Introduction: Heavy Duty Replacement Man's Wedding Ring

Picture of Heavy Duty Replacement Man's Wedding Ring

I work with my hands and as a result my wedding ring was getting bent out of shape regularly until it finally broke.  I was left needing a replacement that could take a beating.  I like to re-use things and chose to make my replacement wedding ring out of an old truck balljoint nut.
Making the nut into a ring is a process of stock removal until the desired shape and fit is acheived.
The inside bore of the nut was not large enough to fit my finger, so I used a die grinder to enlarge the bore and smooth down the threads.   
Grind off three of the six points of the nut, continue removing stock to create a rounded bottom for the ring.  I used 3M abrasive discs on the die grinder. 
Remove more metal from the nut to make it thin enough to fit comfortably.
Hand sand with progressively finer grit sandpaper to smooth and rough polish the ring.
There are several options available to prevent rust, I oil and wipe down my ring on a regular basis. 
  

Step 1: What You Will Need.

Picture of What You Will Need.

A large nut
Grinding tool; die grinder or a dremel tool
Grinding stones or carbide grinding bits
Abrasive discs or a sander
Sand Paper; medium to extra fine grit

Step 2: Inner Bore

Picture of Inner Bore

Use the carbide or stone grinding bits to smooth out the threads and enlarge the bore of the nut enough to fit your finger.

Step 3: Stock Removal and Shaping

Picture of Stock Removal and Shaping

Using a course abrasive disc grind of three of the nuts points and round the bottom of the nut.  Remove stock until the fit is comfortable and the shape is what you want. I thinned down the sides and the face a good amount. Switch to a finer abrasive disc to smooth the surface of the metal.

Step 4: Sanding and Finishing

Hand sand to smooth and rough polish the ring.  I started with 150 grit and worked my way to 500 grit.
To prevent rust I oil and wipe down the ring.

You could give the ring a shinier polish but I chose not to because I beat the crap out of it.  Electroplating is an option I may explore down the road. 

Comments

Drdray1 (author)2013-04-08

Awesome ring! I made one about a week ago and have gotten quite a few positive comments! I used a stainless steel nut and now I'm just trying to figure out how I should get all of those lines out of from grinding. Any ideas? I'm going to try those different sandpapers.

troopersmachine (author)Drdray12013-04-08

It took a fair amount of sanding to get the grinding marks out, the small lines started to go away after using the very fine grit sandpaper. I ended the sanding process with 2000 grit, same thing I use for wet sanding car paint.

iplrs (author)2013-03-08

Years ago I got hold of a six inch piece of almost 1/4 inch wall monel pipe that was about 7/8 inch in outside diameter. I make several heavy duty 'work rings' out of it. People argued hospitals would never be able to cut it off if it should get crushed. Our (wearers) response was, "If it gets crushed, I wouldn't even have a finger left if it were a 'regular' ring!! Nice project.

troopersmachine (author)iplrs2013-03-08

Good point, I have made similar arguements in favor of safety boots.

espdp2 (author)troopersmachine2013-03-10

Lots of injuries can make your finger swell enough to require cutting off a ring. Bee stings... Still, I love it.

missty65 (author)2013-03-09

Well it looks as if you have a 2nd job. I know lots of people who buy something like this. Not just for a wedding ring, but just it is cool.

troopersmachine (author)missty652013-03-09

Thank you.

Lost Moai (author)2013-03-09

My Great-uncle Bill was a machinist and he would make these out of stainless steel nuts all the time. His only had one facet that could later be engraved with the wearers initial or something.

hhamilton2 (author)2013-03-07

You should show a pic of it on your hand. None of the pics show it from the "hand" angle. Nice ible. :)

Thank you, the first pic of the ring on my hand was out of focus and darker than I liked.

Wow! Mr Tough!! Very distinctive. I like.

Thank you.

dougbyte (author)2013-03-08

Waaaaayyyyyy Cool Dude.

troopersmachine (author)dougbyte2013-03-08

Thanks.

Norm Fasey (author)2013-03-08

Nice work. My wedding ring was Titanium which was pretty much indestructible.

RingoWild (author)2013-03-08

It's completely brilliant! Thanks for the info!

skrieger (author)2013-03-07

I like the idea, what if you used a stainless nut to start with? it would not rust! also get fancy, drill small holes and inlay diamonds

enfieldbullet (author)skrieger2013-03-08

grinding wheel dressing diamonds would be suitable. lol.

pcolapaddler (author)2013-03-08

Nice job.
FWIW, I spent many years as a mechanic, working on cars, boats, trucks and the like. I eventually began removing my wedding ring, watch, etc and putting them in my tool box each day. If a piece of jewelry shorts across a battery or other electrical connection it can heat to red hot in seconds. They can also snag a moving part - belt, pulley, etc. with nasty results.

ażołnierowicz (author)2013-03-07

Great job. You can find here more hardcore version of ring. But this only what you can find in... tank. :-)

chrischampion (author)2013-03-07

A warning to those interested in steel and/or titanium wedding rings: EMTs carry ring cutters that can snip gold and silver, but not harder metals. If you jam your finger playing basketball or injure your finger, and your finger begins to swell, you will have to wait until you get to the hospital or machine shop (I recommend the former) to have it cut off. In that time, you could irreparably damage your finger.

