We love to make silver rings in the Halstead Studio. These simple stackers are a low price-point crowd pleaser. If you’re preparing for a show, a holiday is around the corner or you just want to bulk up inventory, ring bands can be a great addition to your collection. It only takes one solder join and under 15 minutes of finishing work for a completed silver ring band. They’re quick and easy to make. Here are the steps for soldering pattern wire rings.
Step 1. Shaping
Silver rings can be made from wire or flat strip stock. Bands are typically made from half round or low dome silver wire that is either plain or patterned. Thin ring bands can be made from round or fancy wire. After choosing the material and the size that you need, cut the wire and then use a steel ring mandrel and a rawhide or nylon hammer to round and shape it.
Note: If using pattern wire, try to match the pattern for a seamless band, if that’s impossible read below for additional ideas.
Step 2: Soldering
A great jewelry tool to use when making rings is a ceramic ring mandrel. This time-saving tool allows you to shape the ring once before soldering and then proceed straight to finishing. Place the silver ring material on the mandrel (join side up), place a tiny bit of solder under the join and heat the ring from above. Since solder flows towards heat, the solder will draw up through the join. Make sure the joint has complete, flush contact before you solder. Solder cannot fill a gap.
TipIf you have a problem holding the seam closed, grip it tightly with a pair of third hands.
Step 3: Finishing
Use a rotary tool and sandpaper or 3M radial disks to finish your silver bands.
Think outside the box
Lining up jewelry making pattern wire can be difficult, especially when you are trying to make a specific size. Rings must be precise which doesn’t allow much room for blending the two ends together. Here’s where charm embellishments and other jewelry components can help. In the image to the left, we’ve soldered on charms, settings and even a heishe bead halo to break up the pattern or make a plain ring band pop. It’s fun to think of findings that you can use!
Shop at Halstead for pattern, bezel and half round silver wires, metal sheet, jewelry tools and more.
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