My sister was given a beautiful sapphire ring for her 21st. Unfortunately she left it on the side in the Hilton Metropole in London, and checked-out. When she called to say she had left it there (she remembers thinking “Oh, I must remember to put my ring back on” and never did it – haven’t we all done the same annoying thing?!), they couldn’t find it. Housekeeping had been in and cleaned the room and “apparently” hadn’t found anything.
So she was pretty heartbroken as she’s been wearing that ring every day for the last 8 years. She wanted to replace it as soon as possible as she hated having nothing on that finger – it just felt weird without a ring on it. But she didn’t want to rush in and buy anything too impulsively, as it’s a big decision.
So we thought in the interim she could wear a simple silver ring that she and I could make together. I’ve done quite a bit of jewellery making in the past and have a lot of kit, so it was easy enough for us to spend an afternoon together making it.
She decided she wanted to make a simple silver stacking ring, with five silver beads on the middle one (to represent each member of the Walmsley clan).
I took lots of photos as she was making it, so you can have a bit of a ‘how to’ guide, although it’ll be pretty tricky to make it without the kit. Although all you really need is a soldering kit and some files. You could probably improvise with some of the other bits!
First up, get your wire, straighten it, measure it out and cut out three pieces. Then file the ends so they’re poker straight.
Next up you’ll need to bend the wire into a ‘D’ shape. This is so you can get a perfectly flush join – you need the two ends to be touching perfectly, without any gaps for the soldering. We used medium solder paste on each of these joins.
Then solder the ends together. Keep the flame moving – heat the surrounding block and the whole of the metal ring. Remember to wear safety goggles! Once it’s done, drop it in some water to cool, then pop it in the pickle to clean.
Then you’ll need to turn these little D shaped hoops into round, ring shape circles. Pop them on a ring mandrel and gently hammer them into shape. Because we wanted to add some silver beads onto one of the rings, we had to use a saw to cut a break into the ring, so that we could feed the beads onto it. We then soldered it back together again (which I forgot to photograph!).
Check it’s a good fit, and then pop it into the tumbler to be polished. This is a barrel full of steel shot, water and a tiny drop of washing up liquid. Leave it to go round and round for 30 minutes or so then pop it open!
A beautiful new silver ring. The silver beads must have actually been silver plated I think. In the soldering process they turned red, which was a bit worrying! But they came out of the tumbler with a lovely rose gold look, so we were pretty happy about that!