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ChrisTopZ

The Ringanator and its Like

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When it comes to purchasing saw-cut jump rings, the ring lord without a doubt delivers the highest quality product available on the net. Yet the cost & wait involved with placing an order are not the best way to be going about running an efficient business. Hoarding vast quantities of pre-coiled and cut jump rings in every material and every size is an incredibly expensive and highly unlikely venture, while at the same time ordering what you need for any given product quantifies waiting at least a week or two for your goods to be delivered. In which case, I've been doing some research on the most time & cost-efficient ways for one to go from a stockpile of wire of any sort, to as many high quality rings in as many sizes you can imagine; and these are the results I have found:

The Jumpringer

The Koil Kutter

Pepe's Jumpringer

and last but not least, the Ringinator

I am interested in achieving flush-cut quality on all of my rings, which renders three of these four obsolete. The Jumpringer, KK, and Pepe's all rely upon a dremel, flex shaft driven motor, or perhaps a drill affixed with their specific arbors to be guided along their channel at a fixed speed to cut the "softer" metals. They are unable to cut steel, titanium, or niobium. They are all incredibly efficient systems in their own right, yet they don't do it all.

The Ringinator, however, can do everything. You can achieve anywhere from 500 to over 18,000rpm via drive & driven pulley sizing, not to mention saw blade sizes; ultimately meaning that you can cut just about any type of metal you can coil up and feed it. The only downfall to the Ringinator, to my eyes--is the price tag affixed to something that looks like it was built in some dude's garage.

Now, this brings me to my point. For $550 dollars, is it feasible for me to start a project to make my own version of the Ringinator? Essentially it's a motor, with a pulley attached (exchangable of course), with a drive belt, attached to the driven pulley, which spins the shaft which spins the cutting blade--which must be aligned perfectly in a CNC'd aluminum tray and enclosure for the coils to slide through. With access to a CNCing shop, and help from folks that are knowledgable about such assemblies, I am assuming that I can assemble my own version for at least half of what the Ringinator is selling for. Personally, I would just hate to see myself drop half a grand on something, knowing that there is a possibility it can be built from scratch. Of course upon purchasing it, you are also buying the assurrance of an assembled machine that works beautifully for its intended purpose, I just can't simply agree on the price tag.

Any thoughts or suggestions on this before I begin trying to rig this thing up?

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The ringanator price drops down if you find your own motor and build the base.

Building one realy depends on how handy you are in the shop and what tools you have access to.

I would start with a bit of research

the stargazzer jig

http://www.mailleartisans.org/articles/articledisplay.cgi?key=6667

the harmony cutting jig

http://www.lotos.ca/maille/inst.pdf

http://www.lotos.ca/maille/mblock.jpg

http://www.lotos.ca/maille/vblock.jpg

Someo other ring cutting projects

http://www.mailleartisans.org/board/viewtopic.php?t=14938

http://www.mailleartisans.org/board/viewtopic.php?t=14359

http://www.mailleartisans.org/board/viewtopic.php?t=14520

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Of course you can build it for less ... if you couldn't they it wouldn't make much sense for them to sell it at that price now would it?

The question is, are you technically inclined enough and have access to the resources you need to produce your cutting rig ... or is your time and frustration worth more than the cost of just buying it from someone that makes them?

- Dunedon

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Most excellent links losthelm, thank you very much. One can see the wide scope of possibilities from the cheapest, to the most high-end setups... with a little imagination, anything is possible!

Personally, the concept of a guiding tray affixed to the blade & arbor set-up where you push your coils through to be cut is the most optimal way to go about doing this, like the Ringinator and other setups I have seen.

Project X's coolant & lubrication system seems pretty comprehensive, and their coil guidance system looks like it has the potential for just about zero wobble between blade & coil.

With more research and a few more questions answered, I plan to start my project, and with any luck it's not a complete disaster. And despite any frustration or time wasted on this project, the satisfaction of knowing I built a cutting rig for less cost than what most others are selling for will be well worth it! ^_^

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I made my own version of the ringinator for 50 bucks.

I used, a slab 5x10" of aluminum for the base, and a router to make the grooves, plastic with a routered groove for the top guide. Pulleys. Wood for the stand, and a couple of $2 bearings.

And I bought a $20 furnace motor from the Bargain Finder here in town.

Edited by jazz298

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One thing to keep in mind when building your own is to carefully consider the guide. I know Martin put serious thought into the guide setup he has for the ringanator to allow it to handle many sizes and also, maybe more importantly, to prevent clogging and backups. I've heard horror stories of clogs and backups that have thrown rings around the room and create a pretty big safety hazard. I also know Martin went through several prototypes before settling on the current ringanator design.

