Introduction: Gripping Hand Ring (from a Fork)

When tomatoskins posted his 25 Cent Fork Ring instructable, the tines of the completed fork ring looked to me like little gripping fingers of a tiny hand.

Inspired by that idea, I decided to make a little "gripping hand" ring out of a fork and document my steps to share with you, dear reader.

This was a quick and dirty little project, that could reasonably be duplicated with just a few basic tools in a couple of hours.

Step 1: Tools

You could make a simple fork ring with just a couple of hammers, a vise, some pliers, and a rotary tool with some cut-off discs and common grinding bits.

If you have a few additional tools at your disposal though, they will be helpful. This is the full list of tools I used to make this ring:

  • Vise
  • Hammer
  • Steel jewelry mandrel (helpful but not necessary); this is the one I have
  • Flat pounding surface (I used my little homemade anvil), but any smooth, flat and hard surface will work
  • Channel lock pliers and vise grip pliers
  • Rotary tool with metal cut-off discs, a small carbide carving bit and diamond bits (helpful but not necessary, as common grinding bits will work), sandpaper discs, and buffing disc
  • Various grits wet/dry hand sandpaper
  • Metal polish

Step 2: Get an Old Fork and Pound It Flat

I got an old fork at a thrift store for $0.25. I tried to find one that was relatively plain, and not too wide across the tines.

I began by pounding it flat on my anvil with the flat side of a ball peen hammer.

Step 3: Measure and Mark, Then Cut the Tines to Be Finger-like

I began by measuring around the circumference of the recipient's target finger with a strip of paper.

The fork was marked as shown using the paper measurement as a size guide.

A thumb was drawn into the space below the tines. When curled together the tines and thumb will look like a right hand.

Using a metal cut-off disc in my rotary tool, I trimmed off the tines to make them more finger-like. The same cut-off disc was then used to carefully round over the ends of each of the tines. Very, very light pressure was used so the disc would not shatter. These thin cut-off discs are not intended to be ground on the sides like this, but it was the best way to reach the inside edges of the tine tips.

Be sure to always wear safety glasses when you use tools. For a rotary tool like this, full goggles are even better.

Step 4: Shape the Thumb

Disregard the curved tine-fingers in this step. I ended up pounding them back flat before moving on to the next step.

In order to carve the thumb shape, I wrapped the jaws of a pair of vise grip pliers with some blue masking tape and pinched the fork in them. I then wrapped the pliers in a soft rag and placed it in my vise.

A rough thumb shape was created by first removing the bulk of the excess material with a cut-off disc in my rotary tool. Then the finished shape was created by carefully carving the remaining metal away with a small carbide bit. Basic grinding bits could likewise be used for this.

Step 5: Begin Curving the Ring Shape

The beginning curve of the ring was created by using the vise and hammer to carefully curve the thumb and the palm part of the hand/ring.

I pinched the fork in the vise, pounded it with the hammer a bit, moved the fork up just a little, and repeated the process.

I did this until a nice curve was created across the palm section of the ring.

The textured jaws on my vise really chewed up the fork, but as this was a fairly experimental project I wasn't too worried about it.

Step 6: Bend the Tines Into Ring-shape, and Refine

I wrapped my mandrel and the jaws of a large pair of channel locks with some blue tape. (This was not necessary, considering how chewed up the ring was already and how chewed up the mandrel became . . . alas, hindsight!)

The tines were pinched with the pliers around the mandrel until they appeared to be in a somewhat ring-shape.

This shape was then carefully pounded (while still on the mandrel) with a hammer on the anvil to refine the round shape. This required a fair amount of trial and error to get all the tines into a uniform shape. The ring had to be flipped over every other couple of pounds to make sure I wasn't creating a conical ring shaped like the mandrel. Some small pipe would have probably worked much better, but this worked in the end.

After some time and effort, the ring was shaped as shown in the third photo. Mostly round-ish!

Step 7: Not the Prettiest Thing . . .

This is what the ring looked like up to this point.

It was pretty hacked up with a ton of tool marks, but generally in the shape I wanted.

Step 8: Refine Details

I decided to carve the edges of the thumb and outer fingers just a little to make them look more rounded and finger-like.

I started with a carbide carving bit to remove some of the material, and then moved to a couple of diamond bits to smooth things out. While I did this part, I held the ring in the small pair of vise grip pliers shown earlier.

If you have some basic grinding bits, you could carefully use those to achieve similar results.

Step 9: Finishing: Sanding and Polishing

The ring was then sanded with various grits of sandpaper discs with my rotary tool, up to about 220.

Then I switched to wet hand sanding with grits 320, 400, 800.

Then I rubbed the ring with some metal polish, and buffed it with a buffing disc on my rotary tool. The ring was then hand-buffed with a soft cloth and I called it good!

Step 10: Get a Grip!

It's not perfect . . . but aside from the remaining tool marks, it looks fairly shiny and ringlike!

This was an experimental foray into making a piece of jewelry, yet I found the process fun and educational.

I hope you enjoyed this; thanks for taking a look!

Comments

author
sztakacs made it! (author)2016-09-29

Fun project, now I'm searching garage sales for the smallest forks I can find.

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madebysimstatic made it! (author)2016-01-05

This is so cool! I'm not really used to metal crafting but I'd love to learn to make this.

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darrenah made it! (author)2015-12-29

Really cool idea. I think you could adjust where you take the hand from the fork. Move farther down the fork toward the handle. It would add more "palm" to the hand and shorten the fingers closer to proportional. It might look more like a hand all the way around. Still you have a very neat idea with this instructable. I like it!

author
sea2stars made it! (author)2015-12-14

I'm wondering what the widest width the fork could be, and still be comfortable to wear?

