SF area jeweler working with Tungsten?

A friend of mine, located in the San Francisco area, is looking for
a jeweler who could make custom rings out of tungsten. If anyone
could recommend a jeweler, I’d appreciate it.

Also, since I’m unfamiliar with tungsten, is there any reason it
would not be suitable for wedding bands? Does it cast well?

Thanks,
Leah
www.michondesign.com
@Leah2

A friend of mine, located in the San Francisco area, is looking
for a jeweler who could make custom rings out of tungsten 

FYI: http://www.tungsten-rings.net

Hi Leah,

Tungsten is not normally just cast like other metals. I believe it
has the highest melting point of any metal, in the range of 6192
degrees F.

Tungsten essentially comes in two forms, Tungsten Carbide and
Tungsten Alloy. The Carbide is so hard that it simply cannot be
machined. It starts as powder and gets compressed into a donut shape,
is fused together under high heat and pressure, and is ground to
final shape with diamond wheels. Because of this, designs need to be
simple turned designs or designs with facets that a round grinding
wheel can do. Because of the expensive setup and patent protection to
this process, you may not be so likely to find someone willing to do
a custom ring.

The other form, tungsten alloy, is an alloy of 90% tungsten and a
few other elements such as iron, nickel, and molybdenum. It comes in
bar form, and is (barely) machineable. It is extremely tough to
machine and finish, so again the designs possible are limited. A
couple of people that machine it with CNC equipment are myself and
Titanium Era. If you don’t see a similar design on the websites,
there may be a manufacturing issue. The alloy is not as hard as
carbide, and the nickel and iron components are more reactive, so is
not suitable for harsh chemical environments or by people allergic to
nickel.

Both types of tungsten start as powder, so are relatively brittle.
In an emergency, either type can be cracked off with a vise, vise
grips, or similar means. Resizing is limited to grinding out a little
material from the inside diameter. They cannot be stretched.

Bruce

Bruce Boone
Boone Titanium Rings
www.boonerings.com (http://www.boonerings.com/)
770-645-6488

Tungsten does not cast at all. Its melting point is over 6000 F !
What is sold as a tungsten ring is typically tungsten carbide a
ceramic that is formed by sintering tungsten carbide powder and
cobalt powder in a mold at high temperature then grinding with
diamond abrasives to final form as it is too hard to cut any other
way. These processes are industrial and not something done by a
typical goldsmith or jeweler. There are a few companies that makes
them and quite a few jewelers sell them. There is some concern that
if there is ever a need to remove them by emergency personnel there
is not a way to cut them off.

James Binnion
@James_Binnion
James Binnion Metal Arts


360-756-6550

These processes are industrial and not something done by a typical
goldsmith or jeweler.

Thanks - I’ll pass on that to my friend. In his words,
he has ‘a hunk of tungsten’ and was hoping someone could make it into
wedding bands.

Leah