Make: Jason's Works
Model: Master Deluxe Kit
Ace: Needed (Makerhub@georgefox.edu).
Location: The Vault
Here are some safety instructions for the Jewelry Station. Remember... SAFETY FIRST!!!
- Fire / Burns – the propane torch emits an extremely hot open flame that can cause serious burns. Do not point the torch towards yourself or anyone else. Do not touch the nozzle or put your hands in front of the nozzle. Do not tip the torch sideways when annealing. Always make sure to close the valve and lock the trigger after you finish annealing. Be mindful that the needle nose pliers can be hot too after annealing. If you get burned, run cold water over the burned area for several minutes to reduce inflammation and the potential for blistering.
- Eye Injury – you must wear safety glasses throughout the annealing process and when swinging a hammer to punch out the center of a coin. Anyone else within a 6-foot radius should also wear safety glasses when you are annealing or hammering.
- Crush Hazard – exercise caution when using the press to fold your coin or using the stretcher/reducer. These tools have several pinch points and can cause serious injury to your hand if it gets caught between the moving parts.
- Sharp Hazard – coins can have sharp burrs after punching a hole. Use the manual deburring tool to remove the sharp edge.
- Corrosive Chemicals – the Midas Black Max finish contains hydrochloric acid which can cause severe skin burns and eye damage. A lab coat, chemical goggles, and gloves must be worn when handling hydrochloric acid. Consult the Maker Hub staff for proper disposal. Midas Black Max finish should only be applied to real silver/gold coins. All finishes must be applied in the Finishing Room to minimize your exposure to harmful vapors.
- When punching out the center of a coin, place a wooden block on the floor with the punch assembly on top of it to protect the end of the punch from being damaged by the concrete.
- Ensure there is water in the pot before attempting to anneal your coin.
- Don’t get a coin ring stuck on your finger.
This Jewelry Station is a set that allows one to turn a coin into a fashionable ring for either yourself or a loved one. Through a process of punching of hole size reductions, forming and polishing, it will bring forth a finished masterpiece in the shape of the ring that you can be forever proud of.
Here is an example of this piece of equipment being used.
Annealing - heating a piece of metal to make it more malleable and remove internal stresses.
Quenching - rapidly cooling a metal in order to obtain certain material properties.
Punching - the act of mechanically creating a hole in the coin by hammering the punch through the die.
Die - a device for cutting or molding metal into a particular shape.
Deburring - to smooth a rough/sharp edge on a part by removing the burr that was created by a punching/cutting/machining action.
Cold Forming - a forging technique used to shape metals at near room temperature.
Folding - changing the shape of the coin from a flat disk into a hollow cylinder.
Stretching - the act of increasing (stretching) the coin ring's diameter.
Reducing - the act of decreasing (reducing) the coin ring's diameter.
User Manual (You can get one for $20 from Jason's Works)
There are a wide variety of videos on ring making. The basic process is composed of 4 main steps:
- Punching a hole
- Folding the coin
- Stretching the coin
- Sizing the ring
At various points in the process the metal should be annealed to prevent the metal from becoming too brittle due to cold working. When the coin should be annealed is somewhat subject and no exact rule exists. The hardness of the coin will depend on the type and the year it was minted. For example, silver half dollars minted up to 1964 are made with more silver and less copper than silver half dollars minted afterwards.
The steps below can be found in the video below called "The basics of starting a coin ring" from Jason himself:
Make a coin ring.
- Punching the hole:
- To begin this process, you want to begin by annealing the selected coin. If you haven't annealed before, it would be best to get a shop supervisor who knows what they're doing to help you out. It might also help to first do this in a darker room to know about how long to heat the coin up for until you see a slight glow. Over heating the coin can cause deformities, and you sure don't want that.
- After annealing the coin, proceed to the coin holder (the giant brass screwy thing) and open it up to find the best fitting spacer to center the coin to the best of your ability. No coin is perfectly circular, so don't waste your time here. Before you actually proceed to punch the hole, make sure to screw the top back into place, and then take the punch (flat side up) and slide it into the hole on top of the coin press.
- In order to get a more secure fit, you can use a paper towel to go around the spacer.
- After everything is in place, using a hammer, slowly hammer the punch through the coin until you feel it give. You don't want to punch it all the way through to the bottom of the press for this might ruin this glorious device.
- You then want to use a rubber or wooden mallet to hammer the punch back out.
- For safety reasons, you will want to de-burr the punched hole to avoid cuts.
- Folding the coin:
- Before you begin to do this, it is highly recommended to anneal the coin to make it more malleable.
- In order to fold the coin, take one of the reduction dyes and find one that fits, but is bigger than the coin. For example, it's recommended to use the 1.3 - 1.4 17 degree dye for a half-dollar, and go down the sizes to eventually fold the ring over.
- It is important to note that you don't want to fold the coin all the way straight just yet, as it will make it more difficult to reduce down the size later!
- Stretching the coin:
- Once you have folded the coin over, it's time to take it to the "stretching tower," again, using a paper towel to protect the details of the coin.
- To begin, you want to measure the coin's current size using the sizing rod, measuring from the smallest side first. Once you have measured the ring's current size, you want to figure out what your target size is and make sure that you stretch the coin one or two sizes bigger (you will be sizing the coin down to the target size).
- As you are working through this, you may want to anneal the coin here and there, making sure that the coin does not become too hard and stiff to work with, causing it to crack like dry skin on a freezing day.
- Sizing the ring:
- From here, take some reduction dyes and size and choose accordingly to reduce the size of the bigger end of the ring, using the press to slowly press the ring into the dye, reducing it. Make sure that you are always reducing form the wider side of the ring!
- As you are making progress here, make sure to check the ring's size using the sizing rod, and anneal as the coin becomes harder to work with, and don't get lazy here. It's better to spend more time annealing and softening the coin rather than having the coin crack and you losing all your hard work!
- You will want to think of it as "kneading" the coin into the right shape and size--gentle and slow, making sure that it's done properly or you'll pay the consequences!
- After you have completed all these steps, it's time to finish your ring. There's many ways that you can do this, and it's all up to you; you can either polish it, sand it, use black max to make the features pop, or just keeping it rustic if your heart desires it to be that way. Regardless, you will have successfully created your first (or maybe hundredth ring)!
If the punch assembly is stuck and cannot be unscrewed, use the large channel locks in the machine shop and a vise. Take care to protect the punch assembly from indents/scraps from the vise and channel locks by padding with rags.
If the punched coin is stuck on the punch itself, use the teardrop plastic mallet to gently tap the punch out. Take care to catch the punch once it is free instead of letting it drop on the floor and get dinged up.
If the rotary die in the stretcher/reducer get stuck beyond hand strength, carefully use the large channel locks to turn the rotary die. Again, use a rag to protect the rotary dies from indents/scraps.
Notify the Maker Hub staff if the propane torch runs out or if any of the jewelry station tools need maintenance.
Specific Maintenance Tasks
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