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Favorite ring stretcher


#1

Hi everyone,

I want to buy a ring stretcher, which one is your favorite?

Thanks in advance,
Monica


#2

Monica,

Depends on a couple of things – portability versus cost. The bench
mounted ones are easy to use and very powerful, but can cost in the
hundreds, and you can get very simple portable ones, not as easy,
for between twenty and thirty dollars.

I don’t like the stepped ones, because the steps are never quite
wide enough for my rings (which are wider than most, I admit) but if
you get the tapered ones you need to reverse the ring at every step
to make sure you don’t have a distinct taper on the inside. Not as
big a deal for a narrow ring, but the wider ones can be pretty
noticeably tapered if you only do them in one direction.

I have a bench-mounted one (Durston) that is a combination
stretcher/reducer, and I also carry the cheap portable ones for my
classes. It’s nice to have one in my toolbox, and they’re a heck of a
lot easier to lug around than the bench-mount.

Loren
golden-knots.com


#3

Hello Monica,

I like the Ring Enlarger w/ 17 rollers. Price is not too great, and
you can enlarge rings with stones. It does thin the shank as it rolls
the metal down to stretch, and if you get too enthusiastic, you can
easily make the ring too large!!

Judy in Kansas


#4

As Judy said, the roller type stretcher works well, is not too
expensive, and can handle some rings with stones. But it’s VERY easy
to make a ring too big. You must tighten a little bit, roll, remove,
and measure. Then repeat until it’s the right size.

The problem is, how do you keep track of how much you tightened last
time? There is no gauge.

I solved this by sticking a paper scale round the adjuster handle,
see

It’s now easy to reset to the previous mark and keep track of the
progress.

Regards, Gary Wooding


#5

All-

We do have a favorite ring stretcher, and this post reminded us once
again that it is in need of some replacement parts. We have included
a link to a photo of the tool- there is no model or serial number
stamped on it anywhere. The dust cover that came with it says
"Swest".

You can expand a ring by pushing it down the vertical mandrel, or
you can compress a ring by inserting it into a tapered die and
pressing it. The tapered dies are pictured at the right (in front of
the more common type of ring sizer), along with their nylon bushings
to prevent marking the ring up. Many of our nylon bushings have
split and need to be replaced. We have searched the web for
replacement parts, and in doing so, we learned that Swest was
purchased by Stuller. Andy from the tool department at Stuller did
his level best to locate replacement bushings, but no one from the
Swest team seemed to be at all familiar with this tool.

Does anyone out there recognize this tool? Does anyone have nylon
bushings for it they would like to sell?

Thanks so much for looking.
Brenda for David Lee
davidleejeweler.com


#6

Hello,

The suggestions for ring stretchers have been great, but, if you are
not going to give the tool much use, I’ve used a handheld ring
stretcher for many years. The one I’ve used was branded “Karat” and
has held up admirably and was available at a very reasonable price.

The only one I found currently on the internet (others may be
available, but I couldn’t find other suppliers), is at the following
URL

It’s Item number R-31 and it’s only $25.00. I don’t know if it’s
built as well as the one I’ve used, and it does look a little
different, but the way the tool works looks the same as mine.

Hope this is useful,
Linda Kaye-Moses


#7

Hello Gary,

You said, " I solved this by sticking a paper scale round the
adjuster handle,…" What a good idea! Thanks for sharing your
ingenuity.

Judy in Kansas, where a c-c-cold front is coming through and will
surely freeze the rain that precedes it.


#8
Many of our nylon bushings have split and need to be replaced. 

Why not 3D scan and print them?

This company can print nylon:

Elaine
CreativeTextureTools.com


#9

Years ago I bought a lot of “stuff” from Swest. I am not sure if
they are still in business or have become part of another business
entity.


#10

Yesterday I was tasked with stretching a size 16 cast ring to size
17.

Much larger than my expanding mandrel style stretcher can handle.
What I did, and I wish I had discovered this trick years ago, was I
took the jumbo sized mandrel that starts at 16 and pressed it into
the ring using an arbor press. I used the center hole in my B&S metal
gauge as a stop, as it just happened to be the right size. It worked
beautifully!

