Wow. Romance is not dead.
Imgur user Jarvicious took a few classes in metal artistry during college and put it to good use when he HAND-MADE an engagement ring for his girlfriend.
This is the photographic evidence to confirm that this type of commitment and dedication is real.
It’s only been 10+ years since I toyed with jewelry and small metal artistry in college. Time to dust off the cobwebs and dig out the old tool kit. I took a random piece of copper and sized it for practice.
Once it has been marked, cut to length and bent I filed (and filed, and filed and filed…..) the edges until they were perfectly flush. At this stage I don’t need to worry about it being ring shaped, that’s the easy part. The little rectangles are silver solder and the goo beneath it is flux. The metal gets heated which melts the solder and (hopefully) pulls it into the joint.
Gross. See that blackened bit towards the back? That’s called fire scale and it’s preventable with more flux. Shortly after this I began coating the entire ring prior to soldering just to lessen the work the pickle had to do. The marked steel rod is called a mandrel which makes it easy to turn the previous picture into the next picture.
After rounding on the mandrel and a quick sand. Not bad considering I used silver solder. You can see the edges of the joint where I didn’t align the two ends properly.
Practice run two! Too much solder. It really is important to get your solder game on point. It wasn’t a terribly difficult task to file all this down and make it look manageable, but it would have been far easier just to solder the damn thing and be done with it.
Cutting the setting seat. I’m sure there are a million and one ways to to do this, but given my timeline this was my method of choice. The bottom of the stone setting was flat so I wanted it to sit down into the ring shank a little to give the solder something to grab hold of. I tried cutting a piece of scrap with a small Dremel bit and it cut way too fast. Hand filing FTW. Jewelry is not a hobby for the impatient.
Draft V 1.2: Copper wire and a cheap setting mocked up (no solder here). We’d recently had our home rewired so a couple of inches of copper was not difficult to procure. Before this project I had never done a stone setting so I wanted to get a few fuckups under my belt.
Stuck that shit right on.
Chillin in the pickle. I was cheap and decided to make my own which is simply salt and vinegar heated in a small crock pot. You can see the flecks of fire scale settling around the upper ring. Per the internet I added hydrogen peroxide to superchage my solution a bit. Let’s just say it has the opposite effect and all the silver came out black. The internet is dumb.
After a quick bath in the pickle and a few levels of sandpaper/polish it actually looked pretty good. I really like this gauge of metal but it doesn’t at all work well with this head setting (1/4 carat, I believe). Despite the filing, you can still see the gaps between the setting and the shank just because the setting is so much wider than the copper wire I used. Too bad copper will turn your finger green otherwise I would have kept this one, but I think I unsoldered the setting for a different ring.
Directed by JJ Abrams
Silver Draft V 1.3: Bend to size and cut. Generally you would choose a size (and therefore a length of metal stock) to work with depending on what size ring you’re working with, but this was still technically practice for me so I wasn’t concerned with size at the moment.
The laboratory. I had to work on this while she was in class/internship ~4 nights a week. It got exhausting coming home from work, unpacking all this crap, blowing through a couple of steps, cleaning up, and making dinner. She honestly might not have noticed if I’d left the stuff out. I got her a hammock one year for her birthday. I was setting it up when she came home just to use the bathroom and she looked at me (in the hammock), waved, used the bathroom and took off.
Random closeup. I hope you enjoyed the album. There is no cat tax as they are both the reason I can’t breath and why I can’t wear dark clothing. The red one also pukes a lot and I stepped in it the other day.
She digs it. We had planned on getting married (eloping in New Orleans) anyway but both the fact that I was planning on building a ring and the fact that I knew how were news to her. If we get direct sunlight in a window the thing is shiny enough she can screw with the dogs.
Image Credits: Imgur
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