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Chainmail Jump Ring Maker


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#1 Tramaile

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Posted 02 November 2007 - 12:27 PM

Well, since I am a Mechanical Engineer I am going to set off to make and design a fully automated, cheap, effective, jump ring maker. This machine will coil any gage and I.D., any materials, with possibly the exception of Titanium, Silver and Gold because they are precious metals, and have to be treated with care. And will also cut your rings and collect in the bundles of rings you want you want, supposed.:D

Stay tuned and I will update soon.
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#2 Darkwind

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Posted 02 November 2007 - 12:48 PM

Well, since I am a Mechanical Engineer I am going to set off to make and design a fully automated, cheap, effective, jump ring maker. This machine will coil any gage and I.D., any materials, with possibly the exception of Titanium, Silver and Gold because they are precious metals, and have to be treated with care. And will also cut your rings and collect in the bundles of rings you want you want, supposed.:D

Stay tuned and I will update soon.


Make it affordable or sell a license to produce such a machine under your patent and I'd be very interested.

#3 dmgutenkauf

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Posted 02 November 2007 - 01:32 PM

That would be neat, although what I really want is a mechanical way to close (or open) a bunch of rings

#4 Cynake

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Posted 02 November 2007 - 01:47 PM

That would be neat, although what I really want is a mechanical way to close (or open) a bunch of rings


Well if we're off in Makebelieveland and talking about dream devices, I want that, and robotic arms that can be programmed.

Then, I will load a spool of wire onto a rack, feed the end in, come back to my computer, spec out ring counts and expansions in an app, click "print", and then listen merrily for a day or two to the brrrrrr-click-chunk-bvmm-bvmm-shunk, while a shirt gets made.

Then I will be happy. Not until then. :P

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Remember the pervasive rule of 2/3. Cheap, Fast, Good. Pick 2. If you think you can pick all 3, the process will pick 2 for you.

You can make it cheap and fast, but it won't be good.
You can make it good and cheap, but it won't be fast.
You can make it fast and good, but it won't be cheap.

Any one of the three will bite you in the ass. To meet fast and good, you'll have to try harder and harder, and then blow way over budget. You'll manage to get it good and cheap, but it'll be slow as cheese. You'll make it cheap, and fast, and think all is going well, but then you'll find out "Jesus, this is working like garbage."

However, I delight in the challenge and the tinkering, so, full steam ahead.

How "cheap" are we talking? Cheap compared to, say, $150,000. Or, cheap as in, under $1000?

#5 Freyr

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Posted 02 November 2007 - 01:50 PM

from what I gather the machines that make springs work wonderfully for this...
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#6 kodiaknamaste

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Posted 02 November 2007 - 03:01 PM

In the fishing tackle industry, and yes, there's a big commercial tackle industry, all their hardware, from basic stainless rings in a multitude of sizes, to swivels, to splitrings....just a whole lot of small hardware involving 20-16ga wire....those are some of the kind of machines they retool to make jumprings for maille....

You get one of those, and try and strip it down to what's necessary, and see how cheap you can produce it.

Anything cheap enough to sell to the masses, is'nt going to put up to any kind of abuse....like making bunches of 16ga stainless jumprings.
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#7 Raige Darkmire

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Posted 02 November 2007 - 05:19 PM

I think most of us have come across this line of thought at some point or another. Cutting 16 gauge spring steel by hand makes you wonder if there's an affordable machine available somewhere, like the maille industry's best-kept secret.

I would be very interested to know what you have done design-wise so far. How do you plan to feed and bend the wire? More importantly, how do you plan to cut it? What will you use as an arbor? How would one make adjustments to it? What would make this machine unsuitable for use on precious metals?

I heard something from a NASCAR driver that's perfect for this situation: Don't tell me what you're going to do; tell me what you did.
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#8 knuut

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Posted 02 November 2007 - 05:55 PM

http://cgi.ebay.com/...VQQcmdZViewItem

#9 Cynake

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Posted 02 November 2007 - 06:12 PM

Maybe this'll give you some ideas/a head start?

http://www.abiusa.net/Manloop.wmv <-- Vid 1
http://www.abiusa.net/AutoLoop.wmv <-- Vid 2

They're auto-looping machines.

The process is similar to Ferdinand Ziegler's designs, (what TRL, Whittling & Davis, & others use):

http://www.theringlo.../Toy_video1.avi <-- TRL Ring weaver Tor, vid 1

http://www.theringlo.../Toy_video2.avi <-- TRL Ring weaver Tor, vid 2

... which weave E4-1 welded mesh (when not enjoying their hobby of breaking down), directly from wire on a spool, at over 3 rings per second.


Both are not coiling machines, as you can see. They trim a piece of linear wire to a specific size each time. However, both are necessitated by function; they need to insert wire through existing loops.

I think TRL uses only slightly mutated run-of-the-mill spring-making machines for all of their loose ring orders (which are coilers).

That help at all?

#10 Darkwind

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Posted 02 November 2007 - 11:36 PM

from what I gather the machines that make springs work wonderfully for this...


:eek:

Well hell.

#11 Kestlovas

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Posted 06 November 2007 - 03:51 AM

Well, I have same brain itch for some two or three moths. I came up with and turned down dozens of ideas and would give you some tips, but, after reading all replies, have notging other to say than go good intentions! Will wait for result with impatience ;)
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#12 CGAZMailleMan

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Posted 01 March 2011 - 10:08 AM

Yes, I know. I am reviving a long dead thread.

