Thursday, 16 May 2013

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

The finished wedding ring

well, here is the finished ring after acid etching.

i set out to make a ring that is unique to me, something rare and precious. not so much because of the element that it is made from but through the process by which it is made.

making pattern welded titanium is a relatively new process and one that is full of difficulties. a layer of oxides form on the surface and that makes it hard to weld, the same oxides also make etching difficult. the exact pattern is unpredictable and no two pieces are the same.

i am satisfied that i have achieved what i set out to do, this ring is singular, there really isn't another one quite like it. in fact having done quite a lot of research on the subject, it is likely to be the only Pattern Welded Titanium wedding ring in the world.

How to make you own wedding ring Part 3

Shape the outside of the ring using an angle grinder, abrasive paper and files.

Create the profile inside the ring using a Dremel with an abrasive drum, then polish with a buffing wheel.

As you can see, after polishing the Damascus pattern is no longer showing. in order to bring the pattern out the ring needs to be acid etched.

Acid Etching

Titanium is tricky stuff to etch and you need some really aggressive chemicals to do the job.

i would not recommend attempting to etch titanium. 

if you are in any doubt, have a read of the material safety data sheet for Hydrofluoric acid. this stuff is really nasty and according to the experts that i spoke to, it shouldn't be handled without a full protective suit and a respirator with a face shield.

So, the original plan was to have someone etch the ring for me but very few people will etch titanium given the potentially risks of working with such dangerous chemicals. after exhausting all of the options both here and in America and doing a lot of research, it turns out that it's possible to do it in your shed with a pair of rubber gloves and some chemicals contained in readily available products that you can buy on-line. still a little scary but the quantities of acid that you need are relatively low and the risks are manageable.
still wouldn't recommend it though.

Thursday, 2 May 2013

How to make your own wedding ring part 2

The first job is to drill the hole through the centre.

With a 4 jaw chuck, mount the block on a centre lathe and drill a hole with a centre drill.

Then use progressively larger drills to enlarge the hole.

and a boring bar to clean and open the hole to the finished diameter.

Then back to the milling machine to mill down to the finished width and chamfer the corners.

more to follow...