From left: Large, Medium, Small. These are made from roofing tin to see if I liked the shapes. They work for me. If you want a wider shank, just expand the arch, between the shank and the top piece.
Ring shank can be shortened or lengthened. Try making out of tin or copper before moving on to precious metals. You may have to adjust a bit for metal thickness.
I recommend using 18 – 20 gauge metal but, you can always try 22. Although, if you use much thinner metal, the shape may not hold up.
- Anneal metal first.
- If roller printing or hammering texture, do so now. Mark out the area where the ring will be cut from so you know how much metal to texture. If not patterning/texturing, move on to #3. If you are patterning/texturing, Anneal again then move on to #3.
- Lightly sand metal with 400 grit paper.
- Glue pattern to metal.
- Saw out shape. Finish edges with files and sandpaper.
- Bend on a ring mandrel, flipping the orientation of the ring, every few blows.
- Check size. If too large, mark where the shank overlaps. Try to keep the seam centered. Hopefully, you checked fit BEFORE this step (with a sample/test piece) and it fits.
- You can either leave the shank open – to have flexible sizes and to allow for finger swelling. Or, you can solder the join closed.
- Before removing the pattern, (see below) decide if you want a bezel and if you want it centered on the ring. If so, file the flat spot using the center cross as a guide.
- When done, soak ring in water to remove pattern (if using water-based glues).
- Solder shank (if applicable). Use hard solder.
- Solder bezel and/or embellishments (if applicable). Use hard or medium solder.
Soldering a bezel to a curved ring
If soldering a bezel onto the ring, first file a flat area in the location where you will be placing the bezel. The flat space should be of sufficient size so, that the bezel can sit without falling off. If you want the bezel in the center, leave the pattern on and file through the center cross.
Hold the ring shank in cross-lock tweezers, flow a little bit of solder onto the flat spot. Sand a little to remove the skin, pickle. Next, flux the bezel back and the flat spot. Place both elements together, in exactly the position where you want them. Solder. I sometimes hold down the bezel with a soldering pick. Don’t press too hard – if the solder gets too hot, it can fracture and crumble.
Remember to heat the biggest piece of metal, the ring, first and move up, briefly, to the bezel and/or embellishments. The larger piece of metal will take longer to heat. Your goal, to get the solder to flow correctly, is to have two evenly heated pieces of metal – reaching solder flow temps – at the same time.
File is 100 dpi. For sizing accuracy, it should be printed at that resolution.