Friday, 21 April 2017

April 20

Wide Garnet Ring

While I was making that agate ring, I decided to make another to showcase one of a set of oval garnets I purchased some time ago. I like to have more than one project on the go at my bench because of the wait times for annealed or soldered items to soak in the pickle pot. 

The Early Stages

I began this project by cutting a strip of sterling silver about 1/4 inch wide and long enough to make a size 5 1/2 ring — a good size for a woman.

I wanted an interesting texture for the ring so I ran two fine parallel lines around the band and selected my riveting hammer to provide the texture.  I am not showing the somewhat dull business of bending the strip into a circle and aligning the ends for soldering. That always takes a huge amount of fussy filing as the cut ends never, ever want to meet perfectly to start with. Because you also have to keep bending the ends together to check the fit, then pulling them apart to file a bit more, you also have to repeatedly anneal the piece. If you do not, the silver becomes "work hardened" so that bending it takes way too much effort. Keep working it too long, and it may even get brittle enough to crack. If that happens, you have to start all over!

Comfort Counts


Nobody wants a ring that irritates their finger, so the finish on the edges and inside is every bit as important as on the face.

This file has a flat face on one side and a curve on the other. It is the only file needed to work a ring. Here, I am using the curved side — flat — on the inside of the ring. The same side, worked on a 45% angle, rounds the inside edges so the ring will be comfortable even when worn all day. I use the flat side of the file to go through the process of smoothing and pre-polishing the front face and edges of the band. 


As always, a lot of sanding comes next, before soldering the bezel in place. After that, lots of polishing and buffing. 

If you are curious about those numbers along the front edge of my bench, I use them to check length when weaving chain bracelets.

A Gleaming Garnet and It's Ready for DixSterling on Etsy