Here is a simple yet thoughtfully detailed sterling silver Mens' ring, featuring some exceptional Kingman Turquoise and highlighting some nice details!
I would rate this tutorial as beginner/intermediate. Any tutorial can be rated with emphasis on either category depending on what tools you are working with. As you learn, you save and purchase 'fancier' tools that will help you achieve a look or process with more ease.
Happy Smithing and Enjoy!!
Step 1: The TOOLS You Will Need
This project is quite simple, not a long list of tools....BUT the list can always be added to depending on what you have in your tool box!
1. Ring Shank Stencils (You can order these from Rio Grande or get creative and draw your own!)
2. Ring Sizer (I do not go over this in my photos, but when making ANY ring, youll want to double check your measurements for the correct size your aiming for)
3. Jewelers Saw, Laser Gold Saw Blades (I use a size 1)
4. Calipers (Always a necessary tool!)
6. 18 Guage silver for Ring Shank
7. 20 Guage silver for back plate
8. Bezel Wire
10. Ring Mandrel OR a highly recommended Durston Ring Bender table top tool.
11. Sharpie and FLAT straight liner stamp
12. Lastly....your stone!
Youll need some basic other metalsmithing tools not mentioned....pickle, patina, polishing necessities.
Step 2: Preparing Your Ring Shank
I take my selected stone for the project and hold it up with the appropriate/desired ring shank stencil/style that I like. I try to make sure that the size of the stone matches well with the width of the actual shank. (best to not select one that is larger then your stone)
Place your stencil over the 18 guage silver sheet and trace with a 'Skinny' sharpie.
Saw this out with your Jewelers saw and size 1 Laser saw blade.
File all the edges of the ring shank.
Step 3: Bezel
Take your bezel wire and wrap it around the stone. Mark your cut with the sharpie or with a jewelers scribe.
Saw this line/sand and solder!
Step 4: Ring Shank Details
I use my calipers to measure the length I will need for the desired ring size. (Saw off ends of your stencil silver cut out to make the ring shank the correct length for ring size)
I then use the calipers to determine where the middle section of the shank is, and I also measure about 10mm from the left and right side of this center mark. (You can use a jewelers scribe or sharpie to make these marks)
I then make a 'FINAL' sharpie/scribe line to indicate where I intend to stamp my straight lines. (Be sure to not stamp TOO HARD. One or two nice sturdy taps along your straight liner stamp should do the trick!)
Then, I also measure and mark/draw the decorative lines in for the sides of the ring shank.
Use your straight liner to make all desired impressions.
Use a household nail to make several taps in the center square adding a lovely texture to the piece.
Step 5: Bending Ring Shank and Final Detals
I then take the flat silver ring shank, once all stamping has been completed and stick it into my Durston ring bending table top tool. I HIGHLY recommend this tool if your looking to make decorative ring shanks. This tool really makes thigs easy!
This step can also be done with your Ring Mandrel and a raw hide hammer, hammer your ring shank around the desired size and adjust.
I then use a small jewelers triangle file to file where the decorative lines meet the sides and ends of the ring shank. I file into the stamp line and then clean up/round that little edge so its comfortable. This is a really nice touch.
Step 6: Building the Ring
Solder your stone bezel to a 20 guage silver back plate. Quench.Pickle, and saw out with your jewelers saw and size 1 saw blade.
File and clean up edges.
I take a large jewelers file to get a nice flat sanded spot on top of the ring shank.
Solder the shank to the top you just made.
Step 7: FINAL STEPS!
Ok, make sure you pickle your ring really good now to best prepare it for patina! I use Black Maxx to patina my jewelery (Rio Grande).
Set your stone, and polish!
TADAH! Your done!
I really hope you enjoyed this awesome tutorial! This project can easily be built on and altered to add your own special touches!