The Ringinator™

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Presented By:
Martin Lemieux
# Votes: 0


Tell us briefly about your project. Is it a work of art or does it serve another function?

My project is a tool. It is made with a specific function and task in mind. It is best described as akin to a miniature table saw. The main function is cutting springs down to individual loops, for use as jump rings in jewelry manufacturing and for making chainmail.

When did you start working on this project and how long did it take you to complete?

I first had the idea around 10 years ago, in 2005. I wanted to make a chainmail shirt for a costume, but didn’t want to sit there cutting the rings by hand. So I started messing around with tools and jigs I built out of wood and plastic. Over time that evolved into a tool made out of metal parts. I posted pictures online, and had other hobbyists say "Make me one!". Then I made it into something anyone could use, and started offering it for sale on the internet. Since then I have helped hundreds of jewelers and customers, from all corners of the world.

What was your goal in building this project?

Take a process that had to be done manually, and mechanize it. Something that used to take hours to do, now takes minutes.

Does your project help to solve a problem? If so what problem?

This project solves many problems. Primarily it is for cutting/slitting thin metal tubes and springs, for making jump rings and jewelry components. But change out a couple pieces, and it could become a miniature table saw as well. Great for model making and other miniature work.

What makes your idea unique?

It uses a regular electric drill as the power source. It comes with a liquid lubrication system to absorb all the heat and dust generated by the blade. To increase accuracy, it also has the bearing and saw rigidly mounted to the table, instead of freely floating. A flexible coupling is used to absorb any vibrations from the drill.

In what capacity are you using bearings and what type of bearings?

Besides the bearings in the power drill running the tool; I am using three bearings in total. Due to size and cost constraints, I was not able to find ball bearings that would fit. I was however able to find oil & graphite impregnated sintered metal bearings. I use two small disks as thrust bearings, and one long tubular bearing to support the spinning saw blade arbor. Those are all mounted in a custom machined aluminum holder.

What is the most important thing you want people to know about your project?

It is an easy way to saw cut jump rings.

How will you use the $5,000 prize?

I would spend the money on a big pile of random metal extrusions and off-cuts to play with and get inspired; like a bucket of LEGO bricks, but metal. A bunch of carbide tool bits. And a new full size table saw. Both for making stuff, and hands on research in ways to make the mini-saw just as useful as its big brother.

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