Using stainless steel nuts for rings? how to tell?

stioc

Brass
Registered
Joined
Feb 22, 2017
Messages
578
So I was asked to make a titanium or a stainless steel ring. I've seen people use stainless steel nuts to turn them into rings. Looking at what I have in the garage I can't determine whether they're really stainless steel, what type and if so will they be suitable to make a ring out of? Any thoughts?

Here's a sample of what I've got laying around...

1565741309314.png
 

Barncat

H-M Supporter - Gold Member
H-M Supporter - Gold Member ($25)
Joined
May 14, 2018
Messages
138
Some stainless is non-magnetic. If a magnet doesn't stick, could be stainless. Two out of the three don't look like stainless to my eyes though.
 

stioc

Brass
Registered
Joined
Feb 22, 2017
Messages
578
Thanks...yeah I tried the magnet trick and they all stick.

I think the ones that are gold might not be SS but was curious if perhaps they had some plating on them.

I guess I'm also wondering what type of SS is suitable to wear? can it be any variety of SS like 304, 316, 416 etc?
 

Nogoingback

H-M Supporter - Gold Member
H-M Supporter - Gold Member ($25)
Joined
Oct 18, 2016
Messages
1,436
The gold ones are plated. No one would plate stainless nuts. Why not just make them from 303 bar stock?
 

Dave Smith

Active User
H-M Supporter - Gold Member ($25)
Joined
Mar 10, 2013
Messages
1,093
the better quality ss is not magnetic ---Dave
 

Flyinfool

H-M Supporter - Silver Member
H-M Supporter - Silver Member ($10)
Joined
Apr 29, 2019
Messages
319
Is this rings as in jewelry? If so stick with 300 series stainless. The 400 series will still corrode with skin oils.
The 300 series stainless is non magnetic.
All 3 of the nuts in your pic look like plated steel.
 

benmychree

John York
H-M Supporter - Gold Member ($25)
Joined
Jun 7, 2013
Messages
3,860
Back in the day, late 1950s, the preferred material was Monel, procured from the local (Mare Island Naval Shipyard); nuts were sawn, filed, drilled out, polished, etc. The product was a ring worn on a chain by one's girlfriend "going steady". As someone above suggested, 303 SS is the best choice for ease of machining/shaping.
Theft of Monel nuts was such a problem, I was told, that the Navy had carbon steel nuts installed until a ship was ready to commission, when they were replaced with Monel.
 

stioc

Brass
Registered
Joined
Feb 22, 2017
Messages
578
Thanks everyone. Yes, a ring as in jewelry. I will look to see where to source the 303 SS.

What about Titanium btw? is that about the same machining wise or much harder? My guess is the latter and SS is probably not as expensive either.
 

rock_breaker

H-M Supporter - Sustaining Member
H-M Platinum Supporter ($50)
Joined
Dec 31, 2010
Messages
690
Not sure of the history of a small piece of Monel, but the CPO in charge of the crew asked me to make him a ring to hold a "cat eye" found in the coral dredged up for road base on an airstrip in the Philippine Islands. Used a 4 jaw on a 9" South Bend. Haven't heard Monel mentioned in many years.
Have a good day
Ray
 

Nogoingback

H-M Supporter - Gold Member
H-M Supporter - Gold Member ($25)
Joined
Oct 18, 2016
Messages
1,436
A small quantity of 303 is not expensive. Check eBay, I've bought small pieces of material
there a number of times at reasonable prices. Make sure it's not 304, which is more difficult to machine.
 