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seamster made it! (author)seamster2015-12-14

That is completely dependent on the hand and finger size of the wearer. My wife has pretty stubby fingers, so we had to find a narrow fork for her hand.

On the other hand, a long-fingered person could wear a really wide fork-ring.

author
sea2stars made it! (author)sea2stars2015-12-14

Chuckle. Yeah, going to need a narrower fork..

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sea2stars made it! (author)sea2stars2015-12-15

A quick, hour and a half, attempt at a test version before I start on a final one.

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Mihsin made it! (author)2015-10-27

Real coool. I just realized where the thumb is!

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manuelmasc made it! (author)2015-10-03

Made it for my girlfriend! Thanks for the instructable sam!

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seamster made it! (author)seamster2015-10-03

Nice! I'm glad you were able to make one--it looks great!

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ArticAkita made it! (author)2015-09-21

how neat! thanks to your idea I now have use for a fork in found that is somewhat flat already from a car (I live in Alaska & ride a 4 wheeler to check the mail lots of crap people toss out or loose up here!) decently going to give this a try!

author
seamster made it! (author)seamster2015-09-21

Cool! Good luck with your fork ring!

When you get it done, be sure to share a photo here. I'd love to see how it turns out!

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DanM37 made it! (author)2015-09-19

That's pretty cool! Not that simple but better than buy one in a jewerly shop!

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χσωφρονάς made it! (author)2015-09-18

it was difficult to bend the thumb but it's OK. oh I paint it blue too

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The Green Gentleman made it! (author)2015-09-14

Like it! I'm totally going to do this! BTW: I don't know if you, like Tomatoskins, found the ring to have a wider gap between finger and thumb than expected.

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kakmer made it! (author)2015-09-14

Very cool!

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Dennis43 made it! (author)2015-09-13

I like your ring idea, the little crimp on the tine ends to look like finger nails is cool. Did you make the RR rail anvil?

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seamster made it! (author)seamster2015-09-13

Thanks!

Yes, I made the anvil. There's a link to a tutorial that covers how I made it in step 1 :)

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Dennis43 made it! (author)Dennis432015-09-13

Thanks I missed that when I read the article, eyes are going like the rest of the body. 8<)))

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vbanaszak made it! (author)2015-09-13

This turned out beautifully!

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6312CWR made it! (author)2015-09-13

Cool. I am going to try this one.

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poiki made it! (author)2015-09-12

Would heat help in forming the ring?

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vbanaszak made it! (author)vbanaszak2015-09-13

Yes, I am sure annealing the metal would help soften the metal.

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makinjen made it! (author)2015-09-13

Super cool! And great step by step photos and description--very thorough. Everyone in the house will want one of these!

author
Rhonda Chase Design made it! (author)2015-09-11

This came out great! I love how you went beyond the regular fork jewelry and came up with the hand shape. I bet you could make a bracelet by cutting the thumb from the end of the handle. Hmmm...

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seamster made it! (author)seamster2015-09-11

Thank you!

I've actually been on the lookout for a serving spoon-sized fork (a serving fork?) to make a bracelet out of in this same style. I think that would be really cool!

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ranwithjesus made it! (author)2015-09-11

Thanks!

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Bighead made it! (author)2015-09-11

I think you meant a vice?

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seamster made it! (author)seamster2015-09-11

Ah, you must be British! :)

Us yanks differentiate between bad habits and metal clamping tools with that s. Who knows why, language is funny.

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ranwithjesus made it! (author)2015-09-11

How many inches did you have to cut the fork to make a size 8 ring?

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seamster made it! (author)seamster2015-09-11

Hi! Here's a little chart that may be helpful for you. (I pulled this image from the instructable linked above in my intro.)

ring sizes.jpg
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imerrymary made it! (author)2015-09-11

My 10-year-old granddaughter just asked me to make her a spoon ring from the decorative end of a spoon or fork, but this is SO much more fun. Can't wait to get to the thrift store!!

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seamster made it! (author)seamster2015-09-11

Excellent! If you make one, I'd love to see a photo of it when it's done. Good luck!

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imerrymary made it! (author)imerrymary2015-09-11

I'll do that. I have a feeling that I'll be making one for each grandchild (4) and one for my quirky self, too!

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DIY KING 00 made it! (author)2015-09-11

Seamster..... you always end up being awesome .....

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asergeeva made it! (author)2015-09-10

Very cute!

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AAAHan made it! (author)2015-09-09

GREAT!!!

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ashleyjlong made it! (author)2015-09-09

Nice! I didn't guess from the cover image that it was a fork to start with.

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seamster made it! (author)seamster2015-09-09

Sweet, thanks!

That means the transformation was a success, I'd say. Awesome!

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laffinm made it! (author)2015-09-09

Excellent job! Looks very nice in the end. It reminded me of the witch blade that Jimmy Diresta made a while back!

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tomatoskins made it! (author)2015-09-09

So awesome to be remixed! I think it turned out looking great! I can see how the original looks like a hand. Great interpretation!

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ThomasJ1 made it! (author)2015-09-09

Great Idea and documentation. I recognized the anvil and I thought it was kind of cool that you used your previous project for this new one !

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seamster made it! (author)seamster2015-09-09

Thank you very much!

Yep, I had to break in my little anvil and put a few scratches on that mirrored finish! :)

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annrrr made it! (author)2015-09-09

So creepy and adorable!!

author
KanPo Studios made it! (author)2015-09-09

Excellent !
Credit to you and Tomatoskins.

Someday I will intent a metal instructable.

Let's see those instructables coming.

Thank you.

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Bio: I got an old sewing machine when I was just a kid, and I've been hooked on making stuff ever since. My name is ... More »
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