Introduction: The Inexpensive Pinky Ring

About: My name is Troy. I'm a Mechatronics and Aerospace Engineer. I make things out of wood and electronics and spend time outdoors (especially SCUBA diving).

My girlfriend loves rings! I guess it's not a bad thing, but it can take a chunk out of the monthly budget. Wanting to do something nice for Valentines Day, I decided that a pinky ring would be a pleasant gift that wouldn't break the bank. Having seen some people make rings from old silver quarters, I thought that making a ring from a Nickel would be just right for her size 3 pinky.

Step 1: Tools Necessary

There are only a few things needed to make the ring:

  • Nickel
  • Two Hammers
  • Machine Screw and Nuts
  • Jewelers Mandrel
  • Dremel
  • Drill
  • Sand Paper
  • Polishing Compound
  • Rag

Step 2: Form the Ring

Hold the nickel on it's side over the first hammer/anvil. Form the ring by striking the side of the nickel while rolling it to ensure an even 'mushroom'. After some time, the ring will form. Stop when the desired ring size is achieved.

Step 3: Drill and Pollish

Drill a hold the size of the bolt you are using. Using a larger drill bit, de-burr the hole so that the nickel sits flat in the bolt.

I used a threaded arbor in order to protect the threads of the bolt and the drill chuck.

I didn't like the hammered look on the ring, so I sanded it off using the following grit sand papers:

  • 220
  • 320
  • 400
  • 600

Remove the nickel from the bolt, place the sandpaper on a flat surface and rub the side of the ring to flatten it using the same range of grits as before.

Place the nickel back in the drill. Using a rag and buffing compound polish the outside of the ring.

***Remember to do this and subsequent steps in a well ventilated area****

Nickel dust can be hazardous if inhaled. For more information about this check out this page from the CDC.

Step 4: Remove the Inside

Using gloves and a dremel, remove the inside of the ring. I used an old pair of welding gloves to keep from burning and accidentally cutting my hands. Remove until the ring is the correct size. Size 3 in my case.

I used my variable speed dremel and turned down the speed to about 10,000 RPM as to keep from loosing control, scratching the outside of the ring, and stabbing myself with the high speed cutter.

Step 5: Polish It Off

All that's left is to sand and polish the inside. Sand using the same grits as before.

To polish, wrap a strip of cloth around a big drill bit and shine the inside.

Nickels from the United States are made with 75% copper and 25% nickel. Since the copper will inevitably leave marks on your skin, a common way of preventing this is to apply clear nail polish to the inside of the ring. This will create a thin, clear barrier between your skin and the ring.

Give it to that special someone in your life and sit back and enjoy!

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