Metal bands/rings for kitless?

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EricRN

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May 16, 2019
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Hi all, Where do folks buy metal bands or rings to add to kitless designs. I'm looking for something very simple--a tube of metal than I can cut into 1-2mm thick slices and then slip over a tenon where the section meets the body, and where the body finial attaches. I can be flexible on the type of metal, prioritizing stuff that's easiest to work with. I have zero metalworking skills so I'd need it to come formed in the tube at a diameter I can work with, and then I can sand and polish from there. Given how little I'd be using, I'm fine with a precious metal like sterling or argentium silver. I could probably make $20-30 worth go a long way. I've seen some folks recommend Rio Grande in searching the old posts, but it seems like the diameters they offer are pretty narrow--around 9 mm or less. I'd probably need something more in the range of 11-13 cm. I'm not really interested in learning any metal working skills at this point.
 
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Dalecamino

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The cheapest way is to make your own. Chuck up aluminum rod, turn to outside diameter, drill your desired inside diameter, and part it off at your desired thickness. That's MY method. If you want more expensive metal, Mike Redburn MIGHT make some silver rings for you if you have dimensions to give him. That's not a promise, just a possibility. There are places to buy Argentium Silver online. I think John Albert has a source for that stuff. Maybe he'll chime in here to offer other ideas for you. Good luck!
 

BRobbins629

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Another method for silver is to get some round jewelers ring stock wax used for lost wax casting. Easy to machine to whatever inside or outside diameter you want. There are many places that will cast into silver, brass, or even gold. I’ve used Cranston Casting before but there are many others. Usually a minimum order but relatively inexpensive. If you have the skills, you can finish them or ask that they do so. Also opens up the possibility for different designs. I’ve also done many clips this way too.
 

jalbert

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Solder them from wire. Cheapest and least wasteful. I have a full vacuum casting setup, and I still prefer to use the soldering method for simple bands.
 

duncsuss

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I've also bought a few silver rings from Richard Greenwald. He's a decent guy, offers great service, and makes some beautiful pens.
 

PFMan

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Jun 28, 2016
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Barcelona
hi,

and once you find the best ring... which is your best way to put it in a pen?

thanks!
 

EricRN

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May 16, 2019
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323
hi,

and once you find the best ring... which is your best way to put it in a pen?

thanks!
Not sure if it's the best way, but this is my plan: I'll need to cut a tenon to thread the body for the cap. I'm going to just cut the tenon a little longer than what I need for threads, and then slide the silver ring over it. That way, the ring will sit right where the cap meets the body. I'm going to do the same thing on the back end of the body. I plan to have a finial that screws off to expose the twist mechanism for the converter. (We'll see. Maybe this is too complicated for my first kitless, but it uses the same techniques as the section and cap so why not try?) So the back end of the body will have a tenon with threads to accept the threads on the finial. Same thing: I'll cut it a little long and slip the ring over it so that there's a band right where the finial meets the body. I plan to use just 3-4 tiny dots of epoxy on the tenon where the ring will go--just enough to hold it in place without risking that it squeezes out. (Although one thing that I really like about using solid metal parts is that you can sand them down without ruining them if you need to. I've messed up a silver pen kit before and was thankfully able to sand it down, polish it good, and you'd be never the wiser.)
 

jalbert

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May 17, 2015
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After giving it further thought (and missing the point about not being interested in attempting to make them yourself), I would recommend finding a small jeweler or metalsmithing who would be willing to cast you a bunch of bands. Granted, this may not be optimal for very narrow bands, but for thicker bands it will work just fine. They may have no problem soldering up some thinner bands as well. This is extremely simple to do, as it only requires coiling wire around a mandrel, then using a saw to cut rings off, then soldering them closed.
 
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