i am using the ray grossman jumpring system to cut sterling silver
jumprings. i have had the system for several years and cannot seem to
cut rings without burs, which i then must remove by hand filing each
ring. i have determined that i am doing something wrong in the
cutting but i don’t know what. i have talked to ray about this. i
have had no success removing the burs by tumbling, either with
ceramic or stainless shot. has anyone had this problem & if so, how
did you solve it. thanks so much for any help.
There are two things you can easily do to eliminate/mitigate burrs
when power sawing jump rings:
- Try a new sharp blade.
- If you are using dead soft wire, switch to half hard.
I too have had similar problems with jump ring cutting. First, I have
used dead soft sterling round wire for years and it has been
suggested that half hard cuts easier and cleaner. I’m about to try
that solution. Ray suggests putting a wooden dowel piece inside the
coil before cutting. If the ring size is small, he suggests getting
wooden sticks in the Asian food section. Perhaps the blade is nicked
or dull. Look into the end of the jumpringer and inspect all the
blade angles; one broken or nicked edge can cause bur problems.
Attend to the way you draw the ringer across the coil; power up to
speed, steady even draw. Make sure you wipe each new coil with the
Bur Life lubricant before the cut. Check your flex shaft and be sure
its been oiled; sometimes the input can be uneven. I give all my
rings, size by size, an ultra sound cleaning for just a few minutes
and an amazing amount of tiny pieces of silver fall to the bottom of
the beaker. Try silicon carbide 400A sandpaper in folded strips to
gently smooth the jump ring instead of a file. ( Great for your
fingernails, a cosmetic industry product).
Now, if you have any suggestions for my rings, I’d be appreciative.
If you have a laser you can smooth out the burs or use a shredded
small rubber bench wheel in the flex shaft
When we cut our sterling jump rings they always have some burs, but
only small ones. Tumbling them in stainless steel shot for about 2-3
hours removes them completely.
In the past, we tried cutting niobium jump rings and had serious
burs. Tumbling them didn’t remove them, but it did remove the
anodized color. So, needless to say we don’t use niobium any more.
A little research revealed that we needed a different speed saw to
cut the niobium. We used a Foredom flex shaft that was running at too
fast a speed for the niobium. Because niobium is harder than silver,
we needed something slower.
I’m not familiar with the system Ray Grossman jump ring system, so I
don’t know if it comes with a saw or not. I’m thinking you may be
having problems due to either (1) the speed of the saw you are using
being wrong for the metal (2) maybe you are pulling the saw the wrong
direction over the coils (let’s hope not) or (3) when you tumbled
them in steel shot you didn’t leave them in long enough. (I use about
1/2 tumbler container of shot, fill it 1/2 full of water, and give it
a good squirt of Dawn dishwashing liquid then tumble at the very
least 2 hours.) I suppose it could also be the saw blade you are
using isn’t right for the purpose.
By the way, are you using half hard sterling wire? You definitely
Sun Country Gems
I normally use separating discs, like these:
They leave a beautiful finish.
Don’t tell anyone but I don’t use the metal rods in my “Jump Ringer.”
I replace then with short sections of wooden dowel that fir into the
cutting jig. I buy the for a few cents a from from the local craft
I fully anneal the wire, coil it on the former, wrap it in adhesive
tape so that it stays tight, remove the whole thing from the winder,
put it in the jig and cut it with the supplied saw (in my
hand-piece) that I’ve lubricated with 3-in 1 oil.
Perfect jump rings, no burs, exact dimensions!
Have you tried a suitably sized cup bur? Don’t have to kill it, just
a quick touch.
I’m not familiar with your tool but from previous comments it sounds
like it uses a toothed blade. I also don’t know if its adaptable but
a .009" cut off disc generally gives a pretty clean cut, but they
break if you look at them wrong.
I fully anneal the wire, coil it on the former, wrap it in
adhesive tape so that it stays tight, remove the whole thing from
the winder, put it in the jig and cut it with the supplied saw (in
my hand-piece) that I've lubricated with 3-in 1 oil.
