View Full Version : Jump Ring cutting

02-09-2009, 10:49 PM
I have to make a large amount of jump rings fairly constantly. I've been using the Koil Kutter from a chap called Dave Arens in the US but it's not big enough or strong enough to take the strain and is now causing more damage than I can afford.

I need to be able to cut from .6mm Silver to 2mm silver wire in lots of different diameters and I've found a tool in the US called the Jump Ringer Basic MkII made by a gentleman called Ray Grossman apparently which will do the job adequately. The problem is it's only distributed in the states as far as I can make out.

Does anybody know of a similar capacity (15 inch mandrels) piece of kit I can get here in the UK or of any distributor that has taken this product on over here.

I really need to sort this one out soon.

Thanks in advance for any good news.

Di Sandland
02-09-2009, 10:51 PM
You need to speak to George - she's around here somewhere...

02-09-2009, 11:02 PM
Well I hope George can help. I'm getting a little desperate.

02-09-2009, 11:29 PM
Actually, these 'contraptions' make a big difference! I do a lot of chain mail land own a KoilKutter which is basically a mini Jump Ringer, I believe George does also. Compared to hand cutting when churning out large quantities of rings it makes a big difference in both terms of time and precision. Definitely not a pointless gadget.

Yes the Jump Ringer is expensive, but so are a lot of tools, if somethings quite specialist and manufacturing quantities are low, production costs and there for purchase cost will be higher, plus, when you basically have the monopoly, you can generally demand a higher price.

Bernie, when I bought my Koil Kutter although a couple of years back now I looked at other products on the market, other than the jump ringer the only alternative I am aware of is the Jump Ring Maker from Contenti, http://www.contenti.com/products/saws/400-125.html but doesn't have the capacity you are after.

Unless as Ben suggests, you can make something yourself, (but not everybody has the capacity to do this, I certainly don't, in fact $400 is probably much less than the time, materials, tools and effort it would take for me to make one!) I am not sure an alternative exists :(

02-09-2009, 11:35 PM
Actually Ben, no, I couldn't make a device like that and in my current situation with a web site waiting to go live I need an efficient way of cutting a lot of multiple sized rings and I need it pretty fast.

A skilled hand is definitely not good enough when I'm cutting through a coil of 5 metres of 2mm silver wire as the cost of that metal is prohibitive if I have to scrap half of it and I need a perfect cut every time.

Now if you happen to know and engineer that can make something that will work from .6mm wire to 2mm wire with inside diameters from 2mm to 6mm that doesn't look like a Heath Robinson contraption then I would be most interested.

02-09-2009, 11:36 PM
Hiya Bernie,

You can import a jump ringer, but it's not cheap and I know a lot of users who are saying they much preferred the original system. I suspect that anyone with a little bit of engineering skill could knock up an alternative for you for a fraction of the cost as well. The other problem is that it is a 110v system, so you'd need to add a step up transformer too. The replacement blades are pricey too! The original system is still available here and there (Connie Fox might have it) and the high production version is a lot cheaper than the new one I think - as long as you've already got a foredom.

What problems are you having? I cut literally thousands of rings at a time, and as long as I keep my blades fresh and lubed, I have no problems with Dave's system. I don't cut 2mm wire that often with it - I still prefer to saw that by hand! I have also adapted the screw system as I found it time consuming.

Have you looked any of the diy setups on Mailleartisans or (particularly) the ring lord forum?

However, if your only problem is that you want to be able to use longer mandrels, I would suggest having a 'copy' made of your existing aluminium block in a longer format (I've considered doing this myself). Knitting needles (which are still my preferred mandrels most of the time) are about 13" usable length, so a block of 12" might just do it?

Hope that's some help :)

ps. do share some of your work with us sometime - I'd love to see it.

02-09-2009, 11:39 PM
Unless as Ben suggests, you can make something yourself, (but not everybody has the capacity to do this, I certainly don't, in fact $400 is probably much less than the time, materials, tools and effort it would take for me to make one!) I am not sure an alternative exists :(

That's my point entirely, if that contraption works efficiently then all well and good, that's more time for me to be making stuff rather than pulling my hair out over problems.

I had a look at the Pepe machine but it's just not up to the strength I need. I'll just have to keep looking I suppose but thanks. I appreciate the input.

02-09-2009, 11:43 PM
I have also adapted the screw system as I found it time consuming.

Do you mind sharing how? Faffing with the screws drives me crazy!

02-09-2009, 11:43 PM
Hiya George.
Here's a copy of the email I sent to Dave Arens.

I need some advice.
As you realise I've ordered quite a number of blades, a couple of guides etc. The reason was I thought perhaps I was being a little clumsy as out of every coil I was getting spit out end had blades shatter. I tried using cutting oil and blade lubricant, engine oil you name it but to no avail and I have from day one suffered uneven cuts per coil so the gap made from the cut varied from perfect to a 1.5mm gap where the ring especially on the smaller sizes, was basically useless and that variance was in a single coil.

I persevered and tried constant adjustments to the guide and occasionally managed a better cut but then I've just tried some 1.5mm silver wire and it's been a disaster. I have basically shot 4 metres of Silver.
At this point I began a minute assessment of the tool. I checked the motor and the shaft for play in all directions but it's well with bounds. I've checked to see the brushes were OK, fine.
Next I tried the dremel with and without the blade and noticed a very significant increase in noise and vibration when the blade is attached so then i moved the blade by hand and found movement. Having placed the metal Koil Kutter guide over the Dremel guide as in use I found a blade sideways movement equivalent to around 1mm.
Basically there is a distortion to the blade when fixed of 1mm out of alignment over 1 third of the rotation and that distortion is toward the Dremel tool. Is this enough to cause the problems I am experiencing?


