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Solid Rhodium Watch Case


#1

Hello,

I would first like to introduce myself. My name is Thomas A Pancoast
and I just became a member of Ganoksin and I am very intrested in
learning how to fabricate jewelry; especially watches. Anyway, I and
a friend who is a machinist are in the process of planning to attempt
to construct a watch with a case made of solid Rhodium. I am aware
that is it is very expensive (about four times the price of Platinum)
but I wish to try to construct a case of it anyway. I have ordered a
one gram sample of it from an element supplier (paying a very hefty
"processing" fee for it) and discovered that it does not even file
very easily. Does anyone have any ideas as to how to work this
beautiful but very hard material?

Thanks in advance!
Thomas A Pancoast


#2
I am very intrested in learning how to fabricate jewelry;
especially watches. Anyway, I and a friend who is a machinist are
in the process of planning to attempt to construct a watch with a
case made of solid Rhodium 

I’m afraid this strikes me as being like saying, “I’m interested in
learning to become a doctor, and a friend and I would like to do an
eye transplant. Can somebody tell me how to go about it?”

It might make more sense to start by seeing if you can make a watch
case out of brass or silver. If that goes well, maybe try palladium
or gold… you get the idea. I’m not saying it can’t be done (I have
no idea) but if no one has done it yet, chances are it wasn’t
because nobody ever thought of it. I’m all for trying things people
say you can’t do, and its your money, but groundwork helps!

–Noel


#3

Rhodium now costs a minimum of Five Thousand dollars per troy ounce


#4

Naw, don’t use rhodium, use a diamond crystal, then you’ll be able to
see through it, too. Sorry, but I like the one about, “We want to be
doctors…” Aside from the cost, which is prohibitive, rhodium is
not especially malleable, and would be nothing but trouble. I
seriously doubt that anyone you will ever talk to has actually worked
with rhodium as a metal, mostly because it’s not

  1. economically feasable and

  2. Not a metal that’s useful for fabrication. It’s not just hard,
    it’s also brittle. Think silicon carbide, or a hard, dense cast iron.

I can appreciate your intrepid nature (my middle name), but what you
propose is more than you think, I think. Not only will you have a
$15,000 chunk of raw material of which you are going to cut away
$10,000 of, you will have to design a machining strategy, as there
are no cutting speed/feed or tool charts for the metal. You will be
in uncharted territory. Oh, and you won’t be able to repair any
mistakes, unless you have plasma and inert gas. Sure, there are
people in industry who use it, here and there, but try finding one,
and then get them to talk… BTW, it takes about 1 year to get
rhodium out of ore, and one source said annual production was 7-8
tons/year, another said 20 tons. They even get rhodium out of
nuclear waste, and put it away for 20 years until it cools off -
that’s how rare and precious it is. If you go ahead with it, well, I
think that’s pretty cool, if perhaps a little rash. Keep us all
informed, if you do, that’s what Orchid is for - new frontiers.