Last edited:

john.k

Active Member
Registered
Joined
Nov 4, 2018
Messages
241
Some nuts Ive seen have the grade stamped into them.......the austenitic stainless steels are generally sold as suitable for marine use /salt water......the magnetic stainless steels are susceptable to rusting ,or at least rust staining.......
 

machPete99

Active Member
Registered
Joined
Dec 12, 2016
Messages
174
Stainless has a different look to it than the cheap zinc plated steel fasteners. Its not as bright looking, a bit greyish. After a while you can tell by looking.
The nut on the left *could* be SS.
 

fixit

Active User
H-M Supporter - Gold Member ($25)
Joined
Feb 8, 2014
Messages
299
McMASTER CARR sells stn stl nuts
 

mmcmdl

H-M Supporter - Gold Member
Staff member
H-M Supporter - Gold Member ($25)
Joined
Jan 31, 2016
Messages
2,184
Monel is great stuff . Throw it in the ocean for 10 years and pull it out , it looks like the day you threw it in . It is also a great conductor . 303 is cheap , easy to machine and not heat treatable as is any 300 series stainless . 400 series is HTable , as well as other exotics . 15-5 , 17-4 etc . Titanium is tougher than a $2 dollar steak , strong and light , can be machined slowly . Try and find a hunk of Berillium . Light , machines well , good looking . Don't breath the fumes as it is toxic and causes Berilliosis (sp) .

If it is magnetic , you can heat treat it .
 

Flyinfool

H-M Supporter - Silver Member
H-M Supporter - Silver Member ($10)
Joined
Apr 29, 2019
Messages
319
I would stay away from Beryllium, it is very toxic.
 

mmcmdl

H-M Supporter - Gold Member
Staff member
H-M Supporter - Gold Member ($25)
Joined
Jan 31, 2016
Messages
2,184
I would stay away from Beryllium, it is very toxic.
Only if you breathe it in a mist type state .
I machined the Automatic Boresight Equipment prototypes for the DOD back in the 90s . Had to wear respirator and full containment suits on the CNC equipment . You can wear it , just don't breathe it ! :grin: The one part I machined was approx. 5" in diameter by 3" thick . It was $5000 for the chunk . I had one come out of the chuck at 6000 rpm and shatter the safety glass in the Makino , ruining the material . A full study of why that happened was done and someone got dismissed for it . ( they moved my lathe and did not lag it down ) .

Check out ABE at AAI Inc .

 

stioc

Brass
Registered
Joined
Feb 22, 2017
Messages
578
Thanks everyone. I ordered a 6" long 1" diameter slug of SS 303 for $11. Shipping was about as much, I should've ordered more!
 

mmcmdl

H-M Supporter - Gold Member
Staff member
H-M Supporter - Gold Member ($25)
Joined
Jan 31, 2016
Messages
2,184
You should've check here ! :grin: My scrap pile is endless .
 

rwm

Active User
H-M Platinum Supporter ($50)
Joined
Mar 25, 2013
Messages
1,806
You should've check here ! :grin: My scrap pile is endless .
Since you mention this I need some 4" 6061 round bar? PM me if this is possible!
THanks
Robert
 

stioc

Brass
Registered
Joined
Feb 22, 2017
Messages
578
Oh yeah...I made my wedding ring out of titanium. It is not too difficult to machine. I really like how light it is. I can hardly notice when I take it off in bar and put in in my pocket ; )
Robert
That's a good point to consider. In my case though I decided to take care of the problem the legal way about 10yrs ago. It wasn't cheap but worth every penny I lost :D
 

stioc

Brass
Registered
Joined
Feb 22, 2017
Messages
578
So as I get ready to do this, the next question is the design. It's for a female so a flat band isn't going to be the most suitable. I'm thinking either a very thin 3mm wide ring with a convex shape (using a ball turner). I see there's something called 'comfort fit' design and looks like the inside of the ring is also made convex. Any thoughts on how to do this?

1565881640199.png

Another design I like that seems very straight forward is Bvlgari they come in different widths but even a small one like this seems pretty simple and straight forward to make, I can probably even engrave it with the CNC mill using a diamond tipped drag engraving bit.

