Brass Ring With Silver Nugget




Introduction: Brass Ring With Silver Nugget

About: I am an industrial designer, an interaction design researcher, a painter, a jeweller, a skier, a camping enthusiast, and I just love to make stuff!

This is a simple brass ring with a silver nugget soldered on top. You will need brass and silver as materials. 

Step 1: The Materials

Materials for this project are brass wire of gage 14 and silver nuggets. I get mine when I cast some silver parts. Usually, when you cast silver, the people who do this, do multiple pieces at a time, attached by small sticks. When they give you the parts back (in silver), they have this stick attached to them and cut off by cutters. This is what makes this pointy shape. So I used to keep these parts, and one day, I realized they would make awesome embellishments on a ring!

Step 2: The Tools for Forming

For cutting and filing:
- Cutters
- Pliers
- Files (large and small)
- Dremel with sand paper bit
- Sand paper

For forming:
- Ring mandrel
- Hammer

Step 3: Tools for Soldering and Pickling

For soldering:
- Soldering tweezer
- Soldering pik
- Solder (silver)
- Flux
- Ceramic tile
- Torch (I use a whale torch with a small propane tank)

For pickling:
- Pot and stove
- White vinegar (serves to replace the chemical pickling typically used. I just prefer this because it is something I can get easily and it works well with my flux)
- Bucket of water

Step 4: Start by Forming the Ring

First, cut a piece of the brass wire. Use pliers and your fingers to make it round. Make sure that it is flat and that the two ends touch very well. (the two ends have to be completely flat. Remember that the solder will not fill in any gaps, it will simply attach the parts that already touch). Finally, make sure that it is the right size on the mandrel.

Step 5: Solder the Ring

To solder the ring:
1- Cut small squares of the medium silver solder. Use medium because when you will add the nugget, you will reheat the ring and you don't want to melt this solder. At that time, you will use the easy solder.
2- Place the ring on the ceramic tile and add flux on the joint.
3- Heat the ring until the flux becomes white and then transparent.
4- Heat the solder quickly and put the pik on it to pick it up. Place the solder on the joint.
5- Heat the ring constantly, making circles. You don't need to focus only on the solder part, the whole ring needs to stay hot. 
6- When it is hot enough, the solder will flow in the joint. 

Step 6: Pickle the Ring

Before continuing, pickle the ring to dilute and clean the extra flux.

Put about 2 cm of vinegar in a pot and heat it a low on the stove. Place the ring in the solution until it is clean. Take it out and wash it in water.

Step 7: Shape the Ring

Once the ring is clear, you need to shape it. 

1- Put the ring on the mandrel.
2- Hammer it gently until it becomes perfectly round.
3- Place the ring on a hard flat surface and hammer it to flatten the wire.
4- To finish this and make it more flat, use a file to make everything straight and at the thickness you prefer.
5- Use sand paper to remove the roughness of the filing. I use 400, 800 and finish with 1000.
6- Prepare the nugget by filing rough edges.

Step 8: Solder the Silver Nugget Onto the Ring

This is the exciting part! Putting the two together!!

1- Put the nugget down facing on the ceramic tile. 
2- Place the ring on top and use the tweezers to hold it in place. Make sure that your setup won't move when you start the torch.
3- Add flux to the joint.
4- Start to heat the ring and the nugget until the flux goes white and then transparent.
5- Add a small square of the easy solder.
6- Heat the whole ring and focus a bit more on the nugget until the solder melts and flows in the joint.
7- Pickle the ring. Follow the same steps as show in step 6.

Step 9: Finishing Up!

Once the ring is clean and out of the pickling solution, it is time to make it pretty!

1- Use small files or sand paper to make sure nothing is too pointy or rough.
2- Use the dremel to polish the inside of the ring. 
3- For all sand paper, always start with more rough (400) and then make your way to more smooth (800 and 1000).
4- Final touch: Use the brass brush with soap under the water to give a really shiny finish to the ring. I always do this instead of using polishing paste... it is just more easy and I find the result is almost the same.

Step 10: ENJOY!

This is it! Enjoy your ring or give it to someone you love!

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    8 years ago on Introduction

    Great instructible! I am a silversmith and I think I would solder the ring joint and the silver nugget at the same time. Maybe not for beginners, but it could save you some time and effort. :)


    9 years ago on Introduction

    Great walk through on soldering the ring and adding the nugget.

    Just a comment for safety as I work a lot with Jewelry. I typically work with silver but due to the price of silver I've moved into other materials brass, bronze, copper, and pewter being some of these metals. All of these materials have their advantages and disadvantages as I've found.

    Be sure to use brass supplied for jewelry or plumbing. At the least make sure it is lead free. I found most brass if its not stated as lead free can contain up to 7% lead. This is ok for some applications but not for something a person might be wearing through out a day for multiple days. Just a heads up on something I learned when starting my brass work.


    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    Thanks for the great comment! This is a real issue and thanks for pointing this out. I always buy my brass in a jewelry store, just to make sure I get the good stuff!


    9 years ago on Introduction

    Just so you know before you go to the work to make this project, as brass oxidizes it leaves a black oxide on your skin.


    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    Thanks for your comment dchall8. Brass does oxidize on some skins, but not on all. I have been wearing this ring for the past year and it never oxidized. I have friends who are wearing it as well without oxidization. I, unfortunately, also know a few people who have a skin that reacted to the brass and the oxidation happened for them. If this happens, you can also make the same ring with silver instead (or even gold!).


    9 years ago on Introduction

    This is awesome. I love seeing how jewelry is made. :)

    The rings are adorable, too!