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So I have a young couple, who are wanting custom rings. I'm helping them through the process, but I'm also realizing that there are a couple steps where I just have no real idea how to do it right.


For starters, we've spent two evening creating the main material of the bands - an 8 layer billet of 100-layer shear steel, and forged barstock from a Campo meteorite (6% Ni, balance iron and a few traces). I welded it all up, got it twisted lightly, forged out into strips, and ground the face a bit just to expose enough pattern to excite the kids.


From this point, I plan on grinding down the backside (inside) of the rings, then carefully hot-forming them into circles, trimming them, and butt-end mating them as best I can. The idea then is to line them with silver.


Do I have to make 3 silver rings for each one, an inner liner, and two side pieces, and solder the whole mess together? Or is there a way to "tin" them with silver in one hot step, then polish cold?

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Cool project!


You can also make a single ring that fits the inside diameter but extends past the edge and then peen/flair the silver over on to the steel on the outside.


I hope that makes sense i am fairly half awake at this point!




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Ohhh, a subject I might be able to help (a little!) on...


I made a few 'mascus rings a couple of years ago. The method I worked out for lining them was to roll, and silver solder a small tube of 925, about 1/8" longer (axially) than the damascus. Make it a really snug fit into the steel. (I used loctite bearing fit when it wasnt 100% :unsure: , hey im an engineer at heart )


I then got 2 balls from a large ball bearing - they were about 1 1/2" diameter. I sat the bottom ball on a nut under the flypress, put the ring on, then the other ball, then 'whumped it' in a couple of hits. They came out much nicer than my industrial approach would suggest :lol: ) When the silver was 'flared' from the balls I gave them a final squidge between 2 ground flat plates to set it tight.


Finished them off with a small felt buff in a dremell (


TBH the hardest part was learning to silver solder.


If I were to make them again I would send the 'silver sleeve' to the customer for a sizing check before I sized the steel ring and set the liner. There is no way of adjusting after its all set. Ring sizers can be bought off ebay for a couple of $ , but the fit of the ring changes with the axial dimension. Check, check and double check.


I took somones word for their ring size, and made the 'w's one below for them on commission (my 3rd and last one I made) , it diddnt fit them by a mile - I just gave them their money back and gave up a fledgling career as a jeweler :(





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oh, double post....


may as well use the edit for something usefull. Anneal the silver ring before fitting (weirdly, heat and quench to anneal, how weird is that :wacko: )


and ive got a couple of spare balls from the 'mommy' bearing - you are welcome to them if you cant find any your side of the pond, god knows what the postage will be though !


edit again, just remembered....


I bought this ring stretcher from ebay for not much money, that lets you solder the silver ring small on diameter, then pull it out to the size you need, great piece of kit - sure it was less than $50. Sure you could work without one but I like buying tools ^_^



Edited by John N
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Pretty sweet there, Mr. Nicholson. B)


I'm stuck with hammering the silver over a ring mandrel to stretch it, but then I have yet to line a ring with it. Just a couple of finger rings and pipe bands, and the odd hawk fitting. That stretcher is nifty.

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FWIW... That style of ring stretcher I only use for resizing stone-set rings. For everything else, it's a ring mandrel with either a steel hammer (for a lot of movement) or a hide mallet (which is invariably my start point for making them round).


There are a couple of other stretchers that are usable for wide-band rings - but not stone set:


This style, which is bench mounted and more expensive:


ring_stretcher_1-33.jpg (currently coveting the Durston version!)


Or this style - which is cheap and cheerful, but not desperately good quality:




There's also this, which I loathe - too hit & miss:





BTW John - a) Cooksons usually do ring-diameter seamless tubing, but you need to phone them; B ) spot on with the swaging, but I don't think the Loctite was needed!


Oh yes - stunt for getting rings properly round on a mandrel: When you think it is round, look inside the ring at the contact marks. They should be even all the way round. Also, flip the ring over so it is evened out - otherwise they'll taper with the mandrel (not an issue with narrow rings, naturally).

Edited by PS_Bond
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Just ordered the bottom doohickey last night, figure it doesn't need to be perfect since I'm working cheap here, and don't plan on ring-making as a regular business. If it ever evolved to that, more professional tooling would certainly be called for. I think I have it nailed down how I'll set them up, so stay tuned for updates and pics in about a week, I think.

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