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Cast / Woven ring


#1

Hi gang, My fiancee’s been after me to whip up our wedding bands for
several months, now, and since the big day’s less than two months
away, I figure it’s time I put the repairs and customers’ orders
aside and get down to it… the only problem is, I don’t know how to
do it! Here’s where I’m stuck: she loves braids and weaves, and
wants our wedding bands to feature 18K in both white and yellow
colors, symbolizing the two of our very different lives,
intertwined. She also wants the finished design to flow naturally
alongside the Sapphire and Diamond “bypass”-style engagement ring
I’d made for her, which means coming up with a way to solderlessly
link the two together. I like the clean look of a smooth border on
either side of the braid, so I thought I’d nest each braid in a
channel, much like a Diamond “eternity” anniversary band (which, I’m
hoping, will enable the design to be thinner, for comfort’s sake,
while still durable enough to last through the kinds of abuses a
lapidary/goldsmith/drummer like me tends to put his hands through).

So, here’s the problem: which comes first, the chicken or the egg?
Do I weave the braids a size or two larger than the desired ring
size, then cast the appropriately-sized channel within it? Do I
carve a “wavy” wax model (to accommodate the shape of the engagement
ring) for the channel, then lay the woven band within it? And,
whichever way I go, how do I solder or fuse it together, without
negatively affecting either one component or the other? (Fusing is
actually the ideal since, in a Jewish ceremony, such as ours, there
are regulations about the “wholeness” of the metal to be used – no
breaks, holes or seams allowed.) Are there any bold sould out there
who can offer me some guidance on this one? If so, your input’s
greatly appreciated!

All my best, Douglas Turet, GJ Another Bright Idea! / Turet Design P.O.
Box 162 Arlington, MA 02476 Tel. (617) 325-5328 eFax (928) 222-0815
anotherbrightidea@hotmail.com


#2

Douglas,

   Here's where I'm stuck: she loves braids and weaves, and wants
our wedding bands to feature 18K in both white and yellow colors,
symbolizing the two of our very different lives, intertwined. She
also wants the finished design to flow naturally alongside the
Sapphire and Diamond "bypass"-style engagement ring I'd made for
her, which means coming up with a way to solderlessly link the two
together.  I like the clean look of a smooth border on either side
of the braid, so I thought I'd nest each braid in a channel, much
like a Diamond "eternity" anniversary band (which, I'm hoping, will
enable the design to be thinner, for comfort's sake, while still
durable enough to last through the kinds of abuses a
lapidary/goldsmith/drummer like me tends to put his hands
through). 

I’d go with the narrower weave in a channel, as the braid will be
vulnerable to various outside forces if you leave it “loose” –
besides, if you’re going to have it next to the engagement ring, the
latter will pose just as much threat to the braid as anything else
will.

   So, here's the problem: which comes first, the chicken or the
egg? Do I weave the braids a size or two larger than the desired
ring size, then cast the appropriately-sized channel within it? Do
I carve a "wavy" wax model (to accommodate the shape of the
engagement ring) for the channel, then lay the woven band within
it? And, whichever way I go, how do I solder or fuse it together,
without negatively affecting either one component or the other?
(Fusing is actually the ideal since, in a Jewish ceremony, such as
ours, there are regulations about the "wholeness" of the metal to
be used -- no breaks, holes or seams allowed.) Are there any bold
sould out there who can offer me some guidance on this one? If so,
your input's _greatly_ appreciated! 

Since I don’t know just what sort of braiding you intend, I’m not
sure how to advise you. In a situation where I wanted a Turk’s Head
to rest in a channel, I’d probably make it slightly larger and
narrower, then shrink and widen it over the channel to make it settle
in securely. If you’re just going to braid several strands together,
what’s the problem? Cut off however much you need and lay it in the
channel, then fuse the whole thing.

I’m curious about the “wholeness” thing… would that rule out, or
in, one of my knots made with a single strand of wire throughout? I
don’t do seams, under any circumstances, but I do lead two or more
separate wires through the knot for color and texture contrasts.

Loren
http://www.golden-knots.com/


#3
 (Fusing is actually the ideal since, in a Jewish ceremony, such as
ours, there are regulations about the "wholeness" of the metal to
be used -- no breaks, holes or seams allowed.) 

Douglas…I have no suggestions to offer on fabrication technique,
but perhaps, if soldering is essential in the construction of your
wedding band, you might want to place a plain gold wedding band on
your bride’s finger during the ceremony…thus keeping with
tradition…and later replace it with the band you have designed. I
don’t know if this is considered “cheating”…but it’s a thought.
Anyway, congratulations on your forthcoming wedding, and good luck
with the ring! Dee


#4

Hey Douglas; This concerns your need for woven/braided bands. I’m
enclosing a photo of a set of bands I made in tri-color gold (I
later made a similar set in platinum, much simpler). The trick is to
start off with substantially more material than is required for the
size of band. For the lady’s band, I guess I would have started with
about four inches or 100mm of 1.2mm wire. I fused the three wires
together at one end and clamped that end into a vise.

Problem with the process is, it’s impossible to be perfectly
consistent all the way through; the first couple of turns, I’m just
getting the feel of the braids; towards the end, the wire is too
short to bend accurately and fights me. Just making consistent
over-under passes is the challenge. Once it’s all braided, the whole
thing is pulled until the braids settle in nice and tightly.

Now what I have is a perfectly straight length of, in essence,
braided bar. Probably one-half of it is waste, but that allows me to
choose the best part. I anneal the whole thing(carefully!)and bend it
around into a ring of the correct size. (Actually, at this point,
it’s a short length of weird braided jump rings.) Examining it
closely will reveal the least screwed up area which is then cut off
with a little to spare.

Now the real anally retentive me comes to the fore. I want to solder
this thing so that the joint is invisible. By carefully adjusting the
location of the cuts, I can get the ends of the three wires to line
up so that they are easily joined. Then the size of the ring is
adjusted accordingly. This is where a ring stretcher/squeezer comes
in handy. It’s a pretty limited device otherwise. The trick is not to
try to adjust the size too much or things will get out of hand right
quick.

This assembly is definitely not durable enough on its own to
function as an everyday ring, so I reinforced it with a quarter-round
of white gold on either side, so I guess it’s a quatr-color band.
Never mind. An ugly point about the tri-color thing is that the three
colors have different properties. Yellow gold is quite hard, red gold
not so much so, and green gold is very soft, so if you try to braid
them, you end up just sort of wrapping the softer ones around the
hard one. After a bit of experimenting, I ended up using annealed 18K
yellow, annealed 14K red, and work-hardened 14K green. As I said, the
platinum bands were comparatively simple. Hope this helps some. Ken
Paulson. Saskatoon,SK,Canada


#5
stretcher/squeezer comes.  It's a pretty limited device
otherwise.." 

Ken, I use my ring stretcher/ compressor all the time. It’s great
for evening out the flared ends of catenoid shapes, or making
preformed (the top rim folded in) bezel/ tube sets out of golds or
sterling. I often use it for compressing or truing up jump rings. I
remove the compression die and in its place use the back of a
drawplate. The plunger pushes the jr into the relieved side of the
raw plat, just like the bigger down sizing die.

Works great.
Andy