Epic Dremel fail!

Chewed up and spit out.

Chewed up and spit out.

This morning, I said I was going to try using my Dremel tool to make jump rings. So I wound a coil onto the mandrel and dug said Dremel out of the drawer to set up for cutting. “Epic fail” is the perfect description for this little experiment.

According to the Dremel manual, high speed is what one wants for cutting metal, which equals out to about 35,000 rpm. At that speed, the Dremel creates its own tiny windstorm. In about one minute, I cut roughly 20 rings, which is exactly opposite to yesterday’s jewelry saw, where I cut about one jump ring every five minutes. So the Dremel is definitely faster, no doubt about it. However, the windstorm meant that as the rings were cut off, they were blown away across the desk, so at first I didn’t see how badly they were being chewed up by the cutting disk. When I did finally find a few: …wow. I think “mangled” is a good word here. I hope you can click on the picture to enlarge it so you can see. These rings were completely useless. So, I’ve tried it and learned that the jewelry saw is the best bet. Unfortunately. That means that I almost have to make my own rings if I want to use sterling silver. At Ackley‘s, two feet of 16 gauge sterling silver wire costs about $10 and is probably about an ounce, maybe a little less. An ounce of 16 gauge sterling silver jump rings through a supplier equals about 71 rings per ounce, and costs close to $60 per ounce. Yup, I’ll be cutting my own!

Oh, well, live and learn. It could have been a much more expensive lesson!!!


4 comments on “Epic Dremel fail!

  1. surely there must be an american equivalent to cooksons or argex where you can buy at trade price for silver? (uk supplierssell small quantities of bullion)

    try keeping a wooden dowel inside your wound wire when cutting and cut against it as you would a bench peg (dowel is cheap, who cares if you destroy it), and cut at a 45 degree angle. move the coil up with every few rings, also, wind masking tape around the coil – this will not only stop the cut rings from skittering off all over the place but keeps the coil solid and easier to cut into than individual wire rings – you can even mark a line on the tape with a pencil to keep you straight. I’m assuming you’re using a standard piercing saw?


    • You know, I hadn’t even thought to Google “wholesale”…I was searching for sterling silver jump rings! I’ve been using a jewelry saw on my wire; I don’t know if that’s the same as a piercing saw. Wait, just looked it up, and yes, it’s a piercing saw. What I’m worried about is the wooden dowels getting compressed by the wire, which is what I’ve been taught will happen, thus the steel mandrels! But maybe for the purposes of cutting, I can give your idea a try. It sure couldn’t hurt!


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