Your comment got me thinking the possibility of emergency removal of the heavy steel ring. Bolt cutters will cut through my ring, and bolt cutters are a common tool carried by many emergency responders as part of their extrication tool kit. Where I live, rural Oregon, our EMTs are part of the fire department and bolt cutters will be available on the ambulance or a secondary vehicle.

Your warning is valid. I would not recommend jewelry of any kind while playing sports. Life is full of risks and accidents, I onced worked with a guy that lost his thumb while hooking up a trailer hitch.

camogreen (author)2013-03-07

I forgot to add when I worked for New Jersey Bell, which is now Verizon, rings were not allowed if you worked in the field. The company would have you view a movie of what can happen if a ring gets caught or you happened to short circuit power. Not that we worked with lethal voltages but if it happened in a customer's home or business.

I like the tattoo idea that only hurts for a little while.
Mike

I was shown similar videos while in the Marines, it was enough to get me to take my ring of when working with electrical no matter what the voltage is.

capman911 (author)2013-03-07

That looks very sharp as in cool. I had the opportunity to make a school project in shop class for a grade. So I took a broken cam shaft and took one of the lobes and did about the same thing except the top was flat and the bottom was original cam shaft. The hardest part was drilling out the center hole to fit my finger. I am 60 now and still have that ring to this day. Can't get it on my finger any more, but it was a great learning experience..

I like the cam lobe idea.

LadyWiz100 (author)2013-03-07

Nice. But was your wife happy with it?

She is happy with it, she thinks it suits me.

Marrock (author)2013-03-07

To me it looks more like something you'd use to put a dent in someone's forehead than wedding ring.

troopersmachine (author)Marrock2013-03-07

I agree, that is part of what I was going for. My wife approved so I got to keep it as my wedding ring.

microfarm (author)2013-03-07

Where did you buy a brass "nut" to start that project?
N

I salvaged it from an old camp trailer while removing the old plumbing. I would think most hardware stores would have something in their plumbing section that would work.

davintosh (author)2013-03-07

Impressive! How is it holding up so far? I also wonder what your wife thinks of it. Just the fact that you're wearing something there says a lot. Good job!

I'm none too gentle with my wedding ring, but it was fairly sturdy to begin with, and I've have never had a problem with it getting bent. A friend and his wife both had "rings" tattooed on their ring fingers. They also have traditional rings, but have to take them off regularly for work; the tattoos are always on though!

It is holding up very well, I made the first ring over 4 years ago. I take my ring off regularly for work too.

bryan3141 (author)2013-03-07

I strongly recommend removing jewelry any time you're dealing with things with moving parts (e.g. power tools). I've heard too many tales of the removal of fingers due to the ring catching on something.

I agree, that is sound safety advice. I typically take my ring off when doing work more involved than an oil change.

throwedoff (author)2013-03-07

Stainless steel nuts work a lot better. They polish up beautifully, but are generally harder to work. To find one big enough for a ring you have to go to an industrial supplier. Stainless nuts and bolts are used in refineries and other industries that have corrosive materials piped about the facility. These are usually high grade stainless steel. I have made two different rings with these. You can also take stainless steel welding rods. Polish them and twist them together to make a different type of ring.

I work on diesel pickups so I used what I had on hand, If I make another one I think I will try stainless.

jessyratfink (author)2013-03-02

Super simple, but it looks awesome. :D

Thank you. I made a second ring from brass for a recently engaged friend. It polished better and it was much better looking.

I made one about ten years ago out of a stainless steel nut. Only one surface was left flat. My boss wasn't happy with my effort though. He said I had too much time on my hands and would find more work for me to do.

jacobkoski (author)2013-03-07

A project from the future! How's 2014 so far?

camogreen (author)2013-03-07

Cool idea! When I was a kid many moons ago, like 50 yrs ago, my uncle made a ring. He took a real silver quarter and thickened the edge by hitting it with a spoon. When he got to his desired thickness and size he drilled out the middle and smoothed the edge. When polished up it made a nice looking ring.

SilJEr (author)2013-03-07

I made a similar ring for my Girlfriend out of stainless steel, but I cut it with a laser cutter, and polished it in a similar fashion as yours

netkravler (author)2013-03-07

Could be fun to make one in brass just to make fun with wife. fake gold ;-)

jeffdak (author)2013-03-07

Could be done with titanium nut ?

dsharp6 (author)jeffdak2013-03-07

Also....with titanium rings, if you finger ever starts to swell around the ring, the hospital won't be able to cut the ring off, which means your finger will need to come off. Best to avoid titanium rings.

cj8675 (author)jeffdak2013-03-07

You can but you would need carbide tools

Robsarge (author)2013-03-07

Great idea! Use a Stainless Steel Nut to start with and it will shine up nice and never rust or tarnish! Thanks for the instructable!!

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Bio: I am a USMC Veteran and a Mechanic. I like fixing stuff, making stuff, and being outside.
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