I would say if you want to build it just because go for it, otherwise you sound pretty handy, it might be a vary realistic option for you to buy the "smaller, cheaper" package and get your own motor and case setup. Either way I recommend searching the forums for old posts from Martin about his process and ringanator so you don't have to reinvent so much.

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Sounds more like a sales pitch than a question :P (And btw its ringInator with an I, not rinAnator ;) )

When I started making these the idea was to offer a nice, relatively cheap, and efficient way for maillers to cut their own rings. Before this we were limited to Harmony's guides, or other homebrew setups. Each with their own +/- 's

The Jumpringer, KK, Pepe's. These are all made for making small quantities of jump rings in soft metals for the hobbyist. I made the Ringinator for maillers. In one test it cut over 100,000 (~27lbs) 16g 1/4 aluminum rings in about an hour. I dont even want to think how long that would take with the other tools.

The only downfall to the Ringinator [sr.], to my eyes--is the price tag affixed to something that looks like it was built in some dude's garage.

I never planned to sell powered versions, but so many people wanted one that I started selling them. And yes, I do build them in my garage, so? That $350 box takes 5-6 hours to make, and uses over $250 in parts. For what it is, the price is quite reasonable.

By far the majority of people buy the Jr and attach a power source to it. Lots of people get a Jr and build some pretty nice sawing setups around it. Several examples here: http://www.ringinator.com/?page_id=43

I'm also working on a drill powered version for those that dont want to mess with homebrew setups and electricity. (some old info here: http://www.mailleartisans.org/board/viewtopic.php?t=14785 ) Its currently in production at the machinists, and I'm supposed to get them pretty soon. So they should be on sale in the near future. And from the dozen pounds of titanium I've cut on the prototype, unlike other drill powered setups out there, it will work with all metals.

As for the $50 copy, yes, you could make one if you really wanted to. That argument has come up before. The design is super simple, thats the point behind it. Super simple, but super exact. The arbor that I use costs around $40 to have precision machined by the same folks that machine parts for the Space Shuttle. Dunedon put it nicely. If you have the tools and the knowhow to make a copy, you also know what your time is worth; and how much simpler it is to just get something ready that is guaranteed to work.

If you have any specific questions or comments please email/call me instead: http://www.ringinator.com/?page_id=10

--Martin--

Edited by Martin

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Not everyone is a newbie at creating things. I made mine complete in about 3 days, I made my own arbor and all with a metal lathe. I have access to tools and a knowledgable group of family and friends. Ive been using mine since august and have cut aluminum, bronze, copper, and silver on that SAME original blade, with no back ups or clogs. I have only used one other blade, a .010 for stainless steel. With my guide I have cut 16g 7/16. down to 24g 2mm rings. I have cut one large guide and one very shallow guide, I simply move the blade to the that suits the size of ring I'm making, in about 2 minutes.

Time is money yes, I agree, but I had mine made in less time then it would have taken to ship it to me. I will not recreate my jig and sell it, it is for my own personal use, I am just making a point that not everyone is incapable of making their own jigs, and everyones automatic first response seems to be don't bother with it, because it won't be as good.

That being said, I love your idea, it is excellent and very very efficient and practical and recommend it to everyone. You should be proud that you have helped a lot people's experience with making rings much easier, even if they did recreate your design for them self. I may have made my own jig but I always refer people back to YOUR set up. :)

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Question for you Martin. I'm just getting around to being able to afford to buy one of the Jrs. (was planning it for next month or June) and so the idea of a drill powered one peaks my interest. What are the specs on that (ie, how will it be different from the jr) and about what price range are we looking at? And is that like hand drill powered or drill press powered? I was thinking of going with the latter but of course I do have the former. And oops, that was more than one question. Haha. Thanks!

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Time is money yes, I agree, but I had mine made in less time then it would have taken to ship it to me. I will not recreate my jig and sell it, it is for my own personal use, I am just making a point that not everyone is incapable of making their own jigs, and everyones automatic first response seems to be don't bother with it, because it won't be as good.

That being said, I love your idea, it is excellent and very very efficient and practical and recommend it to everyone. You should be proud that you have helped a lot people's experience with making rings much easier, even if they did recreate your design for them self. I may have made my own jig but I always refer people back to YOUR set up. :)

Aye, I just ordered a ringinator for myself, I have/had one that I built however, I used to work wood so trying to stablize the blade well enough for the 20ga 1/8" inch rings was impossible, the blade fluttered just a touch under pressure which moved the teeth out of true. This wasnt a big problem for my version working 18 ga 1/4-3/8.. and fine for 18 ga 3/16. maybe a .25mm out of line .. but for small rings it killed me. having very little machining experiance, I really liked the fact that the ringinator was see thru. It's almost exactly what I had - his is metal but otherwise- so I *know* his will work and be better than my old one. Really looking forward to the blade depth setting as well..

