One of the downsides working with stainless and titanium, sheet size. A full sheet of stainless is normally 10′ x 4′ at what ever thickness you want, yes, thats feet. My band saw only has capacity to cut 12″ max. So what does one do? Break out the Plasma Cutter and whittle it down to size.
Here is the Miller Plasma Cutter that I was able to acquire many years ago on trade…Ironically enough I traded it for a full Vic9 vacuum casting setup. Any hoo, one must take great caution using a plasma cutter. It instantaneously melts the steel/titanium with an electric arc and blows the molten metal out of the way using compressed air. Hence you have the potential to get seriously burned. I will admit, I am horrible at plasma cutting, I know enough to be dangerous and get done what I need to do, but doesnt preclude me from using appropriate safety gear, that being a full welding mask, welding gloves, and protective clothing. Another thing to mention, this process creates a LOT of smoke/fumes, so if you can, do this outside.
The material here is 0.160″ thick 316L stainless steel, a slow and steady hand allows for a decent cut. The piece cut is 7.5″ wide by X” long and is the basis for a lot of my bracelets that I do.
Up next, 3/8″ thick, 6AL4V (Grade 5) Titanium Plate. The plate was origionally 24″ x 36″ and I needed to cut it down to a 12″ section to be further cut on the band saw.
Viola’ the plate is cut down…an even slower hand is needed to cut at this thickness…basically the thicker the material is the slower you need to pass along the material.
This is only the first step in the jewelry making process for me…as stated with the bracelet material, taking that 7.5″ x X” long sheet, the next step is to rough cut the sheet to bracelet width on the band saw. Then Ill take that rough size and then take it to its final width dimension on the CNC. Only at that point its ready for design cutting, then bending and finish work….as you can see, there are a few steps to prep material before one can even begin to think about design. Hope you enjoy this.
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