How to make silver rings: 3 Tricks and Tips to Silver Rings - Beth Millner Jewelry

How to make silver rings: 3 Tricks and Tips to Silver Rings

June 16, 2014 9 Comments

Since opening the shop now 2 years ago in downtown Marquette, Michigan I have learned a few tricks for making ring bands that have really simplified the process.  I am going to share 3 things that have really helped us in the studio when making silver rings.  

   

1.  Aligning the back seam.

After bending the strip of metal around into the ring shape, the back seam can be hard to align.  One of the best ways to make this a perfect seam is to run the jewelers saw through it once the seam is aligned.  I like to do this with a 3/0 size saw blade on a very flat bench pin.  The saw takes a little bit of metal off of each size of the seam making them perfectly align with each other.  Sometimes you may accidentally cut a little wedge of metal out of the back if you aren't centered perfectly with the saw blade.  You can cut through again, just keep in mind the more times you cut through, you will be slightly making the ring size smaller.  

 

 

2.  Closing a tiny gap on the seam

After Tip 1. - If your seam is a great fit, but you cannot close a tiny gap the length of the seam, use a 'U' channel forming block. Balance the ring in a channel with the seam facing up, then stick one of a rod inside of the ring and hit downward with a hammer to force the metal (opposite of the seam) outward and then the seam will come closer together and close up. This only really takes a couple of light taps. I love this technique, seriously the best thing ever.  I saw it on a Rio Grande How To Video, although I cannot remember the title of the video.

 

3.  Sizing

If you need to make the ring smaller, you can cut a tiny piece of metal out.  Using your saw, careful start sawing on one side of the seam, only saw about half way thought the metal.  Then make another parallel cut on the other side of the seam.  Go back and forth cutting through each of these two sawn lines until you cut each one through.  By cutting them at the same time, the ring will not become wiggly and your cuts will be more parallel.  Then follow Tip 2 above to close the gap.  The image in Step 1. shows the best way to hold the ring and saw to make these two cuts.

 





9 Responses

Melody Hanson
Melody Hanson

April 12, 2017

I love your tips but for the life of me I can’t quite wrap my head around using the U block to close a seam. Are you putting the ring in a U that is smaller than the ring so the “bottom” of the ring is not touching the block?

Beth
Beth

April 03, 2017

Hi Kate, the gauge of the metal really depends on the design you are trying to create and the tools that you have. I would never go under 1mm for a ring band gauge and the layering depends on the aesthetic you’re looking for.

Kate
Kate

March 28, 2017

When you create the sweat solder technique, what gauges of sterling silver are you using for both the ring shank and the silver you solder on top? I am new to making jewelry and I love this look, especially when it is an abstract design on top with stones. I want to try this, however I am unsure what gauges to use.
Thank you, Kate

Nick Taylor
Nick Taylor

August 06, 2016

I make dozens of rings with my pupils, and to be quite honest i am a bit slipshod with the seam! When you squeeze it together before soldeing and you can only see 50% daylight I let it go! However I do teach bronze age silversmithing techniques and solder with charcoal and pot bellows. it took a few goes to get it right, like the solder running the wrong way or melting the ring! (the look on my pupil’s face :(…..)
Anyway, I am certainly going to make one of those block thingies in the wood shop!
If anyone wants to know how to…..Nick Taylor’s slipshod way….let me know!

Beth Millner
Beth Millner

July 04, 2016

Hi Duncan, you can get the U channel forming block from Rio Grande. =)

Don Duncan
Don Duncan

June 29, 2016

I sure would love to find where I could buy the U channel forming block!

You sure have done a awesome job on making the ring and I hope I can make a ring half as nice for my wife!

Pam Dudrow
Pam Dudrow

April 12, 2016

Thank you Cathy. It’s because of designers like yourself who are willing to share craft secrets, that jewelry artisans as a whole have improved their designs. Because of you, standards are raised and the art is validated! You’re the best!

cathy
cathy

March 15, 2016

Thank for this, I’m just getting ready to make a ring for a friend. It’s been awhile since I’ve put fire to the medal. With this I can get back on the horse. Thank you. Cathy

DeAnna
DeAnna

February 28, 2016

Thank you so much for the tips! I am taking on some projects I had no time for before, but now I do. I will use your helpful hints! Thanks again :)

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Sizing
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Fingers can change size due to many circumstances, the best way to get an accurate size is to check the size a couple of different times to determine your best size. The majority of our rings can be resized, but if the ring has a stone setting other than a diamond, it probably cannot be resized unless otherwise noted in the item listing.

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Beth Millner Jewelry Bracelet Sizing Beth Millner Jewelry Bracelet Sizing

 

Size Wrist Measurement (Inches) Wrist Measurement (cm)
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Bangle Bracelet Sizing Beth Millner Jewelry Bangle Bracelet Sizing Beth Millner Jewelry
Size Hand Measurement (inches) Hand Measurement (cm)
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Medium 8-9 20-23
Large 9-9.5 23-24
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