Zig Zag Aluminum Ring DIY TUTORIAL

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About: Civil engineer, mom, baker, potter, silversmith, enamelist, lampworker, jewelry maker and instructor. Visit my website: giselakati.com or my Etsy store giselakati to check my 50+ jewelry making tutorials!

This zig zag cuff ring is a metalworking jewelry project for beginners.

The making process of this ring involves; cutting metal with a jewelers’ saw, filing, sanding, annealing, stamping, shaping and patina application.

We will be using a contemporary jewelry metal: ultra-light aluminum. In addition to being a light weight metal, aluminum is a silver colored non-tarnishing metal.

Aluminum gives you the look of silver without the high cost, making it ideal for beginner’s jewelry making projects.

Step 1: MATERIALS

Aluminum strip 1/16 x ½ x 3“

Step 2: TOOLS AND SUPPLIES

Measuring tape

Ruler

Fine tip permanent marker

Fat tip permanent marker

Triangular Metal file

Steel bench block

Jeweler’s saw

Bench pin

Triangle steel stamp

Brass hammer

Nylon mallet

Annealing station

Cardboard nail file

Ring mandrel

#0000 steel wool

Step 3: SAFETY GEAR

Dust mask (for sanding and patina application)

Disposable gloves (for patina application)

Safety glasses (wear at all times while working in the studio)

Step 4: Finding You Ring Size

Determine the length of your ring by wrapping a measuring tape around your finger

or cut a strip of paper as wide as the ring you want to make.

Wrap the paper strip around your finger and mark where the strip overlaps.

Cut off the strip at the mark, this will be the length of your ring.

Step 5: Transferring Your Measurements to the Metal Strip

If you used a measuring tape, copy the length and width directly on to the metal strip.

If you used a paper strip, measure the length and width of your paper strip and mark it on your aluminum strip.

Mine was 3/8 x2 3/8 ” for a size 6 ½.

Step 6: Cutting the Metal

Cut your aluminum strip down to size with a jeweler’s saw.

Step 7: Annealing Your Ring Blank

Place your ring blank on your annealing station.

Draw a line on the surface with black permanent marker.

Step 8: Using Your Torch

Heat carefully until the black line disappears. The aluminum has reached its annealing temperature. let air cool or quench in water. Dry your metal blank.

Step 9: Making the Triangular Cutouts

Mark the placement of the triangular cutouts along the edges, three on one side and four on the other.

Use the triangular file to make the cutouts along both edges.

File all cut sides and round all corners.

Sand all edges with the cardboard file until all edges are smooth to the touch.

Step 10: Stamping a Design on the Ring

Tip:

For stamping with steel stamps always use a brass hammer.

The brass hammer head will deform on impact, but it will not shatter.

A steel hammer can shatter, putting you, or somebody near you, at risk of getting stuck with a flying piece of metal. ALWAYS USE SAFETY GLASSES WHILE HAMMERING.

To begin stamping, place the ring blank over the steel block and use the brass hammer and steel stamps to make a design or texture over the surface.

Step 11: Shaping the Ring

Use a wooden dowel or ring mandrel to shape the ring.

You can begin bending the ring around the mandrel with your hands.

Finish shaping the ring with the nylon mallet.

Check the shape and fit of the ring. Correct as necessary.

Step 12: Patina Application

An easy and fast way to achieve the" look" of a black chemical patina is using a large black tip permanent marker to make the stamped design stand out.

Go over the stamped design with the marker until all the deep lines are filled with the black ink.

Rub off the excess black ink on the surface and polish the ring, to do this, use a piece of the #0000 steel wool.

Jewelry Challenge

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Jewelry Challenge

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    4 Discussions

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    AnandM54

    10 days ago

    Wow, simple great idea and nicely did it!!

    0
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    heronmoondesignworks

    Question 12 days ago on Step 12

    What alloy of aluminum did you use? What sort of place sells these blanks or stock? Thanks.

    0
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    Penolopy Bulnick

    13 days ago

    I really like the fun and simple design :)

    0
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    audreyobscura

    14 days ago

    I love the way the stamped aluminum looks!