I’ve been lusting for a jump ringer but can’t afford one just yet. I
hate making jump rings by winding them on a wooden dowel clamped in
a vise and then cutting with a hand saw. I am wondering if one could
put the same saw that the “jump ringer” uses on a hand-piece and cut
through the dowel clamped in a vise - just like I do now except for
the saw. If this would work, are those little saws available
separately from a jewelry supply? What exactly would I order?
Jeff, thanks for the suggestion of using separating discs. Since I
usually make 200-250 jump rings at a time for chain maille, cutting
them all by hand generally results in the generation of completely
new cuss words. I’ve not been getting 100% satisfactory results with
a metal saw blade either so I’m going to try the discs.
In humid Maryland where our special summer feature is “Air you can wear”
I've been lusting for a jump ringer but can't afford one just yet.
I hate making jump rings by winding them on a wooden dowel clamped
in a vise and then cutting with a hand saw. I am wondering if one
could put the same saw that the "jump ringer" uses on a hand-piece
and cut through the dowel clamped in a vise - just like I do now
except for the saw. If this would work, are those little saws
available separately from a jewelry supply? What exactly would I
Try winding 2 km of 2 mm on a ring former made from an antique
cotton reel, two sections of steel pipe, a length of 10 mm diameter
steel rod, and a set of multi grips This made very long springs,
and very muscular hands. Then I had to cut the rings with a small set
of bolt cutters, with the lock removed.
My next tool was a little better, it was just two supports, a piece
of steel rod with a hole (a little larger than the diameter of the
wire to be formed) drilled into it, and the end formed into a crank.
I also used a steel tube to act as a guide. With a little practice I
could get a very large quantity of coils very quickly. The cutting
still involved cutting with hand held bolt cutters.
It shouldn’t be too difficult to make a similar device to make jump
rings, cutting them you could use a small cutting disk, which would
be superior to using bolt cutters that leave sharp ends.
Regards Charles A.
I wouldn’t recommend trying to “make do” with partial purchase of
the jump ringer. The way it works, which is great, is the saw blade
(sold separately by Rio Grande) in the flex shaft fits into a slot of
the jump ringer box. The blade is held straight (so it doesn’t try to
cut the metal box with the coils inside) by a housing that matches
the box. It holds the blade in exact alignment with the slot in the
box. If you buy the blade only, and the flex shaft, you could cut
your rings on a dowel. However, the “jump ringer” system assures that
you will get straight cuts with the box/blade housing arrangement.
The housing would do nothing for you without the slotted box.
When we bought ours, several years ago, the whole set-up, including
the flex shaft, ran around $500.00. I believe there are jump ring
cutting systems available for less money, but I don’t know how they
Sun Country Gems
If you will look on some of the chain maille sites, you will find
plans for an easy mandrel system using a drill and knitting needles.
Using a slitting saw in a handpiece without the shield and coil
holder of a jump ring maker sounds like a very bad idea. Please
think really, really hard before trying this about how you could do
it safely. I can’t think of a way.
I’ve made a lot of jump rings and, near as I can tell, you just
can’t get around the two basic options: cut 'em by hand with a
jeweler’s saw (off a dowel, from a taped coil, or whatever) or use a
jump ring maker (Koil Kutter, Jump Ringer, PEPE jump ring maker, or
whatever). Trade off is equipment cost vs. production rate. My Koil
Kutter and Jump Ringer are set up at all times and get a lot of use.
My (limited) experience with the PEPE product was not so happy.
I think it would be virtually impossible to get clean, square cuts
on rings for chain making using a separating disc. I know for
certain it would be impossible for me.
Comments on the original topic: use a sharp blade and LOTS of
I buy the slitting blades in bulk and during use, I pay careful
attention to the force required to move the blade through the cut.
As soon as it starts to rise, out goes the blade.
For cutting fluid, I use Tapmatic Natural (made from soybeans, not
dead dinosaurs). I put the coil in the holder and squirt a healthy
dose all the way along the slot with a small needle-tipped bottle
(like those used to dispense flux or potters glazes or acrylic
cement). The more you use, the longer the blade will stay sharp.
