New “Black Fire” opalescent crystals

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mmayo

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The ring is black ceramic and the crystals are new to me. I’ll make a set - 7,8,9,10,11 and 12.
My rings have sold well with over 15 sold so far. I charge $65 each for opalescent rings in either titanium, tungsten or ceramic.
 

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magpens

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Feb 2, 2011
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Coquitlam, BC, Canada
Mark, those rings are beautiful !!!!

Do you actually cast the crystals into a rod, which is then machined to fit the ring ?
Or maybe you glue the crystals onto the ring substrate ?
Or . . . . . . ??

I would appreciate knowing please . . . I am just curious and not likely to make rings myself.
 

mmayo

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Tehachapi, CA
Mark, those rings are beautiful !!!!

Do you actually cast the crystals into a rod, which is then machined to fit the ring ?
Or maybe you glue the crystals onto the ring substrate ?
Or . . . . . . ??

I would appreciate knowing please . . . I am just curious and not likely to make rings myself.
Inlay rings are purchased with a channel in the middle usually. The crystals are purchased by the gram. Medium crystals for me work best. I use a ring mandrel in a collect chuck on my lathe. A paper towel goes under the ring to capture errant crystals. I mount the ring and add medium CA to a small section of the channel. I carefully pour crystals on that spot. With a dissection needle I manipulate the crystals down into the space and pack them together. I spray with accelerator and repeat. When the entire channel is filled with crystals I add medium CA all over the rough crystals spraying after each section is covered. I let it cure for at least an hour and carefully turn the ring flush. Anything aggressive will be very bad. I sand and then carefully add thin 50 cps pen finish CA to just the inlay. I sand until it is flush. I buff it on a Beale just for rings. After inspection I often reapply 50 cps CA, sand and buff until the inlay has no pits and is smooth and glossy.
 

mmayo

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Jan 12, 2013
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Tehachapi, CA
After viewing the photos I sanded and polished the ring again. Color me happier. Five siblings size 7-12 are now completed and will be on display later today.
 

mmayo

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Mark,
Maybe a dumb question but how do you protect the metal of the ring when you are turning and sanding?
Not a dumb question or at least it was also my dumb question until I started. Short answer is you don’t protect at all. I add crystals until I get the channel covered as best as I can. The crystals will be proud of the metal or ceramic. I turn down until the sides of metal or ceramic are both exposed. They change color when you get there. I then sand with 400 grit or if tough 220 and then 400 grit. The CA/crystals and the metal or ceramic polishes the same and within a few minutes using Tripoli polish on the buffing wheel it looks very good. Carefully I continue until an excess glue is off the metal or ceramic. Be careful it gets very hot. I hold the ring from flying away inside a loop of doubled pipe cleaner. I can’t risk a deep gouge in the metal that can’t be fixed with CA. White diamond for a while finishes it up ready for sale. I wipe it to be sure everything is dust free with a blue shop towel. The metal or ceramic looks like it was never touched after buffing. If you are not happy with how smooth and glossy the opalescent crystal look, add CA (50 cps) again and refinish until happy. On one ring it took five rounds, but it looked perfect.

This will not work for Damascus metal but has worked flawlessly with titanium, tungsten, stainless steel and black ceramic. White ceramic should also work.
 

mmayo

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I must admit that I looked forward to turning pens today. It can be tedious and sometimes frustrating to make rings. I made one yesterday that required a dremel to gouge out a spot filled with CA but not crystals. Fixed but a pain. Take a patience pill before jumping in to rings.
 

PBorowick

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Sep 23, 2019
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Location
Portland, Oregon
@mmayo thank you for the response and information!
My daughters have been wanting me to get into making rings but I haven't had the time to do much research.
Your information is very helpful and those are very beautiful rings!
Thank you.
 

Madman1978

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Sep 14, 2020
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Location
Springfield
I love making rings. The Black Ceramic ring is with Fire and Ice Opal. Love it!~
 

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