Introduction: Ring Out of Old Piano String
Hello and welcome to this instructable! :)
We - that´s David and Juli - would love to help you create a beautiful, rustic and still classy ring.
We made ours out of an old piano string which we found while tidying up. (To be honest, nobody knows where it came from and which piano has now to come along without its high c...)
If you don´t have some of these lying around (and don´t want to do cruel things to your grandma´s old piano), you can use some other (metal) strings, like from a western guitar or bass for sure.
This project was a great joy for us - we tried out many different things but this ring was our favourite outcome.
As it is our first instructable and we are not native speakers, please excuse any errors. Now let´s get started!
Step 1: What You Need
As we dont have many professional tools, we try to keep our project as simple as possible.
All you need is...
- the heart of this project: a piano string, which is normally a strong wire wrapped with a copper wire. The deeper the tone, the broader the ring will get. This is important if you use a western guitar/bass string, as the copper wire is usually much thinner there.
- a hammer (to flatten the copper)
- a nipper (to cut the wire)
- some fine-tip pliers (to form the ring)
- a soldering iron
- tin-solder (we used a special one with 4% silver in it, but normal tin should be fine)
- some small clamps (to hold the ring in place while you solder it)
- some sandpaper or similar (to smoothen the ring)
Step 2: Cut the Wire
First you have to cut a piece from the string. It should be long enough to fit around your finger. Be generous, as there are always losses (and the piano is dead anyway).
Step 3: Flatten the String
Now its time to show your inner Hulk!
It´s simple: Get yourself some flat, hard surface and hit the string gently, but powerfully. Best way is to start in the middle and work yourself towards the endings as the copper tends to stretch a bit.
As we love our neighbours and are not lucky enough to own an anvil (yet ;), we used the concrete floor in our cellar.
Step 4: Bend the Thing!
After flattening the string, you can get it into the right shape. If available, we recommend using round nose pliers as they do not damage the copper that much. Be careful at the edges, so the copper doesn´t break or slip off the inner wire.
Step 5: Prepare for Soldering
Cut the string a tiny bit shorter than your desired length (as the tin takes some space). Bend the ring and let the endings barely touch each other.
Step 6: Close the Ring
Use the clamps to hold the ring in place while you connect the endings with the tin. Be careful, as the copper can change its colour when exposed to high temperatures for a long time. You can use this to create a more rustical look, if you want!
Step 7: Fine-tuning!
Use the sandpaper or other polishing tools to smoothen rough edges and get the copper bright and shiny.
Step 8: Enjoy!
Enjoy your master piece :)
We love our new ring, as it combines the things we like: It´s rustic but elegant, reminds us of our passion to make music and can probably save middle earth from Sauron ;).
So if you have some old strings you don´t use and want to make yourself or someone you like a pleasure - go ahead and try it out! We hope you like this instructable and look forward to see your results! Feel free to modify the concept. We like the minimalistic look, but you can easily add a gem or even make a bracelet or necklace!