How to Make A Simple Silver Ring in 10 Steps
At Janina’s, our team loves to watch our goldsmiths craft gorgeous pieces every day. The beauty of goldsmithing left some of our newest team members wondering exactly how a ring is made. And so, guided by years of experience and careful instruction, we thought we’d let our goldsmiths teach our staff exactly how to make a ring.Step One: Prep the Silver
In order to make a silver ring, you have to start with some silver. Our team member, Kaidyn, used a chisel and a mallet to cut off a section of silver from a full silver bar. Once the silver was cut partially through, she clamped it into position and began hammering the larger section of metal away. When she was done, we had a chunk of metal that would become her ring.
Step Two: Melt Your Metal
Guided by our staff, Kaidyn took the silver and a selection of other metals – added into the silver in order to ensure the final ring wouldn’t be too soft for daily wear – and began melting it. To draw out gasses and oxides while the metal heats, the goldsmith adds a borax powder at select intervals.
Once the metal has been heated to a liquid, Kaidyn pours it into a mould. This part of the process requires speed and skill in order to obtain a good shape of the metal.
Step Three: Rolling & Annealing
Once the metal has cooled – and been cut into a usable shape – it’s time to roll and anneal the metal. The process of rolling is quite simple. We take the metal and put it into a rolling machine, which helps to stretch out the silver. After rolling it several times, Kaidyn anneals the metal.
Annealing is the process of heating a metal to remove its impurities, increase its softness, and ease the rolling process. Similar to how heated plastic creates a more malleable material, the process of heating metal allows the material to stretch further and easier.
Step Four: Cutting Down to Size
Once the metal is stretched, we cut it again. This time, however, we cut it down to the appropriate size. Since Kaidyn wears a size 6.5 ring, we size the metal down one whole size. This allows us to stretch and shape the ring as we need.
Step Five: More Shaping & Annealing
Once the ring is cut, we roll it again to stretch it a bit and change the profile of the ring. The process is the same as the first time: Kaidyn rolls the ring several times and then anneals it to help soften and stretch the metal without ruining it.
Step Six: Final Shaping
Once the profile and length of the ring is final – and approved by our experts – Kaidyn moves on to shaping the metal to look like a ring. By pressing the metal into a round shape repeatedly, the straight piece of silver morphs into a circular shape. And, once the shape is complete, it’s time to do the soldering.
Step Seven: Soldering Ring
Soldering is the process of joining two ends of metal together using a piece of additional metal. During this process, Kaidyn first dips the silver ring in a solution which prevents the metal from oxidizing. After heating the ring, she takes a few drops of a flux solution to ensure the solder can take hold.
Next, she uses a small torch to melt a tiny bit of metal into a ball. Afterwards, the small metal ball is placed on top of the joint and, carefully using the torch to apply just the right amount of heat, Kaidyn solders the ring together.
Step Eight: Polishing & More Polishing
Once the ring is joined together, the next step is to polish up the rough metal to shine beautifully. A variety of polishing rings are used to buff up the ring. For this particular ring, Kaidyn polished it with two buffing wheels: one added the initial polish and the second finalized a brighter finish.
Step Nine: Cleaning & Steaming
The second last step is to clean off any residual polishing paste. This process involves letting the ring sit in an ultrasonic bath and then running it under a steaming wand.
Step Ten: Showing Off
Last but certainly not least, it’s time to show off the beautiful ring to the rest of the staff!
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