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Resizing a tungsten steel wedding band


#1

How would you go about resizing a tungstun steel wedding band a 1/4
size too large? Solder something to it ? Got asked where I buy my
coffee the jeweler they bought it from says nothing they can
do…hmmm

Teri
Silver & Cameo Heritage Jewelry
www.corneliusspick.com


#2

Along with this question about sizing tungsten rings one also has to
wonder what would happen if one is wearing one of these rings and, in
an emergency, had to have the ring cut off. As far as I know,
emergency rooms are not equipped to cut off a tungsten ring. I can
envision some major problems with a rapidly swelling hand and no way
to cut off a tungsten ring. I have advised several clients to stay
away from them for this reason. Does anyone have any specific
on this issue?

Joel Schwalb
www.schwalbstudio.com


#3

Assuming you mean tungsten carbide, as there is no tungsten steel- it
is unsizeable. All of the manufacturers I know of offer an exchange
program, though…

http://www.donivanandmaggiora.com


#4

Yes tungsten carbide is what I meant. I tried calling a company that
makes them and they would not tell me anything but we have to do
it.And they will only fix rings they make and I had to sent the ring
to them for sizing. Thanks for confirming what I suspected Billy


#5
Assuming you mean tungsten carbide, as there is no tungsten steel-
it is unsizeable. All of the manufacturers I know of offer an
exchange program, though... 

See, now, call me old-fashioned, or superstitious, or whatever, but
I would never choose a material like this to symbolize a marriage.
Yes, it is strong and incorruptable, but it is unyielding,
inflexible, unadaptable. If it becomes uncomfortable, you get rid of
it and get a different one. All too apt a symbol for our
divorce-prone society, I suppose…

As a side note, when I was getting married (in 1978) I was looking
at wedding rings in a jeweler’s window (even though all we could
afford was a simple 14k band from Service Merchandise) and admired a
fat gold band with two bezel-set diamonds, one at each end of an
unclosed ring. My husband-to-be said, are you kidding? I would never
choose a wedding ring that didn’t connect! We are still married,
though now I have a gorgeous ring made by Tom Herman
http://www.sevenfingers.com/, (and the last of our four children is
about to leave the nest.)

Noel


#6

Hi,

I have heard a couple things about tungsten rings in an emergency-
One is that while it will not cut off, it can be “cut” with a diamond
grinding wheel. Another way was based on breaking the ring off, but
that sounds risky to me.

Grinding through is going to generate heat, so I suggest a water
source for cooling as the ring gets ground up.

CAVEAT- This is what have heard, not seen.

Any jewelers with emergency room training or a friend that works an
emergency room would be really helpful here.

Do the makers of these rings not address what to do in an
emergency?!

Daniel Ballard


#7

Tungsten Carbide is an inherently brittle material. As for safely
removing, if you visit:

http://www.trewtungsten.com/remove

You can see one manufacturer’s suggestion for emergency removal.
They actually offer free replacement with the pieces and a doctor’s
note.

Frankly, I don’t use tungsten carbide because of the fact that I
find it to be quite like titanium (of which I have just one or two
rings that feature this material), in that it is now being produced
by more and more makers at a very low cost. I don’t feel the need to
promote an item that can be purchased from a foreign maker for $4
per ring ($37 with gold inlay), with minimum buys of 10 per size.

I would rather explain why my work is special, and how important the
wedding sacrament is to me personally, and why it is OK to spend
good money for good work that you will have for the rest of your
life, than to help reinforce the idea that $100 wedding bands are
the way to go.

Greetings form ArtMetal Land,

Chris
Chris Ploof Studio
www.chrisploof.com


#8

See, now, call me old-fashioned, or superstitious, or whatever, but I
would never choose a material like this to symbolize a marriage.