1565881811462.png
 

Flyinfool

H-M Supporter - Silver Member
H-M Supporter - Silver Member ($10)
Joined
Apr 29, 2019
Messages
319
If you have a CNC mill then the comfort fit profile is easy.
Nothing says round things MUST be done on a lathe.
 

rock_breaker

H-M Supporter - Sustaining Member
H-M Platinum Supporter ($50)
Joined
Dec 31, 2010
Messages
690
If I were to try this ( I am pushig my skill limits ) I would grind a boring bar tool end to half the shape of the inner "comfort fit"
Then cut the back inside to size. Grind another bit to shape the front side of the inner "comfort fit". Cuttting the ring to size outside would be next followed by shaping the outer areas in reverse order to the inner cuts. No doubt the ring would need sanding and polishing. There! you have a beginners approach.
Have a good day
Ray
 

stioc

Brass
Registered
Joined
Feb 22, 2017
Messages
578
If I were to try this ( I am pushig my skill limits ) I would grind a boring bar tool end to half the shape of the inner "comfort fit"
Then cut the back inside to size. Grind another bit to shape the front side of the inner "comfort fit". Cuttting the ring to size outside would be next followed by shaping the outer areas in reverse order to the inner cuts. No doubt the ring would need sanding and polishing. There! you have a beginners approach.
Have a good day
Ray
That is ingenious, a form tool, of course! Why didn't I think of that...may be because I'm not skilled at grinding but this shouldn't be too bad since the width of the ring was only going to be 3mm or so I can shape it entirely using the same form tool both inside and outside!

If you have a CNC mill then the comfort fit profile is easy.
Nothing says round things MUST be done on a lathe.
Good point but how would you do the convex shape on a mill?
 
Last edited:

stioc

Brass
Registered
Joined
Feb 22, 2017
Messages
578
I had about an hr this afternoon so I gave free-hand forming the tool a quick try on aluminum stock. Looks like it'll work for the slight convex on the outside.

Now for doing the same thing to the brazed boring bars for the inside shape I don't have the right grinding wheels for carbide. Just the usual alum oxide ones. I'll take a look at my dremel set to see if I have anything usable there.

Thanks for the suggestion, this is the way to go for smaller work rather than messing around with the ball turner etc.

1566001855489.png
 

rock_breaker

H-M Supporter - Sustaining Member
H-M Platinum Supporter ($50)
Joined
Dec 31, 2010
Messages
690
I hope the form tools will work in stainless. The cutting sequence might be wrong. Doing this on a mill puts me way out beyond my comfort zone but could it be done with a boring head and a small boring bar? I am not sure about this but grinding the entire "comfort shape" at the end of a low cost end mill then mount the nut in a rotary table and again take light cuts inside and out. Not knowing anything about CNC but from what I have gained here could it be possible to use a form tool and small incremental steps to make the circles. Hopefully Flyinfool and other experienced milling people will get involved here. Good luck on yur project Stioc!
Have a good day
Ray
 
Last edited:

Boswell

Hobby Machinist since 2010
H-M Platinum Supporter ($50)
Joined
Feb 27, 2014
Messages
877
If you wanted to use a CNC Mill, then you would just use a small ball end mill and mill the contours in 3D. No form tool needed.You will still need to work out workholding and have to flip it at some point in the operation but that is true for both CNC MIll or Manual Lathe. I like the idea of the formtool on the lathe.
 

RJSakowski

H-M Supporter - Gold Member
H-M Supporter - Gold Member ($25)
Joined
Feb 1, 2015
Messages
4,477
If I were making the "comfort style", I would tse the lathe to cut the ring from ther end of a piece of round stock. Bore the i.d. first and turn the maximum od.. I would use gravers to do the contour work first the i.d. and then the od. Clean up both surfaces with increaswingly finer grits of wet or dry followed by polishing with diamond paste. The final operation would be parting the ring and sanding and polishing th last edge. I have made a mandrel for polishing my ring using a pice of pvc pipe and some duct tape. The ring is slid over the duct tape and has a tight enough fit towithstand the sanding and polishing forces.
 
Top