One last comment: As was mentioned before (by Ray?), using half-hard
wire will generally produce fewer burrs, all other things being
equal. But, cutting the harder wire reduces blade life and my
students find thick, half-hard wire difficult to work with. I use
dead soft for anything 18ga and thicker and by using sharp blades I
have no problems getting clean cuts.
I have the koil cutter which I have been using for 2 years now and
works great. It costs roughly bout 80.00, you get the guard for your
dremel and the guide to hold the jumprings, which has a slot to
guide the blade. I’m not good at descriptions so here is the site.
Hi…I’ve been watching this discussion. But I haven’t seen anyone
say they simply cut them. I have a jump ringer system, and it is
nice. However, I find it much easier to use a sharp shears. I have no
problem fusing them (I usually make chains, not chain mail), the
sharp shears does a good job cutting the jump rings straight. It’s
easier for me, though some folks might prefer the cutter. It is
easier for me. snip snip, less time than hooking up the cutter to
slice them. Just an idea.
i read Charles a’s tool history of making jump rings - it makes me
think I took the easy way when I started; one check of ready-made
rings’ prices was incentive enough to start home-grown ones. wood was
the least tool damaging mandrel material - there are all sizes and
varieties of wood thingies you can find around home: chop sticks will
give you a square mandrel as well as round; skewers make smaller
rounds; hardware store dowels come in more sizes.
pick right size diameter of wood, drill hole about 1/8" from end
bend end of wire and stick into hole (you with me so far?)
start coiling wire around wood thingie, keeping an even parade of
forget the wrap the coil in masking tape suggestion, people, life
is too short for de-stickying jump rings. use a cloth to firmly hold
the whole thingie perpendicular to you body, and with your thinnest
foredom/dremel cut-off wheel, cut through the first coil. repeat
until all coils are cut loose. KEEP A STRAIGHT CUTTING PATH down the
coil or you will have different sized rings.
as each couple of rings are severed push the uncut section toward
the end of thingie and the cut rings will fall off.
cut off sawed end of thingie for next job. bottom line: if you use
a diamond surfaced cut-off wheel, and go slowly, you will have smooth
rings and not have to debur any; if you do de-bur, keep ends slanted
to accommodate curvature of ring.
if you don’t have diamond coated burs you’re making your work more
difficult - even some budget-priced ‘cheapie’ ones, if you can’t
afford others, will lighten a lot of your work.
who will soon start watching the seawall for evidence of bp’s effort
to enter the guinness book of absolute stupidity catagory.
people, think more now, regret less later.
One last comment: As was mentioned before (by Ray?), using
half-hard wire will generally produce fewer burrs, all other things
being equal. But, cutting the harder wire reduces blade life and my
students find thick, half-hard wire difficult to work with. I use
dead soft for anything 18ga and thicker and by using sharp blades
I have no problems getting clean cuts.
I’ve made this decision as well.
Also, the problem with using half hard wire at large gauges, if you
are making rings for chainmaille, most weaves require a very precise
inner diameter, and the extra spring from harder wire can throw this
Full hard 16g wire wrapped around a 4.5mm mandrel vs dead soft would
make the difference between a loose sloppy byzantine chain and a
I would be interested in hearing where you get your blades from in
bulk, Tom. Those suckers are pricey. Not sure you can, with Ray’s
Amy C. Sanders
.....I find it much easier to use a sharp shears. I have no problem
Shears compress metal at the cut, but you might not notice it after
melting the cut ends together. You would probably notice the
compression after soldering or if you were making chain mail.
Also, the problem with using half hard wire at large gauges, if
you are making rings for chainmaille, most weaves require a very
precise inner diameter, and the extra spring from harder wire can
throw this off.
One way to keep the diameter of 1/2 & full hard coils the same size
as the mandrel they’re wound on is to wrap them with masking or
scotch tape before removing them from the mandrel.
It’s best to un wind the coil 1 or 2 turns after winding the coil
before putting the tape on it or you may have a problem getting the
coil off the mandrel.
The other option is to wind the coil on a smaller diameter mandrel.
Depending on the diameter of the coil usually a 1/2 mm smaller
mandrel will work.