Stephen Walker


Andover, NY


#11

I use my 4 spline (segments) vertically oriented ring
stretcher/compressor all the time. It’s the standard heavy duty
model. The mandrel section stretches and the disc in the bottom
(looks like an old school rotary phone dial) is made up of graduated
dies that allow uniform bands to be shrunk in size–forced into the
die so that it becomes smaller in finger size but thicker in cross
section.

I use that part of the machine a lot. It’s pretty much just an arbor
press.

You can turn cylinders into bead-like forms and I even remove the
die and shove a draw plate under the plunger. Jump rings can be
forced down in size like a ring, in the wider side of the draw
plate…

I don’t like the Pepe combo ring bender and stretcher. The stretcher
side is okay but the handle is too flimsy for the ring bender side.

Just my opinion.
Take care,
Andy Cooperman


#12
Years ago I bought a lot of "stuff" from Swest. I am not sure if
they are still in business or have become part of another business
entity. 

I think Stuller bought Swest and that’s where Stuller’s,
Andy-the-Tool-Guy came from. I have an old Kagan ring stretcher and
reducer, it looks like they are about $600 these days. It works
great, but I don’t use it that often. It seems to me that Kagan is
the brand I see most frequently in other peoples shops/studios.


#13

I do apologize. The URL for the ring sizer seems to have disappeared
have no affiliation, is ABM Corp. I know nothing about this company,
but when I did a search for the handheld ring stretcher, their
website came up.

Here’s the URL once again (hope it works this time):
http://www.ganoksin.com/gnkurl/ep80z4

Linda Kaye-Moses


#14
Years ago I bought a lot of "stuff" from Swest. I am not sure if
they are still in business or have become part of another business
entity.

Swest was great. bought up years ago by Stuller. If you have any
questions about their old products, try Andy "the tool guy"
Kroungold at Stuller. He was the “tool guy” at Swest for years.
Guess Stuller bought him up too.

Gary


#15
Yesterday I was tasked with stretching a size 16 cast ring to size
17. Much larger than my expanding mandrel... 

Good solution Stephan, Another way to do that is to make a silver or
copper sleeve, or use a piece of copper pipe that fits inside the
large band. Then you can stretch them up together on your ring
stretcher. Then just slide the band off the sleeve to check its
size.

Mark


#16

Wooohoooo. just found another source for the handheld ring
stretcher. I’m not certain why the description says not to use for
stone set rings. The tool I’ve used for years (similar to this one
shown), I’ve used with stone set rings.

Linda Kaye-Moses


#17

Elaine

Thank you for the excellent suggestion to 3D print our nylon
bushings. We’ll look into it.

Brenda
david lee jeweler


#18
Thetool I've used for years (similar to this one shown), I've used
with stone set rings. http://www.ganoksin.com/gnkurl/ep80z5 

If the ring shank does not have a consistent section all the way
around this style will stretch the small section area and not do
much to the larger section areas. Many stone set rings don’t have a
shank that is the same section all the way around so you can easily
distort or break them with this style stretcher.

James Binnion
James Binnion Metal Arts


#19
Good solution Stephan, Another way to do that is to make a silver
or copper sleeve, or use a piece of copper pipe that fits inside
the large band. 

That is the way I usually have done it in the past. My Kagan
stretcher tops out at about size 14. The mandrel in the press worked
very well, very quickly, smoothly and no material wasted.

Stephen Walker


#20

Hi

I have been asked to size a bezel set ring I made up 1/2 a size.

I said I will hammer the shank on the back with my planishing
hammer.

It will be flatter on the back than it is now.

The ring shank is 4mm by 2mm half round. Plenty of metal to move.

The customer wanted to know the cost I said free as all simple
sizing on my jewellery is included in the price.

The sized up shank will be 4mm by about 1.5 mm. What is visible from
the front will remain unchanged.

Why am I doing it like this? Don’t have the cool tools. Wish I did,
but this will work fine.

How long will it take? About 5 mins and customer can pick it up in
one week.

The father wanted to know how I would do this. I said slide it up
the mandrel tap lightly, turn round and repeat tapping. File, sand and
polish.

The father bought the ring without knowing the daughter’s size and
apparently there is no jeweller where the daughter lives. She lives a
thousand miles away. Or methinks the resizing cost from the
daughter’s local jeweller was too expensive.

Would I rather have a quality ring stretcher yes, but I do only a
couple of sizings a year. Usually make to order.

Richard