Things to Come

This is a foreshadowing. I’m not going to torment you by seeing who can guess what it’s for.

Go ahead and give it a guess if you want. Spoiler is below the picture.

Ok, the top thingie is a punch. The round bar(s) are punches that can be used to drive through a coin. Most people using this system are using small hand-pumped presses; I suspect that people who own hydraulic forging presses are a small but vocal minority, or something. Anyhow, the idea is that you put a coin in the punch and pop a hole through it. (the small spacers are to center coins in the punch instead of, I dunno, using masking tape) The next pieces are dies, and the one at the bottom has the conical former positioned in the die. What you do is punch the coin, put it on the end of the cone, then force the die down over the cone and blammo! You have a coin that has been reshaped into a ring.

The coin into a ring trick is a cool thing for folks who want hippie jewelry but I have a different and highly specific purpose for it. I’ve got a couple of old rolls of WWII-era Japanese coins, which are either aluminum or sterling (depending on the denomination) and have lovely artwork. I plan to mash some of them into rings which I will then use as ferrules for the throat-pieces of cooking knives in the Japanese style. It should be a pretty neat and unique look, as well as extremely solid and durable. Chisel ferrules, walking stick ferrules, all the ferrules!

In principle, this sort of dies and cones would be pretty easy to make on my metal lathe, but I’d have to a) move my forge, b) run 220 power, c) get the lathe off its pallet and down the hall, d) level and bolt down the lathe, e)  all the other things. It was a lot easier to just buy the components for now and eventually I can make my own if I need to. I suspect that the dies and cones wear out because people whack them with hammers, instead of just applying a gentle 25 tons of hydraulic pressure.

The chunk of cocobolo is just noise.

Here’s a video of how this sort of system is used:


  1. voyager says

    The tools look similar to those used in eyelet work, and the results are fabulous! I like that they can be custom sized without losing detail. I can’t wait to see what you make.

  2. says

    @voyager: me either! I saw another guy on youtube who is shaping coins by pushing a ball bearing or delrin ball through the die. Very exciting.

    I have 5 silver 1 yen Japanese coins that I am going to try to turn into ferrules for knives. I have a mandrel I already made out of a chunk of S7 and I think I can round the coins to a ring then squish them to ovals on my mandrel using a vise with polypropylene jaws.

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