Ring Sizing Advice For Novice Jewelry Makers
Ring sizing is an important part of jewelry making and repair. Learn a few soldering and annealing tricks from the pros to master this skill.
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I'm learning to make jewelry and I hope someone can help me. I do well with soldering but have a heck of a time ring sizing. I really struggle to get the two sides to meet, especially when I need to fit a new piece of metal between them. Can someone share some ring sizing tips with me?
Answer: Ring Sizing Tools and Tricks
I'm not a great ring sizer yet myself but I have a few suggestions. When you're adding metal to a ring, it's tough to get the two joints to fit together exactly. Aside from the usual soldering techniques of keeping clean, fluxing, using the right flame, etc., the trick is carefully filing both the ring and the added piece. Make sure the cuts are straight and the curvature of the added piece matches the ring's. If it doesn't, it may solder at the top edge but not all the way through. Ring bending pliers may help. Fashioning the piece on a mandrel at the right size spot may also help. (A marked mandrel is great for ring sizing, too).
There are several ring cutting jigs sold that fit on the edge of your bench. These can help you cut square and straight. Some people make a groove in their bench pin, hook the ring over a point on the pin, and run the saw in a groove in the point. To me, the jigs look easier to use.
Hope this helps,
Answer: Soldering Tip
If you're adding metal to a ring, first, solder a length to one side of the ring sizing cut. Next, shape on a mandrel and cut to the correct length. Solder the second side, then file and polish.
Answer: Proper Bending
Are you annealing the metal? Bending heavy shanks while in a cold state can be very difficult. However, you can't heat every ring. Make sure you know what gems, if any, you're dealing with. If you're resizing an emerald ring, for example, you'll either have to remove the stone or get a good pair of shank benders. If you're serious about ring sizing and repair work, you'll need these.
Hope this helps,
A.C. Hughes, Panache Gems
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