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  🙂

 

 

 

 

Trying something new…

Do you love rings?  How about spoon rings? I am expanding my jewelry making adventure into the art of….spoon jewelry!  Would you like to learn how to make spoon rings, too? How about spoon bracelets?  Stayed tuned for my new tutorial…coming April 2017!!!

Take The Plunge…Silver Smithing Class

Have you ever wanted to take your current skills to the next “level”?  How much will it cost?  How much of my time will it take up?  In the end, will it be worth it?  The answer is a resounding  “YES”!  Here’s the scoop in my location, Cleveland, Ohio.

I found an amazing teacher through a web search.  She was skilled, knowledgeable and witty.  The witty part was especially fun!   I talked a good friend to take the class with me.  That arrangement worked out beautifully since we took an evening class!  The length of the class was three (3) hours, once a week for five (5) weeks.  The price of $150.00 was very reasonable.  Even though it was a beginner’s class, we were able to make a very substantial sterling silver ring with a stone cabochon setting.  The price for supplies was only $15.00!  All the tools we used belonged to the instructor and were left at the studio at the end of class.

I’m so glad I took the class!  I bumped up my jewelry making skills, made a new friend and found that IF I want to use the instructor’s tools (for a small fee) I can!  Also, the instructor would be available for further instruction.  By the way, she also offers an intermediate silversmithing class.

Please be sure to stop by her studio to see all that she offers.  You’ll be very glad you did!  If you have any questions about taking a silversmithing class I would be happy to share with you!   Have fun!  Here’s the link to an awesome experience:

SAS Design Studio:  http://www.sasdesignstudio.com/

 

 

Sterling Silver Discs and other possibities…

I have spent a few hours making a necklace with four little, initial stamped, sterling silver discs.

These little, stamped discs were each stamped with an initial, oxidized and then brushed to give them a lush look. Then they were each attached, by jump rings, to one of the soldered and hammered sterling silver rings I made a couple of days ago. I layered a smaller soldered copper ring within the sterling silver ring.

I’m very, very pleased with the way the necklace turned out. I should have taken a picture of it before I gave it as a gift to my friend battling cancer. Oh well…it was really nice to see the look on her face when I gave it to her. She has an appointment for a strong dose of chemo tomorrow. I hope her spirits will be lifted a little knowing she has friends who care about her.

Today is “Solder Success Day”!

Just when I thought that I would NEVER be able to learn how to solder…VOILA! It finally worked! It wasn’t an easy process, though. Here’s how it went:

I prepared a practice copper jump ring…made sure the edges were filed flat (not so easy I might add). Then I cut a little, tiny bit of silver solder…brushed on the flux…fired up my torch…and went to town! The problem was that the solder didn’t “flow” like the book and videos said it would. Well, no problem. Just try, try again. Right?

However, after the fifth time and several jump rings later I began to wonder why I was having such a difficult time. I came to the conclusion that perhaps I wasn’t heating the metal high enough. You see, The solder was still in it’s little, square state. I gave it one more try…drum roll please…and it worked! I soldered a copper jump ring with silver solder. Yeah!!! After that, I soldered another copper jump ring! Yeah!!!

I was so excited that I spent a few minutes making four, 1/2″ diameter, sterling silver jump rings, sawed by hand, then soldered them one by one! It worked every time! After cleaning, filing, pickling, hammering, oxidizing and cleaning the jump rings, I decided to use one of them in a tiny initial necklace for one of my friends who is battling cancer. She is going to love it!

Cheers!