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!!!