Making Rings by Dale Detrich  2/25/2009

After a few years and attempts at making rings, I thought that I would bring up the ring making again to see what was working best for the builders.....I have tried to use the "Shores" way of making rings, But for me it seems as if I get a reverse bend just where I heated the rings.....I use a laser pointer and shine it at the point where the ring meets the cylinder wall, and look to see if any light is leaking past the ring/wall joint.....It is easy to see the light if it passes behind the ring...I just finished making 30 rings the other night ..I turn the O.D. to the cylinder dia. plus .002"/.003", so my .750 " rings were at .753" O.D......I turn the I.D. to the piston ring groove Dia. plus about .006", and that will leave about .003" to .004" room at the ring to piston fit.....I use a .010 cut off tool to part the rings off of the tube....I try to set the cut off tool, so that one side of the cut off groove is a good smooth cut.....So that gives you a smooth side, and a rough side to each ring as it is cut off of the tube....I cut the rings off and leave some spare stock, about .006"-.007" ......I make a tool to hold each cut off ring ( I will send some pictures to David) and ask him to post them so you can see the tool.....It is a fast , easy way to bring the rings down to the size that you want for thickness......The tool in the pictures is my tool for 1.000" ring, and.060" thick....You want to make the holder out of the hardest material that you have....You will have to turn the
round down to fit the drill motor that you have (mine is turned down to .375")....You will have to bore a cavity to fit your rings, mine is 1.001 and is .060" deep....Try to leave a wide as posible outside rim on the ring tool....I next put a 1" X 30" belt (you want to use a worn out) , almost smooth sanding belt on the sander......Then fit a ring (with the rough side out ) into the holder.....Bump the holder into the belt sander, (with the sander off), then turn both the drill motor and the sander......This spins the ring, against the moving belt.....Sand the face of the ring until you feel the load come off of the belt sander.....Pull the tool away from the sander, and you should have a smooth side on the ring...Now reverse the ring in the tool, and again bump the tool into the sander belt.....Again
start the sander and the drill motor, and when you sand the ring down to the right thickness you will feel the load come off of the sander again.....Just back off the belt, pop the ring out and check for the correct ring thickness.....
Do not force the ring into the belt sander, use just enough force to keep the ring against the belt.....It takes a "bit" of time to get the feel of using the tool......Then I take the ring blank (it will have both sides sharp), and run it against a scotch bright wheel, to take away the sharp edges......I then use a toenail clipper to cut the ring then I use a diamond finger nail to clean up the cut ends of the ring....I now take the ring and fit it to the cylinder, and
finish the ends of the ring to leave a small end gap....Now I find a bit of flat stock ( I used .080"), then spread the ring and "hang" the ring on the flatstock.....Then take a medium sizes propane torch, with a medium sized flame
and with a circular motion bring the ring to a dull red color.....You will see the ring relax as it is being heated.....
Then let the ring air cool down.....I think that is where I am having some trouble, and that is where the ring may twist durning the heating and cooling cycle....I think that I will see if I can come up with and make the holders to keep the rings from twisting while they are heating and cooling..........I get some "good" rings, and some not so good rings....Sorry to take up the space....If you have any questions, Please get in touch.....Dale Detrich