You don't really need all that much to make a fairly simple one and I'm going to show you how....
Step 1: Set It Up
- Copper Sheet (1mm should be fine)
- Silver Wire (1.5mm would be good, you can use any type; square, half round etc)
- Copper or Silver Solder Paste (again, you can use flux & solder wire but for these projects, it's way easier)
- Jewellers saw (& extra saw blades)
- something to measure with
- solder brick
- Gas torch
- Ball-peen hammer (and another normal hammer for the flaring part)
- Ring mandrel
Step 2: Measure, Cut & Prepare
Measure your finger to a tight fit, as the ring will stretch as you hammer it.
Mark out your desired size onto the copper.
Saw out the copper shape, and cut the silver wire about 5mm longer than the copper.
Anneal the metals. This means to heat them with the torch until around the time that a yellow/orange flame comes off the metal, before the metal turns red. Allow them to cool , or 'quench' them in some water. Annealing will soften the metals to make it easier to bend.
Using the pliers to hold one end, gently bend the metal around so the ends meet. The ends will need to be perfectly adjoining with no gaps, so you may need to saw it straight (see pics). Be careful however, as you will notice in one of the pics, once you're through the ring the saw will project forward and those saw blades are silly sharp!
The best way to ensure a tight join is to overlap the ends first and then carefully pull them apart just enough to join them flush, that way the pressure is still working to push both ends together.
Step 3: Solder & Size
Run a small bead of solder paste onto the join (you must make sure your metal is clean and the surface is free of oils first, so best to clean it and give it a little sand).
Either place the ring onto the solder brick or hold it with your pliers and begin to heat the metal with your torch.
The best way to solder this is to spread the heat around but focus mainly on the opposite side of your join. Watch the solder carefully and when your entire piece is bright red, your solder will melt in a split second. Immediately take the heat off as your solder will continue to run around the ring & away from the join & will not be effective.
Quench the ring or allow it to cool on the brick.
Sand off any excess solder if you need to and then place the ring onto the mandrel. Using your hammer, start to hammer the ring round, taking the ring off and flipping it over every so often. You only want to shape it at this point, so keep an eye on your progress.
Once the copper ring is round, solder the silver spinner and repeat the process of hammering it round. You can also add a hammered effect to the spinner by using the ball-peen end of the hammer to dent it all over. It looks great when polished up as it reflects the light.
So now comes the fine tuning; try the ring on & make sure it fits, if not, keep hammering it on the mandrel until you've stretched it out enough. This is a process you have to be patient and careful with, checking constantly if it's the best size for you. Once it's fitting, give it a light sand (or a heavy one if you don't like the rough look) and then check the size of the spinner ring. You'll need to stretch this one out until it's only just bigger than the copper ring so it can spin around it.
Now you're ready for the finish!
Step 4: Flare & Finish
Sand the edges and any areas that need it, tidy it up to your liking.
Place the ring on a very solid surface and using the ball end of the hammer to fit into the centre of the ring. You're going to hit the hammer to create a flare on the ring edge. Be very careful and take this slowly as you could get more flare on one side and not the other.
Once you're happy the spinner won't come off the flared end, place the spinner onto the ring & complete the flare of the other side of the ring, trapping the spinner inside.
Give the ring a bit of a polish and you're good to go!