That's basically the issue, I think it's a distorted arbor. I've had some good cuts from it but the last few have been disastrous.



02-09-2009, 11:50 PM
You now what binraker might be able to help (engineer) , i have seen a couple of these made from scratch but i am with Bernie sure wouldent want to try it myself

03-09-2009, 07:34 AM
Hey Bernie,
It sounds very like you have a physical problem with either your arbour, or with your chuck. My blades spin perfectly in alignment, and I cut a LOT of coils before I need to change a blade. I did once have a problem, which was entirely my own fault when I'd cleaned the system and put the arbour back on incorrectly.

I hope Dave will sort this out for you - I've always found him a very helpful guy. The only other option I can think of would be to switch to a different drill type - have you considered changing to a foredom?

03-09-2009, 08:48 AM
Thanks Ben. It really is knackering half the rings. I'm getting anything from marks which for jewellery is a no no anyway to outright mangled metal.
I'll have a word around to see if I can find the right person. Annoying really but I used to work in an engineering factory with the best toolmakers you could imagine. There's irony.

I think it must be time to get "creative" but the timing is really rotten.

03-09-2009, 08:53 AM
Thanks George and apologies for baling out last night. Nearly 1am and had to be up for 6:30.
I've just ordered a couple of new arbors from Dave and I'll replace the old Dremel as well but like Ben says, I'll look for an engineered solution and see what I can find and if I get a good solution I'll let everyone know.

Checked your site out btw, very cool. great design and gorgeous jewellery. :Y:

03-09-2009, 09:04 AM
Go on then Bernie what do you make with all these jump rings or are they going to be for sale gis a clue lol:)

03-09-2009, 09:08 AM
Oh, OK. Link below.


03-09-2009, 09:12 AM
I was just off costing a small lathe and slitting saw... A cheap lathe might not be all that its more expensive cousins are, but they're still better than nothing. If that were used as the basis for your engineered coil cutter, your total cost should still be less than 500 and you'd have a lathe for other things too - such as coil winding, making your own mandrels etc.

03-09-2009, 09:15 AM
Thanks Peter, that may well be the way to go. I'm definitely thinking along these lines now because the constant cost of spares and the waiting for stuff from the USA is somewhat annoying.

I had no idea when I started this it would balloon into engineering. :D

04-09-2009, 05:42 PM
I saw a rather good idea on you-tube a while back, a chap who make chain-mail (like I do as well btw) by hand used a cheap drill and mandrels to form the springs, these were then fed into tubes (of different sizes depending on the ring size) at a 45 degree angle downwards onto a dremel with a diamond cutting disk. The weight of the springs fed the cutting wheel and the rings flew out of the end of the tubes into a big box at a rate of knots.

I know this isn't going to help you in your limited time frame but it may be worth looking at for future use ;)

04-09-2009, 07:47 PM
Thanks Paddy, that actually sounds brilliant.
Things have developed a little and Dave Arens is such a nice man. He's sending a couple of arbors out to me so I should be back up and cutting soon but this idea just sounds really clever. I'll see if I can find the video.

04-09-2009, 08:40 PM
Bernie, I've seen some of these setups - and they really are geared for large scale big stuff making - stainless steel and aluminium - not for precious metals. Apart from anything else the kerf is huge by comparison to the slotting saw you're using now. The metal wastage would also be pretty tear-jerking!

Dave is a nice guy isn't he :)

04-09-2009, 08:44 PM
Thanks George, I discovered that with the video sadly.

Dave really is a nice guy, I get helpful tips from him, he sends jokes with the goods. I just can't fault the man.

04-09-2009, 08:56 PM
Dave really is a nice guy, I get helpful tips from him, he sends jokes with the goods. I just can't fault the man.

I don't think I have ever heard anyone say anything except wonderful stuff about him!

13-09-2009, 02:10 PM
The metal wastage would also be pretty tear-jerking!

Most of the wastage from a dremel style cutter can be collected and saved for melting down so nothing really gets wasted ;)

03-10-2009, 03:19 PM
OK, late reply I know but I have been very busy on the photography side and not had time to get back to jewellery. The point is, I received the two new arbours from Dave Arens and the results are amazing.
I have never ever had such good results from this piece of kit and I'm really happy. Perfect smooth cuts every time with a minimum of wast even on thinner wire.
In fact, with the site going live in the next week or so I'm incredibly relieved so I'd like to say thanks to all for being so helpful and informative. :D

11-10-2009, 01:49 PM
another late reply here but you can put me in the "dave arens is a very nice chap" gang =D been using a koil kutter for a few months and they are superb. need some new blades though, anywhere to get them in the UK? i guess it must be a pretty standard part.

11-10-2009, 02:50 PM
No nowhere to buy them in UK :( A few sources in the US though and I had been thinking at looking at the mimimum orders. I know George was after some more blades a while back too, so maybe worth us looking into a bulk buy together maybe so we can split custome charges etc? I'd be happy to organise it if anyone's interested.

11-10-2009, 03:17 PM
i'm most definitely up for that =D

11-10-2009, 03:29 PM
OK, once I have moved and got myself sorted I will look in to it and be in touch!

11-10-2009, 03:34 PM
OK, once I have moved and got myself sorted I will look in to it and be in touch!

21-10-2009, 09:07 PM
Definitely count me in on that as well.

Cathy at the Beach
31-03-2010, 07:12 PM
Just had to add that I have Dave's KoilKutter too and love it. I"ve been using it for just over a year. My jump rings are primarily 16 g sterling wire with a 5 mm diameter. It works perfectly. I probably don't cut as many as most full time jewellerys but - maybe 200 a month- but I"m still on my first blade!!!! (its near the end though)

Love that gizmo. Sure beats sawing them. I also used to use the dremel with a diamond blade but I wasn't happy with the results.