Instructables

Making a Simple Sterling Silver Ring

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With the correct equipment and these step by step instructions, anyone can make a simple sterling silver ring. Some abilities required to make a ring include using a saw and using a torch. This project requires much attention in order to complete each step safely. For a repeat ring maker, this process could take two hours or less, while a beginning ring maker may take much longer. Two simple rings are depicted in the images. These steps are important if you are looking to sport your own jewelry creation making it personal at a price comparative to if not better than purchasing a ring.

The materials needed to make a ring may seem unrealistic for a DIY project. Check around your community to find a work space or craft space that may offer open shop hours for you to use their equipment. You'll need:

Step 1:
  • Ring sizers (not necessary if you know your ring size)
  • Ruler
  • Paper
  • Scissors
  • Marker or mechanical pencil
  • Tape (optional)
  • A chunk of sterling silver

Step 2:
  • Wooden block (with a V cut out of one end - see image)
  • C-clamp
  • Block of wax
  • Saw
  • Scrap metal (optional)

Step 3:
  • Ring clamp
  • Large file

Step 4:
  • C-block
  • Leather mallet
  • Metal mallet

Step 5:
  • 4 inches of galvanized steel wire – 20 gauge
  • Pliers

Step 6:
  • Fire Brick (or another fireproof surface)
  • Flux – an agent used to make solder “run” faster
  • Tiny paint brush
  • Solder wire
  • Torch lighter
  • Torch (or pencil torch)

Step7:
  • Tongs
  • Water
  • Pickle – a sulfuric acid solution to remove imperfections from soldering and annealing metal
Step 8:
  • Ring mandrel
  • Leather mallet (same as used in step 5)
  • Small files
  • Sandpaper (320- 400- 500- and 600-grit)
  • Polish wheel

 
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mrm31 year ago
A great description of the ring-making process.  A word of caution about using steel binding wire is in order.  Always remove the wire before you drop the ring into the pickle.  The iron in the steel wire will cause a chemical reaction that will deposit copper on your silver ring.  This is a form of electroplating.  Make sure that your tongs are made of either copper or wood.  Never put anything in your pickle that contains iron.
MRM
SIRJAMES092 years ago
Here's a place that sells various metals that you all may be interested in.
they sell Brass, Copper, Stainless Steel, Sterling silver too (I think).
they carry pieces upto & including 48 inches x 24 inches.

plaquemaker.com

help@plaquemaker.com

866-880-9617

I do not work for the company but I have bought Brass & Copper from them & have always been pleased with the quality of their metals.
josiemn (author) 4 years ago
Sorry about the mix up on step 6, I think I got it taken care of. Thanks for all of the comments!
Tazom4 years ago
I took a metal smith class at a studio called Lillstreet and it was great! i learned how to make my rings in a bit simpler way, all it involved was cuting out the shape, doing whatever you wanted to the piece of metal (texture, put holes in in and what not) than hammer it round on a mandrel with a though leather hammer until it was completely closed (at first until its similar to your shape and than closed as close as possible) than using a bit of silver solder and a premixed acetylene torch, solder it shut, no need for wire! then just sand (using that special sand paper) and polish using grinding wheels with polishing compounds, yes it would heat up but you would hold it on a special piece of wood or something like that
ArtLizard4 years ago
Very NICE... I have always wanted to do this... I will need to get my supplies together now... have a idea where to get some at? Thanks
Check your nearest university bookstore. If they don't have basic supplies for jewelrymaking classes, they will know of a place that does. In my college town it was the local comic book store that carried the necessary implements and materials. Crazy, huh?
In many western states you can find rock shops that contain a lot of the tools for doing this. A local one in Colorado Springs is Ackley's Rock Shop.
Skip ArtLizard4 years ago
depends on your country. I guess you could do a google search for "Precious metals services" for the metal. Then I guess it's just search for jewellery supplies online for your saw and solder, etc.. (some precious metals services places also deal with the solders.)
thepelton4 years ago
During world war 2, soldiers who found they had a lot of time, such as those in reserves, in the back lines, in the hospital, or POWs, would take a silver half dollar and turn it into a ring to send to their wives or lovers back home. They apparently would punch a hole in the center, and beat the metal from surrounding the hole horizontally until it surrounded it vertically. I have seen such rings, and you can still see part of the original coin design on the outside.
Skip4 years ago
there are things that could be added: Annealing on a charcoal block to prevent firescale. noting that pickle is 10% Sulphuric Acid. Denatured alcohol helps remove remaining polish left on the ring (ultrasonic also helps). You can also tumble the ring by putting it in a pouch with rice and putting it in the clothes dryer (on cold setting) for a couple of hours (Not all of us have purpose tumblers). But that's all beside the point and completely superflous. I like this instructable, it gives a nice insight into simple ring making and all this can be done in the home without buying anything too expensive (tumblers, ultrasonics, etc)
yoyology4 years ago
Great Instructable! Reminds me of my wonderful hours in jewelry class in college. Two things I'd point out: The images in Step 6 are out of order. You show the gray ring before the white flux and orange metal. At the polishing stage, I always found it was best to use the ring clamp again, as the metal often heated up to uncomfortable levels, and polishing compounds would get on my hands.