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How to measure for partial ring shanks


#1

I am having trouble determining the length of silver needed for
partial shank rings. I have a “Jeweler’s Standard Gauge for Ring and
Bracelet stock” that someone gave me, and I thought I was following
her directions, but when I did as I was instructed the ring shank
was too long. I know this is probably simple but I can’t figure it
out. Can anyone help me?

Carolyn


#2

Are you referring to a “half-shank” or replacing part of a shank? I
find the easiest way is to put the ring on the mandrel to the size it
needs to be and to put my bent shank metal next to it and mark where
you need to cut it. Or you can put a piece of tape on the mandrel at
the size you need and put the ring on it…mark the tape and put the
tape on your sizing stock and transfer the marks. Hope this helps!

Mary


#3

Hi Carolyn, are you reshanking rings? If so, all you need do is
determine if the size of the ring now is what you want to end up
with. If so, cut out the desired amount of the old shank,gently tap
this piece out flat on your bench top or a lead block to prevent
changing the length of it and then measure. This is how much length
you need for any replacement.


#4

When fitting a partial to an existing ring (repair, if that’s what
you mean) I find it best just to round out a suitable material to a
larger circle than needed and trim both pieces to fit around a
mandrel at the size required. I usually make it a tad small because
filing, shaping, and polishing will make it larger. This also allows
you to keep your radius uniform all the way to the ends of the wire,
particularly in heavy gauge.


#5

Hi All:

Thanks to all who sent me advice on ring shanks. I know I’ve
confused a lot of folks, so here’s my problem:

I want to make a ring with a cabachon stone. I know how to measure
for the bezel and the back plate, but I can’t figure out how to
measure the ring shank (12mm double 1/2 round wire). Is there a
gauge or measuring device that will help me calculate how much silver
I need?

Thanks,
Carolyn


#6
I want to make a ring with a cabachon stone. I know how to measure
for the bezel and the back plate, but I can't figure out how to
measure the ring shank (12mm double 1/2 round wire). Is there a
gauge or measuring device that will help me calculate how much
silver I need?

I could interpret this several ways. A) You want the shank to come
up to meet the edges of the bezel and NOT continue under it B) You
want the shank to go under the bezel only a certain amount C) you
want the shank to totally encircle the finger with the bezel on top

In both A and B you would have a D-Shaped finger opening. A
consideration here would be comfort…if the bezel is very wide, not
only will it throw off your finger size ‘feel’ you may encounter a
problem getting the ring off and on. The advantage is that if its a
tall stone the ring would be lower in overall height making it more
practical to wear in the real world.

In C you have a complete circle to the finger opening. My own
judgement is that this makes a more aesthetically pleasing product,
but that is really open to interpretation.

In any event, since you’re working in silver, cost is not so much of
an issue. I’d suggest making a full round shank, make your bezel and
then see how you think they should fit together. This way you keep
all your options open until you can see how the ‘physicality’ of the
components work together. If you opt for A or B at this point its a
simple matter to file or saw a flat on top of the shank. If you go
with C I’d still consider making at least some sort of flat so that
you get a better join and it doesn’t look stuck together.

As far as actual measurement of raw stock… you can buy a ring
mandrel with a length gauge stamped into it. You must add to the free
length the thickness of the stock. Suppose the gauge says for the
finger size you select that length should be 54MM(size 6) and your
material thickness is 2MM then you would cut the wire to 56MM. This
allows for the larger outside diameter of the finished shank. If you
want to make A or B this way, simply subtract the length of the
opening at the top.

But it sounds like you’re using some heavy gauge wire which will be
difficult to get the curve at the ends. You could use ring bending
pliers but it may put deep gouges in the material.

On the whole, in this case, it sounds best to make a full shank then
cut away what you don’t want. Just my opinion.

You can find length gauges in catalogs. If you’d like I’ll send you
something to suffice in the meantime.


