I’ve done a few similar in description. Finished weight of the
cluster(not including shank, if its a ring) would probably be under 2
dwt. But you will have material loss cutting down from larger stock
so keep that in mind.
72 welds sounds like a lot of touchy work. You could cut that down
by the following…
Pre-form your tubing as desired. After making your center setting,
layout as needed. Lately I’ve been using flux as a slow drying glue
for the layout. You can do it on a metal sheet or if you need it
domed somewhat that works too. The flux is nice because its slow
drying yet has enough surface tension to lightly hold small parts in
place while you monkey with it. I previously used pink wax sheet on a
thin glass plate but it obscures full observation of the mating
surfaces of your parts. When you’re completely satisfied with the
placement and relationship of all the components simply set it aside
overnight to dry. Next day the flux will have dried to a pretty
secure adhesion. (I discovered this once while trying to pry off a
quarter that had fluxed itself to my bench). Now you can plaster the
assembly. When that cures a little heat on the metal sheet and some
careful nudging and the plaster block comes off so you can solder the
After you chip off the plaster you can solder on your prongs and if
desired, gather the extra length below the setting into a basket, or
just cut them off flush if that suits your finding better.
Another way is to just cut the top plate in heavy sheet and add
prongs as needed, but this has quite a bit of material waste. Upside
is far fewer solder joints to sweat apart in subsequent soldering.
Downside is if you misplace a drilled hole you’re in trouble.
Pick your poison.
As to price, with 72 welds I can easily see 800 or more at retail
and that would be fair for the work involved. For similar complete
rings I’ve made I’ve charged 1500-2000 depending on material.
These other two ways will get the job done quicker (maybe even with
less heartache) so you can either charge less if its an issue or
charge the same since its the finished product that really counts.
If its crisp and clean and better than your competition would do, you
can get the money.