HOW TO SIZE YOUR STACKED RINGS

1-img_3366Sizing a ring is pretty easy.  It just takes a little applied mathematics.  First, determine the inner diameter of the desired ring size. Then, take the inner diameter, add the thickness of your wire and multiply by pi…3.14.

Example:  To make a size 7 ring with 14 gauge wire (1.63mm thick) follow this calculation.

To 17.35  (inner diameter of size 7) add 1.63  (thickness of 14 gauge wire)  for a total of 18.98.  Multiply 18.98 by pi (3.14) for a grand total of 59.60mm  (total length of wire needed…see SPECIAL NOTE)

In this case, round the measurement up to 60mm.  When cutting your wire stock, make sure that it is straight along your measuring tool for an accurate cut.  Also, use a quality flush cutter. This prevents having to sand off a large amount of wire in order to solder two perfect wire ends together.

SPECIAL NOTE:  

Keep in mind that after soldering the wire ends together your metal will be soft.  Treat it with care so as not to mar the ring surface.  Also, it’s important to remember that wire will expand when hammered.  Therefore, please follow the guidelines below.  Depending on the manner of your hammer blows the ring could possibly become larger than intended. Use your ring mandrel to regularly check sizing.

  • Reduce your wire length by 1/4 size to allow for shaping your ring after soldering.
  • Reduce your wire length by 1/2 size to allow for stamping or embossing your ring after soldering.

Your may add interest to your ring by lightly hammering the outer surface using either end of a chasing hammer.  Or perhaps by using a metal stamping tool, such as a “period” or “starburst” to create a design.  Wire stock is sold in many forms as well.  Round, square, beaded and patterned wire, to name a few, will add an artistic dimension to your rings.

There are numerous educational websites to help the jewelry maker along his or her way.  I personally prefer to visit Rio Grande,  Beaducation and Contenti on the web for my jewelry making supplies and additional help in the way of videos and blogs. A wonderful YouTube channel features Mr. Soham Harrison who masterfully takes the jewelry making student to more involved levels.  Additionally, there are myriads of sites devoted to US and UK ring sizes, wire gauge sizes and ring calculators.

You just might be surprised at how satisfying and enjoyable calculating the exact ring measurements may be.  Not to mention having a new set of stack rings to wear!

TOOLS FOR THIS PROJECT:

  • 14 gauge sterling silver wire (copper wire can be used for practice if desired)
  • flush cutter
  • measuring ruler, caliper or sliding gauge in mm
  • #2 file
  • soldering equipment *
  • finishing and polishing equipment*

* To be covered in a subsequent lesson.

If you have any questions or comments regarding this article or jewelry making in general please be sure to leave them in the comment box below.  Thank you!

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Don’t Give up…2017 is upon us…

2016 is nearly over.  What have I accomplished in the my jewelry making adventure?  Well, it’s been a slow year for me.  What about you?

In my personal life, we’ve spent months searching for that perfect home.  We finally found it!  A 1924 Sears catalog home.  Well built, cozy and perfect!  Moving and settling in was less than perfect, as you probably already know.

With my jewelry bench set up in the basement, I now feel ready to pick up where I left off. My etsy stores are open…check, my facebook page is up…check…my blog is current…check!   Just need to get instagram back up and running with updates on my new projects.

With 2017 just around the corner, I’m starting to think about which jewelry making projects I’d like to work on.  A new ring design…a new bracelet…how about earrings?  One of the most wonderful things about learning to make jewelry is that you can make what YOU want to wear!  The world of jewelry is at your feet!  The sky really is the limit!

What about you?  Are you trying to get your priorities for the coming year in order?  Yes, there is more to life than learning how to make jewelry…but it’s one part of my life that I truly enjoy!  I’m not giving up!

I’d love to hear about your 2017 projects!

Samra  🙂

 

 

 

 

Welcome!

The Theater Box, 1874 by Pierre-Auguste Renoir...

Image via Wikipedia

Welcome to Designs By Samra jewelry making web blog!

This is a personal endeavor to learn the art of jewelry making.  Yes, I could easily BUY the jewelry I wear…but where is the adventure in that?  Just imagine what the world would be like if Pierre-Auguste Renoir did not study the art of painting!

My beginnings are humble.  I have learned a “few tricks of the trade” such as sawing, piercing and hammering metal.  I have also learned how to oxidize metal using various methods and conversely how to clean the oxidation off.  I have acquired quite a few metal stamps for stamping dreamy words and sayings on the metal pieces I have studied hot joining methods and intend to study cold joining techniques more thoroughly.

For now, I’m quite content as a self-taught metal-smiting student.  Life responsibilities and limits on my time prevent me from taking a community class or learning at the knee of a well-known metal-smith.  The web is my classroom.  I welcome your suggestions and comments!

Sam

UPDATE:  As of 2017 I have enjoyed taking classes at a local silversmith school,  watching and learning from Mr. Soham Harrison on his YouTube channel, and as always I am grateful for my personal teachers, Mr. & Mrs. Trial and Error.