Saturday, January 25, 2014

Stacking Rings: Basic Ring

So, this is a quick overview of the tools I use to create my jewellery. I'll show them in more detail throughout the process.

The easiest rings are created using wire. There's a huge variety of sterling silver wires available, you just have to pick the one you like the best.

To figure out how long of a piece of wire you need to make your ring, you have to do some math!

My wire is 1.4mm thick, and the ring size I want to make has a diameter of 17.2mm. I put this into an easy formula:

(wire thickness + diameter of ring size) x 3.14
(1.4mm+17.2mm) x 3.14


Now, I use a hand file and my mitered square to make sure both sides of this wire are a perfect 90 degrees. Soldering silver requires that you have a good contact surface.

Once that's done, I bend my ring into shape. Soldering shape, that is. It looks like a D!

I know it doesn't look like a ring at this point. This shape ensures that the solder joint has maximum contact for soldering. I'll bang it into shape once the solder joint is done.

Soldering takes practice, so I'm not going to go into too much detail here. You select your solder (easy, medium, or hard), paint flux on the joint, torch it until the solder flows, and then throw it in pickle to remove the nasty crud. You can see pictures of the materials I use in these steps here:

Once the soldering is done, you can bash it into shape.

Once you've got your ring into a beautiful round shape, you need to give it a beautiful finish. I love using radial disks on my flexshaft:

Each of these coloured radial disks is a different grit. You go from the roughest grit to the smoothest. These radial disks give me a great finish, and I love using them. They are a bit expensive, but I find them worth every penny.

This is what your stacking ring will now look like:

Perfect huh? You can wear this ring as is, or you can add a stone or other decoration to it. I'll show you how to do that next time!

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