The down side of using a long arm metal shear is it will always put a curve in the ring blank which will need to be straitened out (image 2). The plus side of using a jewellers hand saw, is the metal will remain flat and the next step can be skipped.
Anneal the sterling silver. A steel block and a rawhide hammer (image 3) will be needed. However anytime a steel tool is used, stop and ask the question "what could I damage". Steel is harder than sterling silver and can damage it very easily. As my teacher used to say "if you don't want to take it out, don't put it in". Any dents in the steel will transfer into the sterling silver, use a piece of stiff cardboard in between the steel and sterling silver to prevent this (image 4). Straitening a piece of metal can be tricky, too much force will actually cause it to curl, so be observant; if the sterling silver does not move, then hit harder, but if it curls hit lighter. I call this the "Goldilocks Syndrome", not too light, not too hard, just right (image 5)
To learn more about how to anneal sterling silver click here
to read my tutorial or turn to page 46 in the July, 2012 issue