Yes, although I replied about exchange programs for sizing, I
discourage people from getting stainless steel, titanium and
especially tungsten carbide rings. I don’t reject it, I discourage
them. They are largely unsizable over the years, they have NO
intrinsic value… I buy stainless steel tubing for rings at
$12/foot…

http://www.donivanandmaggiora.com


#9

Hi Teri;

Tungsten is a sintered metal, extremely hard and brittle. It’s an
interesting jewelry metal, but as others here have noted, using it
for a ring brings up the issue of how unlikely it is that one would
be able to have it cut off in an emergency. There’s no chance you can
size it down as you would a gold ring. You could cut out a piece with
a diamond wheel, but you wouldn’t be able to close the gap without
breaking the ring, and although most gold and silver solders will
stick to it, the seam would be visible and have much different color
and wear characteristics.

That said, if this person really intends to wear it, why not make a
thin sleeve to slide inside the ring and reduce the diameter? It
could possibly be burnished in place by flaring the ends to lock it
in, or, you could solder it with silver solder using a paste flux
like Handy or Dandix. For those of you who may have never seen
tungsten soldered, take a look at a circular saw blade or even some
carbide burs jewelers use. The carbide teeth are brazed in place to
the steel body of the blade or the cutting part is soldered onto the
steel bur shank. I’d choose the burnishing method, creating a
physical lock, since it’s possible the tungsten will etch slightly on
the surface during soldering, and polishing would be arduous,
requiring diamond abraisives.

David L. Huffman


#10

When I was in engineering Tungsten carbide was used as a replaceable
tool tip for cutting steel on C.N.C.machines. It is a sintered metal
and not very valuable.

Sam Trump


#11

Hi John.

See, now, call me old-fashioned, or superstitious, or whatever, but
I would never choose a material like this to symbolize a marriage.
Yes, although I replied about exchange programs for sizing, I
discourage people from getting stainless steel, titanium and
especially tungsten carbide rings. I don't reject it, I discourage
them. They are largely unsizable over the years, they have NO
intrinsic value...... I buy stainless steel tubing for rings at
$12/foot...... " 

While I mostly agree, it’s also how you use the materials. Good
designs with inherent beauty that involve the use of some titanium
and tungsten, stainless steel and even silver (yeah, I said it, even
silver) can be beautiful rings for the celebration of a marriage.
Plain, boring machine made rings of the same styles as everyone else
has, well, I could not agree more with you - I hate seeing the
proliferation of cheap, disposable wedding jewelry. But special
designs involving stainless steel and other metals - well, perhaps
these may be worth a bit of encouragement, at least a mention? Many
of these rings can be easily sized by a skilled smith, and there are
many grades of materials, from $12 per foot to much higher, easy to
work to much more difficult, heat treating required to no heat
treating required. In addition, careful designs that combine
stainless with higher karat golds yields strength greater than that
of solid gold designs. If interested in the web addresses of a few
other smiths choosing to work in the wonderful world of
"alternative" metals, please contact me off line - I think you’ll
see that there is some incredible beauty in materials other than
platinum, 14k yellow and 14k rhodium plated white.

Thanks!
Chris
Chris Ploof Studio
www.chrisploof.com


#12

I have not read this entire thread, so if someone else has already
mentioned this, I apologize:

Regarding having to cut off a tungsten ring in an emergency: it is
my understanding that tungsten is extremely hard to cut, but
relatively easy to break. The manufacturer I buy tungsten from has
told me that should a customer not be able to remove a tungsten ring
from their finger, to place the finger (and ring) in a vice, add
pressure, and the ring will break (hopefully without also breaking
finger).

Doug


#13

Hi there. Your recommend on the alternate metals was intreaguing
enough that I’d like to see those sites too… what are the URLs?

My thanks, A


#14

well my question was to see if I was correct in assuming the couple
should return the ring to the ‘jeweler’ and search for another to
replace it as the jeweler they are dealing with made no offers I
assume he/she cannot buy the correct size to replace it for them.

shrugs luckily not my problem as I wouldn’t deal in titanium i
like silver gold and platinum and even palladium I must be a metal
snob lol

Teri