Oh, something someone else might be able to use.

My drill press, yup it's cheap but the motors good and it works, hooked to a ringinator I will be in good shape.

Looking forward to my Ringinators arrival!

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Aye, I just ordered a ringinator for myself, I have/had one that I built however, I used to work wood so trying to stablize the blade well enough for the 20ga 1/8" inch rings was impossible, the blade fluttered just a touch under pressure which moved the teeth out of true. This wasnt a big problem for my version working 18 ga 1/4-3/8.. and fine for 18 ga 3/16. maybe a .25mm out of line .. but for small rings it killed me. having very little machining experiance, I really liked the fact that the ringinator was see thru. It's almost exactly what I had - his is metal but otherwise- so I *know* his will work and be better than my old one. Really looking forward to the blade depth setting as well..

Oh, something someone else might be able to use.

My drill press, yup it's cheap but the motors good and it works, hooked to a ringinator I will be in good shape.

Looking forward to my Ringinators arrival!

That's the drill press I was looking at buying. :) Glad to hear that it works.

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If you decide on a drill press mounted system I would advise against budget tools like harbour freight

Usualy you need to change the pullys for proper cutting of hard alloys like steel and stainless.

Its a lot easier to change the pullystack on a better quality machine.

I regularly see them on craigslist and local Ebay auctions.

harbour freight has a bunch of things that work well for the money.

I paticularly like the post dollys and teardrop mallets.

But my experiance tells me to avoid the powertools if I want something to last.

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I love my ringinator, but I got it before he started selling his full-enclosed version. I had to make some slight modifications. For example, I hated having to clamp the Ringinator to a table in different positions for different metals (ie. different pulleys), so I drilled a pair of holes in the aluminum baseplate and cut a corresponding slot in the steel sheet I had bolted my motor to. Infinitely adjustable, instantly. I also had to figure out some way to supply oil to the blade, as I actually managed to melt a portion of the acrylic guide while cutting aluminum, even after coating the coil with lube AND oiling the blade. I chopped up an old soap dish I had lying about an bolted it to the bottom the arbor block. It leaks something awful, and all the metal shavings will gunk it up after six or so pounds of metal, but it's usable until I can figure out something better.

In all, Martin's rig is VERY reasonably priced, does all it advertises (which is quite a lot) and I don't have to worry about the little one getting into my workspace and hurting himself on the Stargazzer rig I had been using (see above posts). I'd definitely reccomend the Ringinator

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Call me out if this deserves it's own post, but are people willing to share resources. I don't cut rings often, but I for one would happily toss a few bucks to someone who had the tools to let me use em for an hour (under supervision of course). I am only a hobbyist mailler for the moment (though since I graduated it's becoming more of a job until I find a job in my field) and can't afford a large scale system.

Thoughts?

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Call me out if this deserves it's own post, but are people willing to share resources. I don't cut rings often, but I for one would happily toss a few bucks to someone who had the tools to let me use em for an hour (under supervision of course). I am only a hobbyist mailler for the moment (though since I graduated it's becoming more of a job until I find a job in my field) and can't afford a large scale system.

Thoughts?

I'd happily let you use my system for a few bucks or lunch/dinner. But you have to travel to me. Chicagoland sound good to you?

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I'd happily let you use my system for a few bucks or lunch/dinner. But you have to travel to me. Chicagoland sound good to you?

I'm a bit far living in Maryland, I just wanted to get the conversation started between owners of systems and interested parties. Who knows, maybe someone near you is reading this?

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I'm a bit far living in Maryland, I just wanted to get the conversation started between owners of systems and interested parties. Who knows, maybe someone near you is reading this?

There have been similar conversations in other threads about a shared space that people pay a monthly "club fee" to use. The problem is the number of people that actually would use the tools doesn't make it quite cost effective to have that sort of space.

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There have been similar conversations in other threads about a shared space that people pay a monthly "club fee" to use. The problem is the number of people that actually would use the tools doesn't make it quite cost effective to have that sort of space.

I understand that perspective, though if we managed to pull a list of people who own systems, people in need in the area can seek them out.

Edited by KnittingMetal

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Well, anyone in the Minneapolis/St.Paul area is welcome to send me an email. I'm always open to things like that. And I do have most of the tools needed for mail work :P

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