Hello to you, jewelry lover!
In this tutorial, I explain how to make my silver and amaranth wooden ring set with a sandstone cabochon.
For the story, I've studied jewelry years ago and developped a passion in metal and wood combining. Hence, the ring that I am presenting in my tutorial is a combination of everything I like in jewelry: simplicity, modernity and colors.
This jewel needs a beginner's level in jewelry and stone setting, you'll also need some jewelry tools. The fabrication would take you 5h to 6h.
For the choice of the type of wood or the color of the stone it is completely up to you, along with the alloy of metal. Just make sure that the wood you are chosing is dense and solid. I opted for amaranth and sand stone for their beautiful and warm colors.
Let's start the explanation.
Step 1: What You Need
Material for the ring:
- A sheet of silver of 0,5mm thick x 5mm wide (the length will depend on finger size, I will explain in the next step) x 55mm long (in my case)
- A squared slab of amaranth wood 40x40mm, 5mm thick
- Silver solder
Material for the bezel setting:
- A sand stone cabochon of 6mm diameter
- A bezel strip of silver 0,5mm thick x 3mm wide x 20mm long (in my case, depending on the diameter of the stone)
- A sheet of silver 0,5mm thick, min 8x8mm wide
- Silver wire 1mm diameter
- Silver solder
Equipment for the complete making:
- A jewelry saw frame with 0/3 blades
- A jewelry motor with a hand piece
- A hammer handpiece for the motor
- Pliers semi round and round
- A compass
- A ruler
- Files ( cut 00 and 2)
- A round triblet
- 5.5mm and 6mm doming punches
- A wood or nylon hammer
- A 1mm drill for handpiece
- A round bur (1.5/ 2mm) and a hart bur (1.4mm)
- Rubber wheel for handpiece
- Abrasive paper ( grade 180 or 240 and 600)
- Sander rolls ( grade 240, 600 and 1200)
- A blowtorch or handtorch
- Jewelry soldering equipment ( borax or soldering liquid, tweezers, soldering block, pickling solution)
- Stone setting cement or a clamp
- Araldite or epoxy glue
- Oil to nourrish the wood
Step 2: How to Calculate the Length of Metal According the Finger Size?
- I made the ring for myself, the finger I chose for it is a size 54. It means that the circonference of my finger is 54mm.
- Now as the metal has a certain thickness (0,5mm) and as it will be bended, we need to make a simple calculation to determine the length of our metal strip:
size of finger + (2 x thickness in mm)
54 + (2 x 0,5) = 55mm
- Draw the dimensions of your strip on the sheet of silver and cut it out with the saw.
Step 3: The Silver Ring
- With the semi round plier, bend the silver strip until the two edges are joined and adjusted. The ring doesn't need to be round yet. It is ready to be soldered.
- Apply some soldering liquid all over the ring, insisting on the area where the edges are joining, this is where the silver solder will be melted.
- Then heat the piece until the liquid stops making foam and cut a chip of silver solder that you put on the joined edges.
- Heat the whole piece again, insisting on the area of soldering until the solder has flowed all along between the two edges and sealed the ring.
- Pickle the ring to get rid of the soldering solution for 10mn and rinse it.
- With a fine file, file the solder down in the interior and the exterior of the ring.
- Finally, to make it perfectly round, use the triblet and a hammer. Slip the ring on the triblet and hit it softly until round. If you hit too hard it could enlarge the ring.
Step 4: Preparing the Wood for the Ring
- First of all, make sure that one edge of the piece of wood is perfectly flat. Choose this edge and draw a parallel line at a bit more than 2mm from it on the side face.
- Then you will have to draw the circle of where you'll insert the ring. To know the radius of the circle, you'll do an easy calculation which is: (the size of your finger / 3.14) / 2 + the thickness of the silver 0.5mm
R= ((54 * 3.14) * 2) +0.5
If like me you don't have a whole number, round it down. My radius is of 9, then I'll slightly enlarge the hole with my tool.
- Open your compass to the width you've calculated and draw a circle, on your piece of wood, touching your previously drawn line.
- To cut the hole, I drilled a hole in the circle and then used the saw to cut it out, always following the interior part of the line.
- To finish to enlarge and smooth the walls of the hole, use the big grade sand roll. You have to be careful to keep the hole circular and to go little by little not to enlarge it too much. The ring has to enter with a bit of resistance.
- When the size is right, put glue in the hole and definitively place the ring in it. Hit it gently with a hummer if necessary.
Wait for at least 1 hour for the glue to dry.
Step 5: Shaping the Wood
- Sand the piece until the metal and the wood are at the same level and smooth, first with the 180/240 grade abrasive paper, then with a finer one, I use 600.
