Things You'll Need
- Sheet metal
- Jeweler's saw and blades
- Jeweler's workbench
- Jewelry files and sandpaper
- Fire-safe soldering area
- Soldering clamps
- Fire bricks
- Pickle pot
- Ring mandrel
- Wooden mallet
- Polishing cloth
Making your own simple metal rings is not difficult. In fact, ring construction is one of the first things a beginner jewelry maker learns, and the process requires only the most essential metalworking tools. Making rings is excellent practice for more complex projects, as you will learn how to saw, shape, solder and polish well enough to apply these skills to other tasks. To start making your own rings, read the following.
Measure the finger you would like the ring to fit. You can use a piece of string to get the exact fit by wrapping it around the finger and marking the point where the string meets itself. Then determine the width you would like to make the ring. Rings can be delicate, about 1/8 an inch, or thick, up to 5/8 inch.
Transfer the ring measurements to the sheet metal of your choice. Many rings are made from silver, gold, brass or bronze. Using a pencil, draw a rectangle in the length and width you determined in Step 1. Cut the rectangle from the sheet metal with the jeweler's saw.
File and sand the edges of the rectangle flat, until you can feel no rough spots. Bring the rectangle to your soldering area and screw it into one of the clamps. Fire up the torch and lightly heat the rectangle, then remove it from the clamp with the tongs. Place the rectangle into the pickle pot briefly to cool.
Bend the rectangle into a loop. If you cannot bend the rectangle with your hands, place it onto the ring mandrel and bang on it with the mallet until the two short ends meet. Using a small paintbrush, put a little flux into this seam and place tiny solder pieces along it.
Affix the loop to the soldering clamps and turn the torch to a small flame. Apply the flame to the seam until the solder melts and runs into the seam, then remove the flame. Remove the loop from the clamp, using the tongs, and place it into the pickle pot. Remove the loop from the pickle pot when it is cool. File and sand away any excess solder.
Place the loop onto the ring mandrel until you cannot push it any farther. Take the mallet and bang the loop into a more circular shape, then push it again until it fits the mandrel. Bang the loop into as perfect a circle as possible. Remove from the mandrel.
Make sure that the ring looks exactly the way that you want it to. Put it on your finger to test the fit. If it does not fit, you will need to remake the ring entirely. Remove the ring from your finger and polish it with the polishing cloth.
Never touch hot metal with your bare hands. Always use the tongs.