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"I really love that amazing Hands On sculpture. I feel very lucky to have had the chance seeing the early stage of making it in Kevin's studio. I hope to see it being displayed in that perfect spot some day when I come back to Arizona!"
--Lan Griffin, artist, Boston, Massachusetts

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How to Make a Perfect Metal Ring

A viewer asked, "How do you make a metal ring?" He had tried bending it, heating it with a torch, bending it around a piece of stock. It was making him crazy.

How do you make a perfect metal ring? You use a ring roller. Kevin shows his 52" Dayton Slip Roll. One of the features of this machine are the three little grooves on the end of the roller. You just keep cranking up the roller and running the metal through.

You can't do it in one pass - "My arm just fell off!" says Kevin - because the machine isn't made to do it that way, and because there is no way to measure the actual bend. Besides, it's good exercise.

This is a slip roll, but there are other machines out there that can roll rings. There are ring rollers, stand-alone ring rollers, tubing rollers, pipe rollers.

The only problem with this machine - and probably the ring rollers, too - is that you wind up with a little flat spot at the beginning of the roll.

There are two ways around that. You can overlap the two ends, which means you need a little more stock, then cut off both the flat ends, and weld the ring together. Or the way Kevin usually does it is to roll it until the two ends meet, weld them together, grind down the weld a bit, then run it back through the ring roller.

That is just what Kevin does. He TIG welds the two ends together, cleans them up a little, puts the ring back into the roller, tightens up the feed roller again, and rolls it through.

Kevin shows the ring, and you can see it's off a little, probably because he didn't clean up the weld quite enough. He takes the ring over to the anvil and rounds out that little area to create a perfect ring.

So that's one way to create a perfect ring.

Kevin is going back to work, but you might want to stick around for another moment to see just how good Kevin Caron is ....

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