Tuesday, 29 March 2016

March 29

Another Spinning Bead Ring

Back on December 3, I posted an account of making a sterling ring with a bead that free wheels on a spindle. I liked the concept and tucked it away in the back of my mind to play with later. Later is now.

Plan A

My original idea was to hand make a silver bead and mount it in a ring. Here is the bead, created from two circles. I domed each with a steel punch then soldered them together. As you can see, the finished bead measures about 1/2 inch across. At first glance, it seems small enough.

Accuracy Counts

The next step was to make a ring by cutting a strip of sterling, giving it a hammered finish, soldering it closed, and rounding it on a steel mandrel. The calipers take very accurate measurements to mark how much to cut out of the finished ring to make room to mount posts to hold the bead. So far, so good.

Plan B

So, if you put the bits together and do not like the result, it's time to adapt. I cut the ring open and looked at the bead and ring together. I quickly realized that, unless it was to be a ring for a giant, it would be way out of proportion. That bead is just too big.

I have some commercially made tiny silver beads on hand (as used in the previous ring), so I took one of those, created a spindle to hold it above the ring (so it clears the finger when worn), and mounted that on my ring. Below is a photo of the final product. The bead slides back and forth and also rotates on the silver wire spindle. It's the ideal ring for someone who likes to fidget!