How to Make a Nickel Ring

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Introduction: How to Make a Nickel Ring

About: Awesome Gear I've designed myself.

Use a nickel to make a ring or pendant for your sweetheart. Click the link for the mens version.

https://www.instructables.com/id/Mens-5-Cent-Ring/

Tools:

Sliding square
Razor blade
Center punch
Small hammer
Large hammer
Mandrel (I used a pry bar)
Rotary tool
File
Drill press
Sockets
80 Grit sand paper
400 Grit sand paper
2000 Grit sand paper
Polishing Compound

Step 1: Mark the Center

Center the coin in the carpenters square. Using a razor blade score a line in the center. Rotate the coin 90 degrees and score another line. Where the lines cross is the center. Now use a punch to mark the center. This helps you in the next step.  

Step 2: Clamp and Drill

Clamp the ring. Starting with a small drill bit, drill through the premarked center. Progressively drill a bigger hole until it will fit on the mandrel your using. I used a pry bar as the mandrel.    

Step 3: Start Hammering

Place a large hammer on a flat surface to serve as an anvil. Next, place the coin over the mandrel. Using a small hammer, hammer the edge of the coin. As you hammer rotate the mandrel and apply slight pressure towards the anvil. This hammering and pressure helps elongate the coin as it moves down the mandrel. As the coin stretches, check it against the finger measurement it's being made for.


If you want a thicker ring, hammer the edge at a 45 degree angle toward the mandrel. The ring will form a cone shape. Continue to hammer untill the cone forms a cylindrical ring. See the pictures on the last step.  

Step 4: Keep Hammering

Place the coin/ring flat on the anvil and hammer the edge. Eventually you will see the seam between the inner smoother surface start to close up against the outer hammered surface. Next, clamp the ring and use a rotary tool to grind out the seam. CAUTION!!! The ring will get hot!  Spray it with water before handling (notice the burn marks in the clamp). Wear safety goggles, not glasses. Airborne metal dust can fall behind your glasses.

Step 5: Mount the Ring

Find a socket bit just barely smaller then the ring. If you can't find a socket that's just right you can use a smaller socket and use something to wedge between the ring and socket. I use parachord when I need to. You'll better understand on a later step.

After you press the ring on the socket, use a nut and bolt and secure it through the female end. The protruding end of the bolt will be used for mounting in the drill press. Mount the assembly in the drill press and spin it round. Use a file to shape the ring. You will shape the bottom side first. 

Now you have to start being careful not to mar the ring. Use the clamp and a smaller socket to remove the ring from the socket. Flip the ring over and press it back onto the socket. Make sure you use a soft work surface when you hammer the ring on and off. I used the clamp it self.  

Step 6: Final Shaping

With the assembly spinning in the drill press, use progressively finner sand paper to make the ring it's final shape. I start with 80 grit, then 400, then 2000. Spray the 400 and 2000 grit sand paper with water. This prevents the sand paper from getting clogged with metal particles. Again, this gets HOT! And don't breath the metal dust.
 
Flip the ring as needed. Use polishing compound to buff it to a shine. Now that the outside is nice, time for the inside.
 

Step 7: Repeat the Process

To buff the inside of the ring place it inside a larger socket. If it doesn't fit use a "filler" to wedge it in there. Parachord works well because it stands up to the heat. Electric tape works too but if it gets too hot it liquifies the adhesive causing the ring to fall off. Plus adhesive makes a mess on the ring.

Repeat the same process from the outside to the inside. The 80 grit is not necessary here. The 400 will do to start.

Step 8: Done

Depending on how much you file off, you can make it a mens or womens ring. A womens ring has rounded edges while a mens ring is more rectangle in profile.

Several different size rings can be made; thick or thin.  I made this pendant out of 3 nickels.

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62 Discussions

It's interesting that your Penny ring indestructible provides a warning about the Zinc fumes. I believe the same warning should be listed here as Nickel fumes & dust also cause health risks. Here is a good resource for most materials and the hazards the jeweler may expose themselves to while working with that metal:

http://www.ganoksin.com/borisat/nenam/metal_safety...

The fumes from nickel are carcinogenic. I was making quarter rings and decided to stop after discovering this. After only a month or so of making quarter rings, I was seeing the signs of pneumonitis (inflammation of lung tissue) - yikes!

Why is it that with EVERY instructable that uses currency, someone poses this question, without first checking the facts?

"Can I make jewelry from U.S. coins?

Yes, but your business should be careful not to imply any endorsement by or association with the United States Mint in its advertising and marketing materials."

http://www.usmint.gov/consumer/?action=FAQ

Its not illegal for coins but you wil loose money unless your coin is no longer able to get used as its face value, bent, badly scratched off face/back of the coin...a
no brainer.

Any coin will do I believe, I'm always checking my change for disfigured damaged coins found a nickel once with a bad case of road rash another nickel a kid put through a paper punch at school!

I Have tried to make one of these out of a qaurter, but the quality was bad.

I was planning on making one of these (the slimmer variety) and twisting it into an infinity symbol to use as a necklace pendant. Would this work well? And is there anything in specific that you would recommend me do? Thanks

Really nice and inspiring work.
Thank you!

thanks for posting this its really cool, im working on one now. its not coming out as nice as yours. i didnt have a socket to put the ring to work on the inside so i took a scrap of plywood and drilled one hole the size of the ring halfway through one side and a hole slightly smaller through the other side to create a little ledge for the ring to sit on snugly to work on the inside. i colored the ledge orange in the attached photo to be able to see it better.

snapshot.jpgsnapshot(7).jpgsnapshot(6).jpgsnapshot(4).jpgsnapshot(3).jpgsnapshot(2).jpg
1 reply

Awsome! Thaks for posting pictures. It's a help to everyone including me. Your ring is looking good. Keep in mind I ruin a whole bunch of material before I come out with anything worth while.

Wow, my mom just taught me how to do this a couple of weeks ago. She used to make them when she was a kid. But this is far more advanced. She gave me a nickel and sturdy spoon and said to hit it over and over again. It sounded like a cowbell on helium. Then you drill it and beat it some more.

So I don't think I fully understand- you put the coin at like, a 90 degree angle to the anvil- basically so they are side by side... Then you hammer the coin, on the face side / tails side against the anvil, and also along the edge of the coin? (smooth edge)

1 reply

What your hammering is the edge of the coin. As you hammer the edge it will flare into the ring thickness you want. Hammering it will it's through a steel rod also flares the inside.

I made 1 with a 48 50 cent peice, I drilled It 1/2" used a small Jewellers Anvil & Hammer & Tapped, Tapped, Tapped for about a year fairly often. I can still read under the folded edge most of Liberty, In God We Trust, Half Dallar, United States" Other side, etc. I left the Narfy "Hammered" finish.
Sooo.