This week I’ve been working on a set of gold and silver stacking rings. I did a number of sketches and the customer decided on these rings with little gold triangles dotted across the three bands. I’m making sketch number 1 on this page with all the gold triangles going in different directions.
I’ve cut the silver wire and rounded it up to the correct size of ring. Sorry I forgot to photograph that part but if you want to see it have a look at the post I wrote on making a silver ring.
Once I have the rings set in place and the joint perfectly lined up I can being soldering. I begin by heating the entire ring and then once the heat is built up I can concentrate on the joint. I do this with silver as it is such a conductor of heat the joint would not hold the temperature unless the entire ring was already hot. The silver solder and flux is positioned on the joint and once it begins to melt I keep the flame on it. This is to make sure the solder runs into the entire joint and gives me a seamless joint. I let it cool down, pop it in the acid to clean the metal and then rinse it in water and scratch brush it using a brass wire brush.
With stacking rings it’s important that all the rings are exactly the same size and they sit perfectly together so I clean up the soldered seam and using emery paper clean up file marks on the edges of the rings. I use dowel rod with different grade emery papers to get into the inside of the rings. While it’s a slow process it’s best to start with the coarse emery paper and work your way down to the finest grade so you have less polishing to do at the end.
I also use a pig skin with polishing compound to give the flat edges a final polish before I begin the next stage of cutting out the gold triangles and soldering them onto the silver rings.
I’ll post photos of this next week…
Have a good weekend!