it helps to polish the rings in a tumbler. Would this be right after I cut them and before I join the rings together, after I make my jewelry, or BOTH?


Haha, I've tumbled pre-woven rings before, and they're a pain to separate from the media. Of course, I used rice and 19ga rings... Razz I've heard from more than one person that it's easiest to simply tumble the finished product just before you put the clasps or findings on.

Quote:
I promise, I'm really not a dunce (you're thinking - yeah, I bet - this muste be some dumb woman here), just learning something new and wanting to get everything right - to avoid costly mistakes.


Not at all. At least you're working to avoid mistakes. I tend to do quite the opposite.

~Mical~ Coif Smiley

Joined: December 07, 2006
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Posted on Thu Apr 26, 2007 2:34 pm
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you mostly get spring back with harder wires, like nibium, Ti, steel, stainless steel, and the hard metals. You can tell about how much spring back you get is by how far up the coil slides after you releace the tension, or cut the wire from your bigger spool. And if you are thinking of making you own coils, watch out, because if you dont use gloves watch your fingers. Trust me i know, i was hand winding 14guu galvy wire and i was holding the ends after i sniped it from my larger spool, and with all the spring back still in the coil, and once i let it slip and it sliced my finger open. from the sharp edges from the cut. sorry if i rambled on.

Joined: August 11, 2006
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Posted on Thu Apr 26, 2007 8:18 pm
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Thanks to everyone for all your posts on springback and tumbling my rings!

As you correctly guessed, I will be using SS to make my jewelry (at least for now and to start out). I may have to branch out in other projects when I get my feet wet.

Beth
maltesergr8
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