Making a Textured Fine Silver Ring
Want a ring band with a unique finish? Follow these steps for giving your fused ring a distinctive texture.
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Fine Silver (12 Gauge Fine Silver Wire shown)
Tronex Ergonomic Razor Flush Cutter - Long Handle
2 - Chain Nose Pliers
1 in. Chasing Hammer
2.5 inch Polished Bench Block
Fire Brick (2500 degree insulation) - can be found at your local pottery store
Stainless steel sheet (for protecting your work surface)
Spitfire Butane Torch
Cool Cup Soldering Cup w/ Tweezers
Triple Refined Butane (check your local cigar shop)
Before you begin it is important to set up your fusing station. Check that your fusing station does not contain any flammable items and fill the quenching bowl 3/4 full with cold water. Make sure that your torch is full before you being and has rested for 5 minutes. This way any spilled gas can dissipate and the butane can settle within the torch. Refer to steps 2-4 of our Fusing a Fine Silver Component technique on how to properly fill your torch.
Start with about 6" of fine silver wire and wrap it around the ring mandrel. We want to end up with a size 6 1/2 ring band so we wrapped the wire around the 4 1/2 mark on the ring mandrel. Since you will be texturing the ring, it will expand to the correct size when you hammer it.
Remove the ring band from the mandrel.
Using the flush side of the cutters make a flush cut on each end of the ring band. Refer to steps 7-9 of our Making a Fine Silver Ring for Fusing technique.
You now have made a fine silver ring band with two flush cuts.
Your ring band needs to be closed completely in order for it to fuse. Refer to steps 5-9 of our Fusing a Fine Silver Component technique on the proper way to close the ring band.
Place the closed ring band flat on the fire brick with the seam at 12 o'clock.
Turn on your torch and begin to fuse the ring band by concentrating the tip of the bright blue part of the flame (the hottest part) on the ring band. In a circular motion, move at an even pace around the ring band trying to be as consistent as possible with the heat.
Keep the torch at a 45 degree angle. This will aid in the flow of the gas. The goal is to heat the ring band at an even rate.
As you heat the ring band you will notice that it will begin to turn a matte copperish color. Don't worry, it is supposed to do that. This is the first step in the melting process.
Shortly after the ring band has turned matte it will begin to look molten, like mercury (a liquid copper color). This will happen fast. The silver is now melted and needs to be pulled across the seam in order to fuse. Concentrate the heat over the seam and wiggle it back and forth until the ring band fuses. Immediately pull the torch away.
You now have a fused ring band. Do not touch this ring band with your bare hands, both the ring band and the fire brick will be very hot! Turn your torch off.
Carefully pick up the hot ring band with your tweezers.
Drop the hot ring band into the cold water in the quenching bowl. This will cool the ring band rapidly. After the ring band is cool you can remove the ring band with your fingers.
Place the ring band on the ring mandrel. Begin to hammer lightly around the entire ring band with the flat side of the chasing hammer until it is 1 size smaller than the desired finished ring size. Tip: To make sure that your textured ring band will turn out the correct size, pay close attention as you are hammering. The ring band will stretch quickly as you hammer and you need to make it all the way around the ring band before your ring is too big. Start out hammering lightly until you have a idea of how quickly your ring band will stretch.
Turn the chasing hammer over and, using the ball end of the hammer, continue to hammer around the ring band until you reach the desired size.
Place the ring band on the bench block and hammer flat any unevenness there may be.
You now have a textured fused ring band. To further harden and polish the ring band please refer to our Tumbling Technique. You will want to tumble the ring band for 30 minutes.
- Making a Textured Fine Silver Ring | Beading Techniques | Fusion Beads