- Open the compass the 2.5mm and draw a semi-circle following the inferior half of the ring.
- Then draw 2 parallel lines that are perpendicular to the edge you've chosen previously. These lines have to be continuous with the semi-circle you've just drawn, it makes a U. This will define the shape of the finished ring.
- The next step is to cut and sand down the wood to the U shape you've drawn. To cut, you can use the saw frame and then sand down with a rough file.
- Finish the sanding phase of the edges with a fine file, so the wood is smooth. Also, sand the 2 faces with 600/1200 paper, overall to smoother the metal that will be polished and to get rid of any marks.
Step 6: Polishing the Metal Ring
- To have a nice and shiny polish, you have to get rid of any scratch. First use a 600 grade sand roll then a 1200. Sand the inside of the ring moving regularly the roll.
- When smooth, polish with a wool or coton pendant wheel and polishing paste until shiny. Make regular circle inside the ring and polish the edges as well.
- Then you have to clean the ring, if you have an ultrasound cleaner, leave the ring 3mn in it. If not, clean with warm water and dishes soap, with a soft towel.
- Wipe the ring and let it dry completely.
- To nourrish the wood, apply oil on it. I use coconut oil, but you can also use linseed oil or any oil that doesn't go rancid.
Step 7: Making the Bezel Setting
My stone is a 6mm round cabochon, to make the setting I need a silver strip and a silver sheet.
- For this calculation, I know the diameter and I'd like to know the perimeter for the length of metal necessary:
P = 6 x 3.14 + (2 x 0.5)
P = 19.84mm (20mm rouded up)
Hence, cut a strip of silver that is 20 x 3 x 0.5 mm.
- Then, same steps as the first ring: bend the strip, solder it and pickle/rinse it.
- To make it round this time, use doming punches. Starting first with the 5.5mm and then with the 6mm.
- When this is done, sand one face of the ring so the metal is completely flat. This face is then soldered to a sheet of silver like in the second photo. Apply soldering solution everywhere, heat the piece and put 2 or 3 chips of silver solder on the exterior that you'll melt all around the piece.
- To get rid of the extra silver, file it down all the around the bezel, then sand it with the 600 sand roll and finish with the 1200 sand roll. Also sand the 2 faces of the, now called, bezel setting.
- Polish it and clean it.
Step 8: Soldering the Wire to the Bezel
- The next step is to solder a 1cm piece of 1mm diameter silver wire. For this apply soldering solution on both pieces. Cut a chip of silver solder that you'll put at one end of the wire and melt it on without heating it too much.
- Then hold the wire with a tweezer close to the setting, that you have put flat face up. Heat the setting, when it starts to get red, bring the wire closer and heat them both. When you see the solder on it shining, put the end of the wire onto the setting. Both need to be at the same temperature so the solder attaches to them. If the wire is not right in the middle it's not a big deal.
- Pickle it and rinse it. No more soldering.
Step 9: Setting the Cabochon
Now is the setting phase.
- If you have setters cement, place the bezel in it. If you don't, you might use a ring clamp.Hart
- Smooth the rough edge of the bezel with a fine file.
- Then you have to make a trench in the interior of the bezel. Draw a circular line 1mm down from the top edge with a compass and dig it with the hart bur.
- Place the cabochon in the bezel and bend the edges over the stone with a hammer handpiece. Your have to push the metal all around the stone until it doesn't move anymore.
- Finally with a fine rubber wheel, smoother the edge, it will equally brunish and make it shiny.
- Unset the bezel from the cement and clean it by leaving it for a while in methylated spirit.
You can then polish it a little more.
Step 10: Placing the Bezel on the Ring
You've reached the final step!
- To know exactly where you want the bezel to be set on the ring, place it on the side of the ring. As shown in 1ts picture. Then measure the space between the edge ans the wire. Draw a point on top of the ring at the distance you've just measured.
- With a 1mm drill, make a hole at that point, you have to stop drilling when reaching the silver. You'll feel it, the resistance isn't the same. Don't go through the metal.
- With the round bur, enlarge the edges of the hole.
- Then cut the wire of the bezel so it can enter entirely in the wood. Don't hesitate to try it. Also, if ever the wire wasn't soldered in the middle of the bezel, turn it when placed in the ring until you find the settlement you like.
- When ready, put glue on the hole, enough to, when you put the bezel, expend some of the glue under the bezel. If you've put too much and it spreads out from under the bezel, wipe it with acetone.
Wait for the glue to dry and your ring is ready!!!
Step 11: Every Angles
Now it's your turn! Make your own cabochon and wood ring!
Runner Up in the