The first piece of solder constructed jewellery I made was a simple sterling silver band ring in college. It is also the first project I give to my beginner students. It touches on most of the basics of solder constructed jewellery making: shaping, filing, sawing, fitting joints, soldering and finishing. Making a band ring will also introduce beginner students to basic tools and their use. Although there are few steps, go slow and be patient with them; eventually you will get it. My advice to students is always do your best and don't lower your standards, but be kind to yourself; you are learning and to expect perfection is unrealistic. If you do something enough times, with care and the intention of improving, you will eventually get very good at it; finish one piece then move on to the next that is how you get better.

Step 1: Picking the Stock

A band ring can be made with sheet or wire. The benefit of using wire is it gives instant shape, for example: half round wire or square wire. The benefit of using sheet is it is much easer to work with than wire. If this is your first band ring, I would recommend using 18 gauge (1 mm) or 16 gauge (1.3 mm) sheet. I have noticed over the years that anything over 10 mm wide, will frustrate most beginners. For the purpose of this Tutorial, I am using 18 gauge sterling silver sheet which is 7 mm wide.
This is excellent! <br><br>What level of hardness is ideal for sterling silver rings? (Dead soft, half hard, hard, etc). <br><br>Thanks!
<p>Hello :) If I wanted to solder a premade bezel cup onto a hammered ring such as this, where would that step go?</p>
<p>why not use 22 gauge or 24?</p>
<p>Worth read. Thank you so much for<br>sharing your knowledge and enhancing ours. Well written article which seems very<br>easy to follow on a one go. Gonna following it. For sure! Thanks a ton!</p>
I'm trying to make this ring out of 14 gauge copper. For some reason the joint is always to weak and breaks the first time I go to shape after soldering. The joint is completely flush, clean, solder runs nicely. I've tried countless times. Any tips?
<p>Thank you so much for sharing the tip to making perfect joints with the jewelers saw. It saves me so much time over filing the ends and trying to make them fit. Your directions are well written and easy to follow. </p>
<p>best by far</p>
<p>LOVE your tutorial.</p><p>I WISH you were my instructor - mine makes all non-perfect students feel stupid when they have issues. </p><p>Please make note - the &quot;Linus&quot; mag no longer exists. It's last issue was Oct 2012. The site will not also allow anyone new to sign up to access the tutorials that are &quot;allegedly&quot; still there. </p>
<p>This is a seriously well done instructable, thanks very much for making all this effort - you've saved me hours of trial-and-error in my workshop!</p><p>One comment I would have is where you say &quot;anneal the silver&quot; and then in the same paragraph describe straightening it. Obviously someone of your skill level knows annealing is done with heat not hammering, but that's not completely clear in the text. A tiny change in the text layout would make all the difference there.</p>
This ring is stunning! Thanks for the easy-to-follow directions. I would love to see you do a similar Instructable with a copper band that has sterling silver on the inside and riveted over the ends. Hope that makes sense. I like to work with copper; but, of course, it turns your finger green. I would like to know how to coat the inside with sterling silver, either by soldering it on (?) or, like I said earlier, placing it inside the copper and then riveting it over the ends. Not sure if I'm using the correct terminology. Thanks so much for sharing your knowledge!
Doh! I was looking for the calculations you would use to measure out the ring... Just need a refresher. Something about adding pie to your length to account for the thickness???
thank you, excellent instructable. I was looking for info on finishing the inside of a ring I made from sterling silver clay. <br>Janice
Nice work. Thanks for sharing. I'll have to download the PDF.
Cool. Seems like a fun project. <br>Makes me wanna get some silver and go try this out in the shop. <br>Although out of personal taste, I don't think I'd add the hammering at the end. I kind of like the more simple solid silver ring.
Top quality instruction here. Thank you very much for posting. What would you say is closest in comparison to silver when working with metal? That is between copper, nickel, steel, zinc, lead, brass, bronze, pewter, and aluminum. Thanks. Brent
copper will harden when worked so it can start to crack that makes it tough to get into final form <br>nickel will need a tig welder to close up it looks best and stays looking great <br>steel will rust will lose luster fast acids in skin will eat it away at joints <br>zinc,lead are toxic home shops can not work safely <br>brass is fun good to start with also to make a test part to see if idea works <br>bronze is hard and chips easy <br>pewter i have only worked with the old type it is also toxic the new mix is safe like bronze it is hard and chips/cracks <br>aluminum is tricky needs special type of solder can be worked easy with file and hammer <br>silver is the best, for the price practice on brass
Thanks for the advice. Brass it is.
Hello Brent, <br> <br>Well, I've never worked with nickel, steel, zinc or lead, but I would say brass is closest. But 14 karat Gold is a better match. <br> <br>Thank you for your kind words. <br>Nicole.
Where does one purchase sterling silver sheets stock?
Hello John, <br> <br>A good source is http://www.riogrande.com/ <br> <br>one of my favoriate online stores for all things jewellery. But depending where you live, there might be a local jewellery supply store. <br> <br>nicole.
very cool. I have been researching ring making for a while, i really want to make an engagement ring for my girlfriend. I think it would be more meaningful then buying one. but there is still so much to learn and working with those kind of expensive materials i want to make sure i get it right!
Great Instructable! I have most of the important tools already, just materials. As far as sizing charts go - Is there something printable available? Like a sizing chart with MM or .001 marks that I can verify with calipers?
Excellent instructable! Qualifies, in my mind, as THE model for posting how-to articles. Photographs, lots of them, excellent lighting and composition. Your text strikes a good balance between friendly and inviting, and clear and exact. Keep 'em coming!
Marked this as a favorite, thanks much. <br> <br>Agree that brass and copper are good workable metals also. <br>Can you recommend a good source for jewellery metals? <br> <br>Bill
Hello Bill, <br> <br>A good source is http://www.riogrande.com/ <br> <br>one of my favoriate online stores for all things jewellery. <br> <br>nicole.
Excellent! Takes me back to my mounting jewel(l)er days in the 'quarter in Brum..
What is the total cost to get tools and material to start building rings as a hobby?
I never suspected it took so much effort to create a simple ring! Thank you for opening my eyes! Great instructible!!!
Very good result! Thanks for the info.
great instructable, that ring turned out nice. <br>

About This Instructable




Bio: I've been making jewellery for 22 years and teaching jewellery making classes for 13 years. Recently I've started an online jewellery magazine packed ... More »
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