Intro: Remix: Metacarpal Armor
If you're anything like me, then people often run up and smash their face against your fist for no good reason. And yeah, it hurts. Sorry, I'm fragile. Wouldn't it be nice if you could stylishly protect your delicate hands from such vicious attacks? Well now you can! What I've done here is create a modified version of earlier instructables by Vardamanj, Ntownsend3, DENVERLP, Gasketcase, and Donedirtcheap. Theirs are solid and pretty, whereas mine are solid and, well, heavy.
In a nutshell, I ended up making two heavy duty rings from stainless steel hex nuts. I shaped them so that they can be worn on adjacent fingers at the same time. Awesome, right? So here's what you do: First, go to your local Ace Hardware and start trying different nuts on your fingers until you find one that will almost fit. I guess if you find one that fits perfectly, that's great. Otherwise, you'll need to grind the hole out a bit, which ain't no picnic.
At some point, your helpful hardware man will stop by and ask, "What size are you looking for?" because he thinks you shop for hardware using various appendage dimensions. I responded with, "I'm not sure, but I'll know it when I see it." I wasn't sure at this point whether I was going to make a ring for my ring finger or middle finger, so I got two. They weren't even close to the same size, but I said, "Eh, I got a feeling it's one a these two."
Okay, now that you've got your nuts in hand, let's kick this mule!
Step 1: Determine Profile Shape
I took a Sharpie and sketched out a rough shape for the first ring. This was meant more to keep me oriented as I turned the nut this way and that, rather than as a true guide. As you can see in the picture, I initially planned to have a pointy ridge at the apex of the ring. I ended up ditching this plan and going for the classic, flat-top look.
Step 2: Cutting Corners
With my Dremel tool, I cut off the hex corners that I didn't want any more. This actually just doubled the number of corners, but the new ones were way more obtuse and thus amenable to grinding. I would recommend that you either (A) wear shoes, or (B) watch where you step.
Step 3: The Old Bump and Grind
I swapped a grinding wheel for the cutting wheel and got to work rounding off the little corners. For a while, I was running the grinding wheel back and forth across the "band" but not all the way to the edge. You can see how this started to lips around the ring. I really liked the look, but I wound up taking it off for reasons that will become apparent. As you can see, I was still using vice grips at this point. It wasn't until later that I got smart and tamped the ring down onto a tapered stick. That turned out to be way easier and allowed me to slowly turn the ring in lathe-like fashion, getting a uniform circumference.
Step 4: Heavy Top, Skinny Bottom
To make this look more ring-like and less nut-like, I decided to taper it down toward the bottom. I first drew a rough Sharpie guide line and then began cutting.
Step 5: Gettin' All Presentable Like
I got the ring formed pretty much as I wanted with the grinding wheel at low speed. Then I switched to some other kind of bit and worked out all the gouges. I finished with a wire wheel.
At about this time, my crabby neighbor wandered over and barked, "Is this gonna go on all day?!?" Well, now it is! So I started on another ring, for my middle finger.
Step 6: Second Ring, Same As the First; a Little Bit Louder, a Little Bit Worse
Next, I started from scratch with my second, larger nut. I followed the same procedures outlined above, with one exception. Whenever the Dremel was off, I sang that Muppets song loudly. LOUDLY:
BA-DA-DA-DAH doo-doo-dee-doodoo-dee-doodoo BA-DA-DA-DADA-DAH!
The two rings were just about done, but I wasn't. I tried them both on at the same time and found that they bumped up against each other to the point that it was uncomfortable wearing them. I started thinking -- as I sang the Muppets song over and over and over and over -- about how to modify the rings in order to wear them at the same time.
Step 7: Everybody's Gotta Give a Little
Everybody's fingers are different. In fact, the word "finger" comes from the Latin "finigrae," which means "unique." The bases of fingers aren't level and various fingers start at different places on your hand. Thus, it's next to impossible for me to explain exactly how to modify your rings, although the pictures here should help. Basically, I just put them on, examined where they touched, and used a Sharpie to mark off chunks I planned to remove. As you can see, this went through two stages, with the final one being fairly aggressive.
The final notches made it so that when worn together, the two rings don't interfere with one another. It's like wearing articulated brass knuckles. They aren't exactly pretty, but they're not ugly either. I'll probably do some more polishing and I've toyed with the idea of decorating the square tops. "Sh!" perhaps, or "Hi"? For the time being, however, I'm happy. I can now confidently walk through a dark parking lot with less fear of some hooligan smashing my hand with his jaw.