Has anyone put any thought to this idea lately? I think I have a few, but would like to bounce the idea's around a bit. The primary idea I have would be more of an addition to the Ringinator, but would involve a bit more designing to get it right.

I am thinking of adding a troth extention to the feed side of the Ringinator. This will allow for support while feeding. Also, an upper troth with a slit down the middle for a ram. The ram is driven by a threaded rod. The ram only pushes on the part of the ring furthest from the blade (so the ram won't get cut as well). A motor with a speed control turns the threaded rod, pushing the coil into the blade (previously set at the correct RPM for the material).

With this, all that is needed is to lube the coil, set the speed control, and turn it on. I think this would work well for materials that take extra time to cut, such as steel. This will allow you to set the cutter, then move on to making another coil while it cuts. More production in the same amount of time.
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#13 affinityofmist

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Posted 01 March 2011 - 12:24 PM

Yes, I know. I am reviving a long dead thread.

Has anyone put any thought to this idea lately? I think I have a few, but would like to bounce the idea's around a bit. The primary idea I have would be more of an addition to the Ringinator, but would involve a bit more designing to get it right.

I am thinking of adding a troth extention to the feed side of the Ringinator. This will allow for support while feeding. Also, an upper troth with a slit down the middle for a ram. The ram is driven by a threaded rod. The ram only pushes on the part of the ring furthest from the blade (so the ram won't get cut as well). A motor with a speed control turns the threaded rod, pushing the coil into the blade (previously set at the correct RPM for the material).

With this, all that is needed is to lube the coil, set the speed control, and turn it on. I think this would work well for materials that take extra time to cut, such as steel. This will allow you to set the cutter, then move on to making another coil while it cuts. More production in the same amount of time.


IMO, this actually seems to be the best addition (to what we already have) that I have heard in a very very long time. However, there are a few kinks I foresee. How long do you plan to make coils? I don't really think I want a 3 foot or longer permanent troth either on my bench or sticking out into the room. If we are talking 12 inch coils then maybe, but I think that defeats the purpose of making the process faster. Secondly, you would have to use a fail safe for when a saw blade looses a few teeth and no longer cuts right. If not, you risk damaging the coil guide, motor etc etc when the devise jams. Perhaps use a force feedback gauge or simple friction block that would slip before a certain force on the blade is achieved. I'm all for automation and this seems to be the simplest and most useful suggestion I have heard so far. There are other hurdles I can see to the design, but other than what I listed none seem unmanageable. Maybe draw up a sketch or two so we can see what you are thinking?

Maybe a mod can split this discussion into its own tread?
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#14 HarlequinWeave

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Posted 01 March 2011 - 01:48 PM

I have to add my two pieces of copper here. Firstly automation is a wonderful thing no doubt, it has enabled many of the processes in this and many other fields. Secondly I will argue the contrary: Chainmaille takes time!! If people don't like making their own rings there are several options that are available to them that save them both time and expense. I make ALL the rings I use, why do I? Because people are buying my work that I make from straight wire down to the final piece. It's quality control on steroids, I know what to expect because it takes me time to cut the rings and then assemble the work. Sure I would love to save time, I hate that it takes me twice as long because I cut the rings too. Bottom line are you looking for quality or quantity because in chainmaille you seldom get both. Until someone can find a way to cut stainless coils that end up with a .005" cut gap I will continue sawing away with my baneful jeweler's saw.
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#15 The Postindustrialist

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Posted 01 March 2011 - 02:27 PM

Ok, I'm not a mechanical engineer, but my guess is that all you would want a relatively simple machine where instead of winding the mandrel, you would want something feeding the wire on to the mandrel. This would allow you to have a smaller mandrel (and easier to switch out) with toe coil directly coming off and feeding into the saw. the problem would come from the ability to clamp on to the mandrel to hold the coil during the spinning process tight enough to hold the wire with just enough tension to keep from spinning with the wire spinning device, while still allowing enough motion to "feed" through the saw. Perhaps an adjustable cut cylinder shape holding the rings through to the sawing process? As the wire is spun, the push should for the next ring to be wrapped should be enough to push the next ring being cut into the saw. And if you add a tumbling device below that to catch the rings... (it might have to be vibratory) Voila! a simple solution to your problem.... hopefully.

Revised after five minutes and a quick sketch:
Posted Image

Mind you this is a VERY quick sketch. You wouldn't want the wire feed to feed into the clamping device, and you wouldn't want the tube to roll the coils to do its business there either. and if you use a mandrell with a small slot, you should also be able to hold the wire while starting the device until there's enough for your clamping device to snag it. If both the clamping device and the rolling pin are coated in a tough teflon coating (something easily replaceable because friction will eventually wear them down, but hey, you're just replacing essentially a tube over a steel rod, or putting on new pads, it shouldn't be too expensive to figure out a cheap way of manufacturing them), you should be good. Clamps should be primarily for pressure against rotation, and able to apply extra pressure to the rings.....


Or you know what. Screw it. Even if you use a thin saw, if you are able to pre-notch the rings as they feed on to to coil JUUUUUST enough to allow something to snag them from a rotational aspect, say a 3 inch thin metal cleaving bar that is no thicker than the saw blade, maybe that can hold it im place... Though you might still get the "machine cut" look due to a notch.... Maybe... I dunno.

Edited by The Postindustrialist, 01 March 2011 - 02:57 PM.





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