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Hammering a perfectly round ring


#1

Hello everyone,

first i want thank all the jewelers here for sharing their experience
so openly, it’s just… NOTEWORTHY and AWESOME ! Thank you!!

I often spend weeks isolated and “locked up” in my studio and find
joy and happiness to read all the new posts, questions and
answers… In short, it is AWESOME

today I would love to know how you manage to make a thick silver
ring, let say 4cm in diameter that is perfectly round.

Because for me, even if I use only 4mm wire it is always comes out
deformed and not round.

When i hammer it round the thickness is not the same all around, with
’beautiful’ visible traces of hammers blows texture… Which I tend
to like sometimes because it has my spirit, but my problem comes when
I want to create a nice and well-rounded ring.

Thanks in advance for sharing your experience cheers beautiful and
sunny day to all. marcio


#2

Grrrrrrr!!!

You dont hammer it, you wind it around the mandrel using a piece of
metal say 12in long, over lap the wind by at least a half of a turn,
then cut through with your saw where the wind is even.

C’mon, its basic metal working, wether its iron or any other metal.

you dont say wether its 4cm inside or outside dia.

If inside youll need a 3.5cm dia mandrel.

Just try it in say some soft metal like lead, ali or copper to get
the feel of it first, then when your happy with that do it in silver.

Its just the same as making jump rings from wire except bigger.


#3

Forming tools such as mandrels are helpful in getting perfectly
shaped round objects. A leather or plastic mallet can be used to
shape items without leaving hammer marks.


#4

As Ted said…

And if it is not round after soldering, stretch it a bit with a
ring-stretcher. A Rathburn ring-stretcher is under $20 (or was, last
time I bought one). That will make it round, and help work-harden
it. With care, you can round it without really increasing the size.

Noel


#5

Hi there,

A tapered steel ring mandrel and a plasic or leather mallet will
make your rings round without denting or marring. It will also make
your ring larger, so you have to account for that by making your
ring a quarter size or so smaller at first and them smithing it up
to size.

Good luck…


#6

As Ted said up to soldering, but I have personally found that I make
better rings if I deliberately make and solder the ring slightly
smaller than the size I want, and then stretch it up that necessary
smidgen to the correct size, by hammering it on my ring mandrel. For
me they end up more perfectly round than otherwise. If I want a
hammered texture then all’s good, but if not, Iuse a nylon hammer to
avoid marks. Perfectly round and hardened due to being stretched.

Helen
UK


#7

Hi Marcio, this is silversmithing use a mandrel and a rawhide mallet.

Anneal the wire and immediately quench in water.

File ends true gives clean metal as well.

Hammer into a U shape round the mandrel.

Put mandrel into holder (hole in bench) and place wire with middle
on mandrel and hammer close to mandrel until it bends down, turn round
and repeat.

You now have a U. Hammer U ends until you have a ring shape.

Now WATCH YOUR FINGERS!

Hammer on the join until it is a D shape

Gently bend with pliers into a perfect D with the ends on the flat
of the D.

Cut through join to make it light tight tight. Hold up to light you
should not see any light through join.

Solder and quench in pickle.

Slide up mandrel put in holder or on a Solid bench. Now the first
hits are on the corners of the D.

Hit one side hard, turn round and repeat.

Now hammer round mandrel with the rawhide mallet.

The ring should be round.

Anneal and quench in pickle.

Check ring is “level” on flat wood surface hammer flat.

NOTE THE INSIDE OF THE RING NOW HAS A DIFFERENT PROFILE FROM THE
OUTSIDE.

Now with a little sanding you have a beautiful comfort fit ring,
ready to sell or to set gems into.

This is good for ring bands, but if you need giant jump rings, i. e.
a band with uniform profile, follow Ted’s post.

This is what is GREAT about Orchid. 2 solutions to a problem but
with slightly different final pieces.

Now for my production version.

I use a PEPE ring bender to bend the shank. 30 secs.

Hammer into D 30 secs.

Put D into a bench mate to saw through join. 30 secs.

Solder 30 secs, pickle, etc.

Hammer D out on mandrel. 30 secs.

Put on ring stretcher, hammer true 30 secs.

Anneal and quench in pickle 30 secs.

Check for level and true.

Say 5 mins hands on to this point
Clean up and polish.

Richard


#8

A couple of people have recommended a ring mandrel, but the OP wants
rings 4 cm in diameter. Are there mandrels available that size? Mine
are barely 2 cm at the large end.

Al Balmer


#9

Ok Ted, I’m going to stick my head up, probably to get it bitten
off, but 4mm wire is pretty thick I can’t imagine myself being able
to turn it around amandrel - even a long piece. However earlier this
year I handmade a 1/2 hoop ring using 4 mm square wire. Because it
was 18ct I had nothing to waste (and couldn’t afford to use a really
long piece) so what I did was made a concave dip in a big wooden
block (large tree stump) made sure the metal was annealed, put the
metal over it and then the mandrel over the metal and hammered it.
Like using a swage block but on wood so it doesn’t damage the metal.
It will still need some hammering after soldering, but use a mallet,
and ifyour join splits just solder it and keep it annealed until you
are close tohaving it round, that final rounding should work harden
it. If I knew how to post pics I would.


