The Soldering Tin Wire Ring




About: I love designing cool gadgets... I'm also Founder at Lumi Industries where we design awesome 3D Printers and Holographic displays!

Ever wanted to create a piece of jewellery with materials around house?

I'm sure you have seen that it is possible, but what if we want a metal ring with a gemstone on it?

We can, using soldering tin wire and a gemstone that has an excellent look and costs just about 2-3 couples of coffee.

Except the gemstone, we will use only materials and tools that almost everybody has already around house, that is always a good thing, beacuse trying to do something using only things that you already have leads to more Efficient use of resources, less waste and this is a good steep toward a greener planet... and also cut down costs ;)

Not to mention you don't have to out to buy materials and tools...

1) Use Lead Free Tin Only.
2)This instructable is for entertainment in making a piece of jewellery.
It is not supposed that you make a ring that you will wear for the rest of your life.
Instead it should be an item that you place on some cushion and say "I made it", or for your girlfriend to say "my boyfriend made it for me" when friends will come to your home

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Step 1: Materials

Here are the materials you will need.

-Soldering tin wire

-A 3v battery, or 2 AA batteries, it doesent matter as long as it gives enough power to the

-Small electric motor (Usually requires 3v) to spin with enough power.

-Soldering station

-A metal bottle cap and a small metallic object with a cilindrical shape
(Later we will discuss about it)

-The gemstone

-Extra: some electric wires, small pieces of PVC or similar material, paper and pen, a solid cutter and some grinding paper.

Step 2: The Gemstone

For this design I have choosen to use a Peridot gemstone.

You can of course use any kind of gemstone you want, or re-use one from a broken pisece of jewelery, or grow one yourself... I'll leave this to you.

I didn't have any gemstones around, so I Have serached for a nice gemstone with a very low cost, and ended up with this one, ordered from an ebay seller for about 2-3 Euros (3-4dollars).

It has a diameter of 6mm, 2,57 Karat, and is very clear with very little inclusions.

This was the only part I had to buy, and i am still impressed how these ultra cheap gemstones are nice and shiny and cool ;)

Step 3: Design the Ring

Now before we start we ahev to decide the size of the ring.

Decide who will wear it.

With a ring template (you can find as many as you want making a Google search of "Printable Ring Size"), measure which ring size he/she has.

The image below is from "How to Determine your Ring Size", By XaGeJa, eHow Member.

Once you have done it, here's the little difficult part: find a small, cylindric metal object around your house, that has exactly the same size of the finger's diameter.

(You will find it, I can assure you, it is easier than you may think ;)

Step 4: The Mold

Put the metallic cylinder inside the bottle cap. You should have a gap of about 3-4mm around the cylinder.

Step 5: Prepare the Wire

Cut some tin wire, you have to make 3-4 pieces about 40 - 50 cm long, then shape them as "8".

Step 6: Prepare the Casting

Bend the tin "8" you have made, and put them in the gap inside the mold. Try to fit the space.

Step 7: Tin Melting

Holding the cylinder firmly in place, melt the tin with you solder, waiting until all the tin is melt.

You can then add some more 8-shaped tin pieces and melt again until you have a solid ring about 5-6 mm tall.

Remove the cap and the cylinder and you should get...

Step 8: The (raw) Ring

You have now a very raw ring. Just look if it is a uniform piece of metal, if it is not, then go back to the melting step.

Step 9: The Homemade Milling Machine

A basic milling machine will be used to give the ring it's right profile.

The machine is made by cutting 3 rectangular pieces of PVC 3mm (or similar material).
One will be the base, the other 2 will keep the motor in place.

The motor should be connected th its battery with a switch.

A circle of PVC is cut, with a hole in the middle so it can be put on the axis of the motor.
The tin ring will pe pressed around this adaptor so it should be the same size of the inner diameter of the ring.

By rotating the Tin Ring, and working with a cutter and grinding paper as is spins, you can give the Tin Ring its right profile.

Step 10: Refining the Ring (1)

Refining with the milling machine.

Step 11: Preparing the Gemstone Socket

Solder the disc to the ring as in Picture 1.

Finally, Solder 4 balls of tin on the side of the tin disc.

Carve the inside of the disc making the gemsotne socket. Put the gem in it, look if it is deep and cetered enough, repeat until it is done. (Picture 3)

Step 12: Shaping the Gemstone Holders.

Put the gemstone in.

Solder another 4 balls of tin over the previous 4, put closer to che center of the disc, so they will hold the gemstone in place.

Repeat with another 4.

Step 13: Final Refining

With the cutter you can give shape to the 4 gemstone holders, sculpting them cutting tiny parts of tin at a time.

Finally, with very fine grinding paper, finish the ring removing all the imperfections and making it shiny and smooth.

Very well done ;) Now you have a ring that you can give to your girlfiriend with pride ;)

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    37 Discussions


    5 years ago on Step 9

    could you make an instructable on the construction of the milling machine i.e. pvc lengths and whatnot?