#7
I want to make a ring with a cabachon stone. I know how to measure
for the bezel and the back plate, but I can't figure out how to
measure the ring shank 

If I now understand your problem correctly, here’s what I teach my
students: Make a complete band in the desired size. This allows you
to make it completely round-- in fact, it is not a bad thing to
stretch it just a touch. This makes sure it is completely round, and
you want it to be a tiny bit over-sized if you are going to remove
much of it to attach it to a bezel plate.

Then file a flat spot right at the seam, even filing all the way
through if the bezel is large. You could save time by cutting out
part of the bezel-- my students are never sure how far down they
want to file. Voila! solder the shank to the bezel plate.

I wouldn’t do it this way with gold, but you did specify silver…

Noel


#8

Hi Carolyn

Indian Jewelers Supply in Gallup, NM has a Standard Jewelers Gauge.
It gives the measurement for Open Ring Shank size which you are
looking for…it is labeled such. There is also a measurement for
Ring Shank Size, but it is for the round ring. It is quite accurate.
It also gives measurements for Bracelets.

Good luck


#9

Carol,

What I do is wrap the shank material around my ring mandrel at the
size I want, then decide how much, if any, gap I want at the top,
mark it and cut it. In the case of a two or three part shank I make
the wires intentionally too long so they overlap at the top and just
as before, form it on the mandrel, run it up to size and cut as
required…

Jerry in Kodiak


#10

Thanks to all who gave me great advice on how to measure for partial
ring shanks. Neilthejeweler, I think I’m going to try your “Option
C”. You mention that it sounds like I’m using some heavy gauge wire.
If I’m going to use turquoise or agate 12x16, for example, what
gauge would you suggest I use? I bought some 12mm 1/2 round wire but
that may be too heavy for, say, a smoky topaz about 8x10 in size.
Suggestions please.


#11
Thanks to all who gave me great advice on how to measure for
partial ring shanks. Neilthejeweler, I think I'm going to try your
"Option C". You mention that it sounds like I'm using some heavy
gauge wire. If I'm going to use turquoise or agate 12x16, for
example, what gauge would you suggest I use? I bought some 12mm 1/2
round wire but that may be too heavy for, say, a smoky topaz about
8x10 in size. Suggestions please.

Hi, My observation about heavy gauge was strictly form a mechanical
point of view. 12mm is going to take some force to get into shape,
and since its so heavy it will soak up a lot of heat. If your bezel
and trim are comparatively light this makes soldering tricky but not
impossible.

If I were going to form this 12mm half round into a basic shank I
would bend the ends first. Place your material over a ring mandrel
(braced on something stout, a hole drilled in the front of your bench
works) and off hammer the ends. Have a few millimeters of wire extend
passed the point of contact and hammer the very end so that it curves
to a J shape. Do this at both ends. If you angle the wire in relation
to the mandrel you can compensate for the taper of the mandrel, be
perpendicular to the edge of the mandrel rather than to the
centerline. You want to bring both edges of the wire down an equal
amount. In thinner gauges its not such a big deal but with this width
the distortion will make aligning the ends for soldering difficult.

Continue off hammering til you have mostly formed the circle. To
finally close the joint place the partially formed shank on the bench
with the open end straight up. Carefully hammer each end straight
down and you should see the gap close up. Its OK to go past a perfect
circle, you can round it out after soldering. It might help you
maintain control if you do this around a mandrel that is loose inside
your shank. This might prevent you from going way too far. If you do
go too far just pound it back to shape on the mandrel and try again.

As to proportion of sizes…its all judgement call. You might try
laying out your components together and see what you think. 12mm is a
wide ring. If you think its too bulky you could consider tapering or
ornamenting the shank. It all depends on the look you’re going for.
If you want the stone as a centerpiece, a narrower shank will draw
attention to the stone, a wider shank may compete with it. But there
are cases where that may be the desired look.

I just realized I took a lot of words to explain a simple procedure,
sorry.