#10
A couple of people have recommended a ring mandrel, but the OP
wants rings 4 cm in diameter. Are there mandrels available that
size? Mine are barely 2 cm at the large end. 

Sure you could use a bracelet mandrel. My store sells one, and I’m
sure local stores would sell similar.

Regards Charles A.


#11
A couple of people have recommended a ring mandrel, but the OP
wants rings 4 cm in diameter. Are there mandrels available that
size? Mine are barely 2 cm at the large end. 

Hi Al, Just about any metal working shop wether an old fashioned iron
smithy, to a modern CNC production setup will somwhere have a pile of
offcuts and bits of metal too good to scrap, but with no immediate
use.

The shop owner will have, like you a job come in that needs
something 4cm in dia.

So what does he do? Goes to his scrap pile or bin and rummages
through till he finds something that will do or is near enough to
modify.

So to should we have stuff about that can serve a likewise purpose.

Your not thinking like an artisan should, a piece of iron water pipe
will do if you clean it up.

Have a look about in a scrap yard, theres tons of stuff that is the
size you want.

One can never have enough metal around for that “funny” job your
asked to do.

Ted.


#12

Morning Simone,

No biting off heads for you today, just a few words of support.

You have a spark that, if you nuture it will turn into a steady
flame that you can use in your work every day.

Everyone has it, tho many never ignite the tinder, where it stays
dormant.

Its a very powerful force once you get to use it regularly.

Its something you will feel inside of your self…

It will carry you through all sorts of trials and tribulations you
will face in this vocation.

If you have a problem you cant solve with your thinking mind, put it
in the back of your head, where the subconcious lives, and do
something else.

then, say the next day, think about it and the answer will just pop
out of your head.

Try it.

This power can be used for good or evil so dont trifle with it.

I made some left hand path items many yrs ago to comission,.

Wanting to see if I could put bad vibes into the work. Now regret
it.

10 ot of 10 for progress with bending your 4mm gold on a wooden
stump…

Ted.


#13

Precision equipment manufacturers make mandrels, admittedly not
intended for jewelry, but of all sizes. (Once upon a time I was
taught to grind crankshafts as a kid. I look everywhere for tools)
Barbara


#14
Your not thinking like an artisan should, a piece of iron water
pipe will do if you clean it up. 

I was not saying I (or the OP) couldn’t find a way to do it. I was
saying that the suggestion of a ring mandrel was probably not
useful.

Al Balmer


#15
Sure you could use a bracelet mandrel. 

You’re right. Some bracelet mandrels (not mine) go down to 1 1/2
inches, a bit under 4 cm. Also, I see Rio Grande has a "hoop mandrel"
with a range of 9.5mm - 51mm.

Al Balmer


#16

Hi oops,

did not read the OP clearly, I use a hard wood mandrel my dad turned
up on a lathe, about 3mm to 6mm.

If I did not have this I would got to local metal shop and have one
turned up in tool steel.

Richard


#17
A couple of people have recommended a ring mandrel, but the OP
wants rings 4 cm in diameter. Are there mandrels available that
size? Mine are barely 2 cm at the large end. 

They do make larger mandrels that are commercially available from
most suppliers. But has anyone mentioned making a wax model and
casting it? I know I’ve had people that wanted huge bracelets with
thick links, the labor to get it figured out and done was worth a lot
in experience, but nothing I’d like to repeat. It took a lot of back
and forth between annealing, and hammering.

Good luck
Steve Ramsdell


#18

I agree 4mm wire is difficult to bend into a circle for most people.
I madea few years ago a 5mm thick round wired pendant into the shape
of a “G” formy wife, Ginger. It was 5mm round sterling wire that I
had simply casted and decided the challenge of shaping it might be
interesting. It was difficult being that wire was not d shaped and
it was certainly impossible to complete the circle as a ring but I
just needed it as a round king of G. The sterling was hard as nails
before I was half done. Annealing didn’t seem to help because of the
tight turns I was demanding. I run marathons and weight train
routinely and yet this 5mm wire exhausted me at the mandrel! Let’s
just say I quickly purchased a well made ring bender and stretcher
tool not long after the fun of that project. After that project, the
2 or even 3mm wires are a breeze to bend.

Rick Powell


#19

This winter my brother, who is a blacksmith, and I made me a unique
short-necked fretless banjo. After the 11-inch diameter brass ring
which holds the skin head down was welded, I asked,“How am I going
to make this round?” He pointed to a huge, 4-foot tall mandrel
standing on the concrete shop floor, and said to just drop it on that
and walk around it hitting it with a mallet, then flip the ring over
and do it again. It worked great, of course! I’d opt for a nice,
properly sized mandrel every time. Look for baseball bats, fat old
table legs, just anything tapered in the scale you need. A mandrel
makes life so much easier! - M’lou


#20

Oops Again that should have read 3 cm to 6 cm.

Richard