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Old 02-15-2015, 04:39 PM   #1
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Soften edges of Tungsten Carbide


I bought a wedding ring made of tungsten carbide. I love the way it looks, it fits perfectly, and the price was great ($48). The only problem with it is that it has some edges where the hammered finish in the center meets the polished finish at the edges, as well as just being rough in the "across" direction in the center. (It's this ring if you're curious)

Seriously, I could use this thing as a file. It is going to destroy things I handle regularly, like steering wheels and glassware and the paint on my car while I"m working on it.

Is there any way I can take down these edges at home? I know Tungsten is really hard, but it looks like buying a ring that doesn't have this problem (which has this kind of finish) would cost me a couple hundred dollars. I'd rather try something first.

I haven't tried anything at all yet, as I assume even a normal file would just get filed down by a tungsten carbide "file" ring, right?
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Old 02-15-2015, 04:48 PM   #2
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You might try heating that area with a torch, just keep a ringsizer handy in case it gets too hot, and collapses inward, a ringsizer on a still warm ring should pull it back to the perfect fit that you have.

Some rock polishing grit, might de burr that area as well, if you can keep the other parts out of the compound.


ED
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Old 02-15-2015, 05:28 PM   #3
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Silicon carbide is extremely hard. It requires grinder wheels of same or greater hardness to sharpen a carbide tool bit. There aren't a lot of materials that qualify for that claim. Carbide and Diamond are pretty much it.

So, basically that means you will need a means to abrade the ring that has carbide or diamond as its cutting material.

One item that might work is a knife sharpener with diamond bits. It looks kind of like an oval (cross section) file (at least those I have seen)

You might try some silicon carbide sanding paper as well.

Silicon carbide has a melting point of nearly 5000 degrees F so heating it with most anyyhkng the average Joe has available is not likely to do anything.
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Old 02-15-2015, 06:15 PM   #4
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Take it to a jeweler and ask if it could be polished for a cost that would make you happy.
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Old 02-15-2015, 09:09 PM   #5
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do like i do = hardly ever wear it.
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Old 02-15-2015, 09:53 PM   #6
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A dremal with a wool bit and this should do ya.
http://www.amazon.com/Harper-Hopkins.../dp/B007QOISPW
In the carbide die tooling trades they use different grades of polish with wood sticks to achieve they finish needed . A mirror finish is needed so metal doesn't stick to the die when it is in use like in cold forming a part in a header. Think slamming a slug of steel
into a die or series of dies to form a bolt ect. They use different compounds of paste than the above link and you would have to get it at a industrial supply that caters to the carbide trades.
The above link should do you just fine in your application though.
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Old 02-23-2015, 09:39 AM   #7
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Having worked with tungsten carbide die inserts: You will have to find something that has a diamond grit on it to remove any rough edges. The product from Amazon appears to be only for polishing carbide, not de-burring it. You might find something from places such as Fastenal, WW Grainger, or McMaster-Carr. Look at these from Amazon: HTS 101I0 6-pc Diamond Flat File Set. These are much like the diamond files I used on die repair.

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Old 02-23-2015, 06:46 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thurman View Post
Having worked with tungsten carbide die inserts: You will have to find something that has a diamond grit on it to remove any rough edges. The product from Amazon appears to be only for polishing carbide, not de-burring it. You might find something from places such as Fastenal, WW Grainger, or McMaster-Carr. Look at these from Amazon: HTS 101I0 6-pc Diamond Flat File Set. These are much like the diamond files I used on die repair.
Hey cool a Carbide Toolmaker...lots of skill to become a carbide toolmaker.
I worked at a small Header tooling company 11yrs doing conventional and CNC milling , also grinding ( diamond wheels for carbide).
Went back and reread the post ...yeah pretty rough ...diamond files for sure.
Here's where we sourced most of our supplies http://rockform.com/
....down the street from us actually.
It was the color coded diamond polish that they used.
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Old 02-25-2015, 01:05 PM   #9
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One nice thing about working with carbide inserts in production dies: Tolerances were held to .00005", that's "fifty-millionths of an inch", or "five-ten thousands". Either way we had the equipment to handle that. Our DuMore grinder was a fantastic piece of equipment for enlarging holes, grinding radii, and the co-ordinant measuring equipment was so sensitive. Loved that work.
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Old 03-07-2015, 09:42 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thurman
One nice thing about working with carbide inserts in production dies: Tolerances were held to .00005", that's "fifty-millionths of an inch", or "five-ten thousands". Either way we had the equipment to handle that. Our DuMore grinder was a fantastic piece of equipment for enlarging holes, grinding radii, and the co-ordinant measuring equipment was so sensitive. Loved that work.
He I'am thinking how BA i was boring holes at +/- .0002 haha.
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Old 03-12-2015, 06:26 PM   #11
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Another option from another former toolmaker with some tool and die work. A small hone stone made of very fine grit silicon carbide will also work. A few stokes across the edge will knock that sharp edge right down. Should be available at most tool supply houses like MSC or PTS or possibly Grainger. The diamond jewelers files as indicated above will also work well.
3M and some others are also making wheel brushes impregnated with silicon carbide.
(in case you want to speed things up!)
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