    10 years ago on Introduction

    whoa ..... this instructable is great ....But be careful what kind of solder you use .....lead solder is bad... cadmium, beryllium also bad and if worn on a sweat ring finger will absorb into the skin ....copper and brass can be bad too... ever wear a copper ring skin turns green, not good for you, same thing with other metals skin change or not.... love the technique.... i dont know if jeweler silver solder (which is a combination of metals)could be used or not... ask a jeweler.....pewter, aluminum, copper, and other metals as jewelry can be toxic depending on how the metal was made....metal companies sometimes put lead and beryllium (and probably cadmium) into metals like brass, copper, and pewter to make it melt at lower temp .... pewter made for drinking goblets or to cast into jewelry should be safe ..... ask a jewelry professor at a state college pa colleges forbid the use of toxic materials on campus not out of goodness of their hearts but because they don't want to deal with hazmat disposal i said the idea is good but please check your metals ten rings full of cadmium is very bad ten rings made of safe metals are cool

    2 replies

    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    Skin turning green with a copper is fine, that is why copper is sold in bracelet form to aid with joint pain.

    Unless you have a rare reaction to it


    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    While jeweler's silver solder could be used, it's cheaper to use sterling or pure silver : ) As a jewelry student, I find step 12 (stone setting) a lot vague, but I haven't done much with bending tin alloys.


    7 years ago on Step 13

    Very much like the ones I make, although my way is much more difficult. lol. Anyways, I was wondering how to make one of my rings with a stone set. This is perfect for my my solder rings. Excellent work!


    10 years ago on Introduction

    tin (Sn on periodic table) and antimony (Sb) and bismuth (Bi) can be ingredients in lead free solder..

    tin cannot be used to make tin cans anymore because acids (probably salt or vinegar) in food break down the tin can(same as acid etching in jewelry making) and create tin salts that poison the food nausea vomiting diarrea symptoms of over exposure...

    antimony also poisonous headache dizziness depression large doses vomiting then death...

    bismuth poisoning black lining around gumline... which in this situation could also be signs of other heavy metal poisoning

    small amounts of exposure can accumulate over time... i agree jewelry companies may add this stuff to kids jewelry but we shouldn't( see CA site) and we should clearly explain this to someone who would want to try this instructable.... i haven't been able get a solid answer on what is in jeweler's solder (silver solder) but it is not pure silver but some alloy with a low melting point not designed to be used for a finished piece...

    look up lead free solder ask a college prof jewelry, chemistry... ask a professional jeweler... ask your/a doctor (medical) about lead free solder

    wikipedia for metal info and bioaccumulation

    california dept of toxic substance control

    osha fed gov website

    8 replies

    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    Silver solder tends to be silver, copper and zinc. For more info, look up the MSDS. And remember, Dihydrogen Monoxide kills!


    copper's melting point is WAYYY too high to even be considered for any kind of soldering. not to mention if you've ever tried to braze with copper, it's got terrible whetting properties, e.g. it doesn't flow into the joint. silver solder is generally 5/95% silver/tin respectively. and tin is used in cans EXCLUSIVELY because of it's corrosion resistive properties. in fact most food packaging cans nowadays are tin coated steel, because tin is corrosion resistant, and steel has good mechanical strength. PLEASE know what you're talking about before opening your mouth and trying to sound smart.


    Silver solder has two different meanings-one is low temp tin alloy, the other (which I was taking about) is high temp silver alloy (called brazing instead of soldering if you come up from welding instead of jewelry).

    Exclusively? Really? Is that why all the acid foods I buy in cans have a white, painted lining?

    Oh, and whetting is what you do to sharpen a knife, wetting is what makes liquids flow. And brass/bronze flows beautifully.


    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    I believe that the white lining also has a lot of cow estrogen mixed into it, or at least that is what I was told. Apparrently that's why if you try to heat it up over a fire or use it to boil water in or something, strange/bad things happen.


    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction


    id love to see someone respond to that in horror. or ask what things dihydrogen monoxide is in =P


    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    Erm... is it just me, or is everything in the State of California known to result in harm or death? Just kidding, awesome idea, but still you have to be careful of which type of solder you use.

    Father ChristmasT-K

    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    actually, that seems pretty accurate. I think it is only a matter of time before toilet seats are labeled as such.


    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    It is made by lead-free tin only. As far as I know, it has no cons about wearing it on skin...


    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    This would add cost to the ring but I wonder if it might be possible to either silver or rhodium plate the ring. As long as the plating remained intact the ring should remain safe . Unless the ring was made from radioactive material and then I think you'd need to lead plate it then silver or rhodium plate the lead.


    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    Tin is a toxic heavy metal, but I don't think it's that much of a problem in it's metallic form. Like pewter, probably alright.



    As the instructions said just do not wear it a lot. Or if you want to wear it a lot just use jewelers solder it has very little if any toxic metals in it, that's why jewelers use it.

    1 reply

    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    I think that silver solder, even an easy silver solder will require more heat than is available from a soldering gun. Pretty sure you would need a torch of some sort. At the jewelry store I worked at we used natural gas and oxygen with either torch used.