Intro: Handmade Buffalo Nickel Ring
Create your own ring using nothing more than a buffalo nickel, a hammer, and a lot of patience and time! Buffalo nickels are nice because they seem to be a little more malleable than the usual nickels you find nowadays.
The basic premise of the project is to hammer along the sides of the coin until they flatten out. This instructable adds a variant where you add another coin on the outside so that it can swivel around the main one. This instructable doesn't have the best pictures, but at least it'll get you goin with the knowledge that it *can* be done!
Things you'll need:
1) A buffalo nickel
2) A Dremel tool (optional but nice to have)
3) A glove (sometimes drilling the coins can make them really hot)
4) A lot of time (anywhere from 10-20 hours, depending on how much effort you put into it)
5) A hammer
First, select a nice buffalo nickel. I'm not sure what a nice one is, but if you have one that has special meaning, that's a good place to start.
Start by hammering out the sides. Put your coin vertically on a hard surface like a concrete floor or an anvil or railroad tie and hammer the edge once, then rotate the coin slowly. Don't hammer the same edge more than once before a full rotation.
If you hammer too quickly or too harshly, the end result becomes a little more chunky rather than smooth, or bits of the coin might also break off. Also, you might end up curling the edges too sharply.
Admire your progress every so often.
Don't worry if the edge starts curling in a bit - you can always sand the inside smooth once all is said and done. Continue until you've got the ring to the size you want and the thickness also right.
Drill a hole in the middle.
Start carving it out. You can use a Dremel or even a Swiss Army knife.
Since I'm using a Dremel to sand out the inside, it gets pretty hot, so I used a glove.
This is what it ends up looking like. I like to end the cut a little smaller so that the words on the coin still remain. Oftentimes people won't believe it's a nickel until you show them the "United States of America" text!
Admire how it looks.
You can also go a bit more and carve out another ring (this time without hammering the edge) from another coin, which can slip around the one you just made.
In that case you'll also want to make a groove in the original ring. You can make a nice groove using a Dremel disk head.
Make a fancy box and put a ring on it!