Introduction: How to Make a Nickel Ring
Use a nickel to make a ring or pendant for your sweetheart. Click the link for the mens version.
Mandrel (I used a pry bar)
80 Grit sand paper
400 Grit sand paper
2000 Grit sand paper
Step 1: Mark the Center
Center the coin in the carpenters square. Using a razor blade score a line in the center. Rotate the coin 90 degrees and score another line. Where the lines cross is the center. Now use a punch to mark the center. This helps you in the next step.
Step 2: Clamp and Drill
Clamp the ring. Starting with a small drill bit, drill through the premarked center. Progressively drill a bigger hole until it will fit on the mandrel your using. I used a pry bar as the mandrel.
Step 3: Start Hammering
Place a large hammer on a flat surface to serve as an anvil. Next, place the coin over the mandrel. Using a small hammer, hammer the edge of the coin. As you hammer rotate the mandrel and apply slight pressure towards the anvil. This hammering and pressure helps elongate the coin as it moves down the mandrel. As the coin stretches, check it against the finger measurement it's being made for.
If you want a thicker ring, hammer the edge at a 45 degree angle toward the mandrel. The ring will form a cone shape. Continue to hammer untill the cone forms a cylindrical ring. See the pictures on the last step.
Step 4: Keep Hammering
Place the coin/ring flat on the anvil and hammer the edge. Eventually you will see the seam between the inner smoother surface start to close up against the outer hammered surface. Next, clamp the ring and use a rotary tool to grind out the seam. CAUTION!!! The ring will get hot! Spray it with water before handling (notice the burn marks in the clamp). Wear safety goggles, not glasses. Airborne metal dust can fall behind your glasses.
Step 5: Mount the Ring
Find a socket bit just barely smaller then the ring. If you can't find a socket that's just right you can use a smaller socket and use something to wedge between the ring and socket. I use parachord when I need to. You'll better understand on a later step.
After you press the ring on the socket, use a nut and bolt and secure it through the female end. The protruding end of the bolt will be used for mounting in the drill press. Mount the assembly in the drill press and spin it round. Use a file to shape the ring. You will shape the bottom side first.
Now you have to start being careful not to mar the ring. Use the clamp and a smaller socket to remove the ring from the socket. Flip the ring over and press it back onto the socket. Make sure you use a soft work surface when you hammer the ring on and off. I used the clamp it self.
Step 6: Final Shaping
With the assembly spinning in the drill press, use progressively finner sand paper to make the ring it's final shape. I start with 80 grit, then 400, then 2000. Spray the 400 and 2000 grit sand paper with water. This prevents the sand paper from getting clogged with metal particles. Again, this gets HOT! And don't breath the metal dust.
Flip the ring as needed. Use polishing compound to buff it to a shine. Now that the outside is nice, time for the inside.
Step 7: Repeat the Process
To buff the inside of the ring place it inside a larger socket. If it doesn't fit use a "filler" to wedge it in there. Parachord works well because it stands up to the heat. Electric tape works too but if it gets too hot it liquifies the adhesive causing the ring to fall off. Plus adhesive makes a mess on the ring.
Repeat the same process from the outside to the inside. The 80 grit is not necessary here. The 400 will do to start.
Step 8: Done
Depending on how much you file off, you can make it a mens or womens ring. A womens ring has rounded edges while a mens ring is more rectangle in profile.
Several different size rings can be made; thick or thin. I made this pendant out of 3 nickels.