Saturday, July 4, 2015

Making Titanium Ear Studs.

 

Recently I received an order for a pair of four claw ear studs made out of titanium.

I often get requests via the internet to make custom orders in titanium.

This ties in nicely with free a tutorial I wrote a couple of months back.

http://www.meevis.com/making-1-3mm-prongs-collets.htm

There are also more free and to buy tutorials here.

This is one where I make 3 mm collets but of course this can be scaled up to what ever collet is needed.

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I cut a piece off an off cut I had.

I didn’t have any round stock left,so I just knuckled down and made some.

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Put it in my lathe and turn it down.

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I turn it to the outer diameter and then I drill a 4 mm hole to the correct depth.

The depth would vary from stone type and size.

A 6.5 mm diamonds has an overall depth of about 4 mm.

So I make this one about 4.5 mm.

This sounds like a close tolerance but actually the stone will be set with the crown standing proud of the claw ends and so the working depth of the stone runs more like 3 mm.

Also the 4 mm drill is pointed so the cullet has extra space.

 

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These collets are for  6.7 mm stones ( about 1 ct. in diamond size) so once I reach the outer diameter I cut an about 17º angle inwards.

17º in the standard angle for most collets.

 

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Then I drill the inside more with a 5 mm drill.

Not all the way.

This is just to remove excess material for the cone burr.

 

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I ground the tip off a cone burr and then use it to ream the inside of the collet to 17º.

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Then I cut the cone with a 3/0 blade to act as a guide for the barrel frazer.

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I first start with a 1 mm barrel frazer and work myself up to a 3 mm one.

I go down to about 1 mm above the inside bottom of the collet.

 

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I leave the shaft thick and then finish the collet of using an oval needle file and thin sanding mandrels.

I also shape various rubber wheels to finish off the curves.

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Then I put it back in the lathe and make the pin thinner.

I use a fine barrette needle file while the lathe is spinning and very carefully ease the pin down to 0.9 mm.

A very patient and soft touch is needed.

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Until we arrive at the finished but unpolished collet.

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Now for the butterflies.

I roll out some titanium strip to about .0.3 mm and mark out and drill two holes.

Then I mark out two circles and two parallel lines and pierce it out using a 6/0 saw blade.

I remove the saw marks true it up and sand and polish everything now.

 

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Then I bend the arms in.

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When the arm is bent, it forms a natural concave profile which helps in guiding the pin through.

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Titanium is tricky to polish.

It works much like platinum, in that you can’t easily polish scratches out.

It has to be finished off to a high degree before polishing takes place.

luxor polish

I stole this picture off my tool tips page

http://www.meevis.com/jewelry-tool-tips.htm

I use this polish brand for everything.

I have thrown all my other polishes in a box and I don’t use them anymore.

 

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From the original block to finished, ready for setting.

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