Making a Wedding Ring from a Wheelchair?! – Titanium & Gold!

[Cambry] I love it. I think it’s super unique.
And I thought when I first started dating that my wheelchair would deter people from
dating me. I never thought it would be something someone would want to put in their wedding
ring. [Music] [Zack] Today we’re going to do something a
little bit different. I get married in a couple days and instead of going out and buying a
generic wedding ring, I’m going to make something that’s a little bit more personal. Cambry, my fiance, got hurt in a horse riding
accident about 15 years ago and this is her very first wheelchair – made out of titanium.
I’m going to take a strip of that titanium, inlay it in this 14 karat gold, and make a
ring that has more of a story…more of a connection for me and her. Let’s get started. [Intro] So obviously a solid strip of gold is nowhere
near ring ready. I can’t just plop this on my fingers and be ready to go. It takes a
lot of steps and special skills to be able to get it to that point. Luckily one of my
good friends for the last 5 years knows quite a bit about making rings. [Weston] And the first thing we need to do
is anneal this metal, which is basically softening it so that we can start working with it. So when you get flat stock like this gold,
it comes from the factory pretty hard because of the way they extrude it and the way that
they process it. So heating it up with a torch disperses those molecules and makes it soft
again and makes it more workable. [Hammering sounds] [Zack] Heating it up also makes the gold black,
which takes away the shininess for now, but we’ll fix that later. [Twanging sounds] Next we’ll take a jeweler’s saw with a very
fine metal cutting blade and cut through each end of the ring so that the tips will line
up and we can bring it to size. [Weston] Okay, so we’ve got it all pretty
much lined up. We’ve got a little bit of a lip on the top side that’s sticking out, but
we need to take a file and file that down anyway. Solder won’t bond with dirty metal
so we need to remove this top layer of black oxidation so we can get a really strong bond
with the gold. The reason that we have to line the ends up
is because solder isn’t like welding where welding fills gaps. In welding, if you’ve
got a little bit of a gap…this is the ends of the metal…you can fill that gap with
weld. But with solder, you have to have all the metal touching because if it’s like this
and only a single point is touching, only that single point is going to bond. The solder’s
basically just like a glue. [Zack] Solder is an alloy of gold and other
metals that has a lower melting point than the actual gold ring itself. [Weston] So when we solder this together we
need to use flux and flux is an anti-oxidation agent. And so it keeps the metal clean so
you can get a really clean bond with the solder. [Torch sounds] Okay…ooo went anyway! [Sizzling sounds] More than anything, I’m just trying to see
if the solder really made a good connection with the gold. So that looks pretty good.
Pretty happy with that. [Hammering sounds] [Zack] So we want the ring to be divided up
evenly into thirds with an equal amount of gold on either side of the titanium center
piece. So we’re using the calipers set to two and two-thirds to create a dividing line
between each of the segments, so we can use the lathe to cut out the center. [Weston] So I’m just going to start moving
this forward. [Lathe cutting sounds] [Zack] So we have been saving the scraps of
gold from the lathe because this can be melted down and reused later. So this is Cambry’s very first wheelchair
that she got 15 years ago. It’s made of titanium. And the reason it’s made from titanium and
not something like steel is because titanium is 40% lighter than steel while still being
as strong as steel. The reason wheelchairs need to be so light is that the people in
them are usually constantly moving around and transporting themselves and the chair
at the same time. And the more the chair weighs, the harder it is to move. So we’re going to take a piece of this chair
and inlay it into a gold ring. Another cool thing with titanium is that it’s biocompatible,
meaning that titanium can be used inside of your body, whether it’s for like screws or
rods. And it’s also non-magnetic which means if you get an MRI it’s not going to mess with
the titanium inside of your body. Because of all the cool properties and the high strength
to weight ratio, titanium is quite a bit more expensive than, say, steel. But because of
how lightweight it is, it’s totally worth it. Cambry’s upgraded her wheelchair several times
since this first one so she won’t mind if we take a little sliver. [Sawing sounds] [Weston] We’re going to put this into the
lathe, get this squared away really nice, and then we’re going to take this and cut
off the 2 millimeter slice that we need to inlay it into the ring. [Zack] So right now we’re measuring the distance
inside of the groove of the 14 karat gold ring so we can take that measurement over
to the titanium insert and mark it along the edge of the ring so we can cut it off in the
right size. [Lathe cutting sounds] [Weston] There it goes! [Zack] Nice. So now we have the gold that we’ve been working
on before and the titanium insert which is extremely lightweight. And even though it’s
made of metal, it’s about the weight of a toothpick – which is crazy. Lucky for us,
the diameter of the wheelchair is almost the same diameter of the ring. With a little fancy
metal manipulation, Weston should be able to get it to fit around the outside. Alright, show us how it’s done. [Weston] To avoid cutting the titanium we’re
going to shrink one side of this ring and slide the titanium over top and expand it
back out. The way we’re going to do that is with this ring re-sizer. And these little
holes are cone shaped so that as you push the ring down, it forces the ring to fold
in on itself. Once it’s shrunk enough, we’re going to slide the titanium over the top into
the groove and expand it back out on the ring stretcher. [Zack] So we’ve been compressing one side
of the ring and now it’s just small enough to allow the titanium insert to cross over.
