Instructables
Picture of Solitaire Hex Bolt
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I've always thought the best part of making something is the moment it arrives in the hands of the person it was meant for. With so many "ugly duckling" materials wanting to become something, there are plenty of opportunities to bring about those smiles. That’s what this pendant is. An "ugly duckling" in a tuxedo =).

I made this using a hex bolt, wire, sheet metal, and a cubic zirconium stone. Everything came from the hardware store with the exception of the stone. I got that from Target.

It’s a Christmas gift for my wife. Hope she likes it.
 
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Step 1: Turn a hex bolt

Picture of Turn a hex bolt
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For this instructable I used a lot of tools I’m sure most folks don’t have. However, If I didn’t have these tools I would of used my drill press, a set of hobby files, and carriage bolts.

Using a lathe, cut the sides off a hex bolt. Refine the shape with a hobby file. Next drill a hole in the head of the bolt as close to the size of the stone your setting. Once that’s done flip the bolt around and cut the threads clean off.

If necessary use a hobby file to expand the hole until the stone fits in.

Step 2: Make the setting

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Use a doming punch to strike the hole in the pendant. Start with a larger punch and work your way smaller. This will form a very small ridge around the hole of the pendant which is what will keep the stone in place.

Place the stone in the hole. Wrap a piece of wire around a round rod and form a coil. Cut one of the rings out of the coil and file the edges flat. Close the ring and set it behind the stone as a detention.

Apply light pressure to the ring while you solder it in place. Make sure you wear eye protection.
Jamessteel83110 months ago
I am wandering how to get the pendant and actual piece to bond. Is there a trick that I'm not understanding. Please help.
I would have never imagined something so pretty was made out of something from my husbands tool box. I would love to get one of these instead of a store bought pendant. Nice job :0)
Mrballeng (author)  pattibradford2 years ago
Thanks! You know all the pendants I've bought her have taken a back seat to the ones I've made her.
where do you get the doming block and accompanied set of dies/dollies? great job btw
Mrballeng (author)  The Metal One2 years ago
I got mine here.
thanks, this beats a ball peen hammer locked into a vice any day
Sergris2 years ago
This is a fantastic instructable!
staceyx32 years ago
Very nice, I would appreciate this much more than a shop bought piece of jewellery!
^True That
Coffeinated2 years ago
Wow, thats a nice piece... From a bolt. Masterpiece ;)
But I will never understand why your stuff doesn't rust. i made a butterfly and it rusted, so I had to give it away to let it silverplate, cost me 70€... and yes there even was lacquer on it.
Mrballeng (author)  Coffeinated2 years ago
I've noticed if a piece is highly polished it does not rust like one that has a brushed finish. Another thing is I live in the desert (Las Vegas). I'm guessing where you live is a little more humid. The first butterfly I made still looks like the day I made it. It's been worn by my wife on a regular basis. Thanks for writing.
MrBillG592 years ago
Great idea and good job!

You only mention bolt when you talk about materials and you readily solder it. Isn't that steel bolt going to rust? You didn't show a step where you painted it with clear paint to prevent rust.

Maybe you should try this with a stainless steel bolt.

How 'bout starting with a nut so that you don't have to drill the hole in the middle.

I'm amazed that the stone survived the soldering.

it looks like he did use a stainless bolt but the bale isn't. Even with a clear coat, the pendant will experience galvanic corrosion and will rust.

It looks great, though, as a proof of concept
awoodcarver2 years ago
Very nice work , it is amazing how something so plain can make something so nice ....I am sure your wife will like it
black hole2 years ago
How much did your lathe cost?
Mrballeng (author)  black hole2 years ago
$400 on sale from Harbor Freight Tools.
Thanks. Sadly, that's still miles outside the limit of my cash supply.
How does the stone stay in so well? It looks like it would fall out the front if just the back closed. Was it glued?
This is what step 2 is about: those ball-on-a-stick things are used to slightly deform the front of the hole by hammering it so there's a lip around the inside, which stops the stone falling out of the front of the hole. The coil of wire stops it from falling out the back.

Incidentally, what does the back of the pendant look like at the end of the process? The front looks delightful but I'd want to maybe cover the back with something flat so the coil of wire isn't exposed.
Mrballeng (author)  PKM2 years ago
The back of the pendant looks just like the photo from when I soldered it. I just filed the retaining ring flush with the back.
Mrballeng (author)  bespectacled2 years ago
The front side of the pendant has a small ridge hammered in on the inner circumference to keep the stone in.
really cool, you should enter it into the bling challenge. http://www.instructables.com/id/Scoochmaroo-Challenge-Bling/
Mrballeng (author)  domestic_engineer2 years ago
Thanks for the heads up. Entered.
paganwonder2 years ago
Now I am lusting for a metal lathe- the wife will NOT be happy (especially the cutting lube and shavings that will inevitably be dragged around)! Another awesome 'ible!
Mrballeng (author)  paganwonder2 years ago
You got it right on. But it's not as bad as saw dust with wood working.
Aaronius2 years ago
What type of solder did you use?
Mrballeng (author)  Aaronius2 years ago
It's silver solder from the plumbing isle. Oatey is the spefic brand.
Yes, Please let us know, at least what the flow temperature is.
canucksgirl2 years ago
Another stunning piece of jewelry. You're creativity is insane!!
iamkeebler2 years ago
This is really impressive!
Londonbrig02 years ago
Yet another beautiful masterpiece. I'm sure she'll love it.
That is just amazing! So beautiful! You make the best jewelry!
I never would have guessed that started as a bolt. Beautiful work! :D