Step 11: Soldering the Ring

Using a paint brush apply liberal amounts of flux all the round the seam (image 24). Solder comes in sheet or wire form (image 25). I prefer wire as it is easier to cut than sheet. When soldering it is best to use as little solder as possible; experience will teach you how much you need. It is easier to go back and add in solder than to try and remove solder once it has flooded into detailed areas. Because solder is not sterling silver every little bit of extra solder will need to be filed or emeried off, so don't use too much.

I always cut multiple small pieces (about 2 or 3 mm long) rather than one big one (image 26). How big of a flame will you need? Again experience will teach you. For a small piece such as the band ring a medium sized flame will do (image 27). Hold the flame above the ring and heat evenly in a circular motion (image 28). First the flux will boil (image 29), then go chalky white (image 30), then clear (image 31). At this point place the solder.

Ball up the solder by placing the torch directly over the solder (image 32). Use a titanium pick to move the solder around with. Place the pick behind a ball of solder, move the flame over the solder and gently "scoop" the solder up (images 33).
You will note my pick is "dirty", a new titanium pick needs to be "treated" by dipping it in flux and heating it until the flux turns clear. Now once the flux on the pick is warmed it will become sticky like honey; this will allow you to pick up the solder and move it around (image 34).

Place the solder on the top edge of the seam (image 35), then bring the heat in and gently "brush" the solder off the pick (image 36). If the solder is not in the middle of the seam give the ring a little heat while nudging the solder into place with the pick. Learning to use the pick will take some practice; the gentler you are the easier it will be to move the solder around.
Heat the ring evenly until there is a slight red glow (image 37) then go in for the "kill" by moving the flame to the bottom inside seam (image 38). Pickle for 8 minutes.
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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