End of may means one thing for me. Gotta get ready and make father’s day items!
In honor of all cool jewelry wearing dads, I made a cut-out ring that looks like two ring bands in one. I love the jeweler’s saw and instead of making two rings and soldering them together I cut them. Let me show you.
1. Gather your tools.
•Jeweler’s Saw •Precision Square •220 & 400 Sandpaper Stick •Automatic Hole Puncher •Flat hand file • Scribe •Inside ring sanding mandrel • Drill bit •3m Sanding Wheels •Divider •Digital Caliper
2. To make a size 11 men’s ring cut a 16 gauge sterling sheet 64.6mm X 11mm with the saw. File the sides flat, checking for angles and evenness with the square. Open the divider to 3.68mm and trace a line on all 4 sides. Find the center and trace two perpendicular lines 8mm wide. Drill holes in the center lines. I color the metal with a Sharpie marker to remind me where not to cut.
3. Once cut, file and sand the metal. It should look like this:
4. Before bending the ring, we need to anneal it with the torch to make the metal soft. Wide rings can be hard to shape if you skip this step, not to mention you may crack the metal. Quench, pickle, rinse, and dry.
5. Bend the ring and make sure the ends meet without gaps. Ring is ready to flux, solder, quench, pickle, rinse, and dry.
6. Place ring in the ring mandrel and with a rawhide hammer, give it its beautiful round shape. File, sand polish… and don’t forget the stamp!
I’ve always loved wearing jewelry and accessorizing my outfits in cute, sexy or cool ways depending on my mood. However, never in a million years would I have thought that I would end up making jewelry and playing with a torch. I say “playing” with utmost respect to the trade. I take necessary precautions, follow safety rules and do my best not to get hurt in the process. This doesn’t mean I don’t have fun. I have lots of fun.
I started taking professional classes at Miami Jewelry School in 2007. I thought it was going to be easy but I was wrong. It took me 3 whole months to learn the basics… and I still wasn’t good at it, or so I thought.
My first piece of “real jewelry” (other than the ones required in my curriculum) was a men’s ring I made for my brother. I remember giving it to him in December 2007. It was made with sterling silver, and I had the toughest time cutting the inside squares and rectangles. I can’t even remember how many sawblades I broke. Once I finished it and was proud of my accomplishment I gave it to EL Bro (that’s what I call my brother). He put it on and… it was 1 size too small. Noooooooooooooooo! I had to go back, resize it and finish it again. I hated it, he loved it. I hated that I had failed at a simple task of measuring. He didn’t care. He didn’t see it with criticizing eyes and I realized I was being to hard on myself; I still am, I must confess. Since then, he wears it everyday. Don’t believe me? Ask him. 🙂