So now that the titanium insert is on the ring, you can see one side is much more compressed
than the other side. That’s because of the ring smasher. So now we’re going to put it
back in the ring stretcher and bring it back so it looks like it was before. So after each couple passes with the ring
stretcher, we go back to annealing it to soften the gold to make sure it doesn’t crack on
us. Then it goes back on the ring stretcher, and then back to annealing. And repeat the
process probably 20 times. The black oxidation over the gold and the titanium should come
off after we’re done polishing it when it’s all formed again. These titanium shavings are so light…like
basically holding air… or like Styrofoam. It’s kind of like metallic cotton candy. Now
both sides have been equally stretched. It’s uniform. Titanium’s in the center. Now we
just need to size it. I’m a size 10 and right now this is about a size 9. [Buzzing sounds] [Zack] So after a lot of sanding with the
flex shaft rotary tool we finally have the ring to size. Now it is time to clean it up
and level out the top. [Lathe machine sounds] So we’ve lathed down the titanium center piece
and now we just have the gold. We’re going to sand off the oxidation and leave it with
a brushed finish. [Sanding sounds] There you have it. The ring is done. 14 karat
brushed gold with a titanium inlay. Weston, on a scale of one to ten, how hard of a project
was that? [Weston] I’d give it a solid 9, maybe 10.
It was a lot harder than, you know, some of the other inlays I’ve done where it’s like
antler or turquoise, some of these other softer things. You know, it was pretty difficult. [Zack] That’s true cuz titanium is like…it’s
up there in the hardness scale and it’s like…it’s super compact and brittle I guess. So we had
to be careful when we were like bringing it down. But I think it turned out pretty sweet.
It pays to have friends with skills. If you want to see some more projects that
Weston’s done, his Instagram is @rose_anvil. You know mine: @ZacksJerryrig. It’s crazy to think that this ring was once
a part of Cambry’s first chair. So Cambry what do you think? Was it worth
cutting off a sliver of your old chair? [Cambry] Yep. I love it. I think it’s super
unique. And I thought when I first started dating that my wheelchair would deter people
from dating me. I never thought it would be something someone would want to put in their
wedding ring. And I love it. [Zack] It makes for a good story and it’s
something that was like a big part of your life a long time ago. [Cambry] Well…it’s a big part of my life
right now. [Zack] Well that particular chair! [Cambry] We’re already going to be married
by the time you guys see this. But one of our favorite wedding gifts was from the What’s
Inside channel. [Zack] They gave us something super special. [Cambry] They gave 2 classrooms full of desks
with our name on it to a school in Kenya. And as a result of that, we fundraised over
$20,000 to build an entire school in Africa. [Zack] An entire school. So I’m going to take
Cambry to go see the desks that What’s Inside donated to the schools in Africa and see the
school that you guys paid for. And the donations are not over yet. We still have time to maybe,
I mean this is a stretch, fund a second school in Africa. And even if we don’t fund the school,
the money will be used for like water storage or water filtration. [Cambry] Or books for the library. [Zack] Every single penny is going to be used
for the schools in Africa. So if you haven’t seen it yet, I’ll leave a link for the What’s
Inside Family channel where they revealed our wedding present. I’ll put a link for that
right here and down in the video description. [Cambry] Make sure you see it. It made me
cry, so it’s super special. [Zack] Thanks a ton for watching. We’ll see
you around.


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