Step 1: The Materials
Step 2: The Tools for Forming
- Files (large and small)
- Dremel with sand paper bit
- Sand paper
- Ring mandrel
Step 3: Tools for Soldering and Pickling
- Soldering tweezer
- Soldering pik
- Solder (silver)
- Ceramic tile
- Torch (I use a whale torch with a small propane tank)
- Pot and stove
- White vinegar (serves to replace the chemical pickling typically used. I just prefer this because it is something I can get easily and it works well with my flux)
- Bucket of water
Step 4: Start by Forming the Ring
Step 5: Solder the Ring
1- Cut small squares of the medium silver solder. Use medium because when you will add the nugget, you will reheat the ring and you don't want to melt this solder. At that time, you will use the easy solder.
2- Place the ring on the ceramic tile and add flux on the joint.
3- Heat the ring until the flux becomes white and then transparent.
4- Heat the solder quickly and put the pik on it to pick it up. Place the solder on the joint.
5- Heat the ring constantly, making circles. You don't need to focus only on the solder part, the whole ring needs to stay hot.
6- When it is hot enough, the solder will flow in the joint.
Step 6: Pickle the Ring
Put about 2 cm of vinegar in a pot and heat it a low on the stove. Place the ring in the solution until it is clean. Take it out and wash it in water.
Step 7: Shape the Ring
1- Put the ring on the mandrel.
2- Hammer it gently until it becomes perfectly round.
3- Place the ring on a hard flat surface and hammer it to flatten the wire.
4- To finish this and make it more flat, use a file to make everything straight and at the thickness you prefer.
5- Use sand paper to remove the roughness of the filing. I use 400, 800 and finish with 1000.
6- Prepare the nugget by filing rough edges.
Step 8: Solder the Silver Nugget Onto the Ring
1- Put the nugget down facing on the ceramic tile.
2- Place the ring on top and use the tweezers to hold it in place. Make sure that your setup won't move when you start the torch.
3- Add flux to the joint.
4- Start to heat the ring and the nugget until the flux goes white and then transparent.
5- Add a small square of the easy solder.
6- Heat the whole ring and focus a bit more on the nugget until the solder melts and flows in the joint.
7- Pickle the ring. Follow the same steps as show in step 6.
Step 9: Finishing Up!
1- Use small files or sand paper to make sure nothing is too pointy or rough.
2- Use the dremel to polish the inside of the ring.
3- For all sand paper, always start with more rough (400) and then make your way to more smooth (800 and 1000).
4- Final touch: Use the brass brush with soap under the water to give a really shiny finish to the ring. I always do this instead of using polishing paste... it is just more easy and I find the result is almost the same.