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Ring bending

Greetings to all-

I make rings quite often with thick sterling stock. I also make
sterling spoon rings using some pretty massive flatware. I bend the
shanks by hand either with a rounded barrel pliers or using a gadget
in a bench vise. My question is this- is there some sort of tool to
use to save my wrists? I have looked in the Rio catalogue as well as
on ebay and other jewelry supply catalogues. I am never quite sure
what will work best.

Is there anyone out there in Orchidland that can advise me?

Thanks so much,

Jean Menden
JMenden Silver

is there some sort of tool to use to save my wrists? 

I find this a useful tool :-

Regards Charles A.

Iif you got a V block

and an arbor press

you could with a little finesse easily bend something like that, I
have used those two tools to make coils out of 3/8 titanium rod.



After my right wrist began to hurt four years ago, I went to a hand
specialist at Mass General in Boston. He did a series of x-rays and
ordered three wrist braces for me. One is hard plastic molded in hot
water to fit my wrist; I wear this when I’m hammering and forming in
the studio. One is a couple of narrow steel strips held together by
mesh and velcro for sleeping. One is a light weight black velcro and
mesh brace for wearing when my wrist hurts but I’m not working in the
studio. My insurance covered about 70%.

I would guess there are hand specialists all over the country. My MD
is Dr. Sang Lee. His phone is 617.726.1344 if you want to call and
ask for a recommendation near where you live and work. Good luck.


Steve I just bought a Pepe ring bender from Contenti. I thought the
quality was a bit lacking in the engineering department and the
quality control on the 90 degree bending post was bad enough that it
broke on the first try. The rest of the unit works and for the price
($150) it might be just what you need. Take a look at it, I have used
it to bend several rings and all in all I thought it was a reasonable
buy for the price. Contenti is looking for a replacement part for the
90 degree post that broke so even that is not all that bad.

Frank Goss

I bend the shanks by hand either with a rounded barrel pliers or
using a gadget in a bench vise. My question is this- is there some
sort of tool to use to save my wrists? 

I’m home on dialup/remote access so it’s too much of a pita to go
looking for links right now. There is a thing called a “ring bending
machine” that pretty much everybody carries. It has a long lever, an
offset cam and anvil-like surfaces that the cam meshes into, all
made of cast iron and steel that mounts on the bench. It’s one of
those things that you’ll wonder how you ever got along without it,
after you get one.

Call-me Jean and I will get you through your process the easy-way.
210.260.0662 Cell

Stephen Wyrick, CMBJ

Ive had a look at what you do and say your a trier. which is good.

now you mention 2 issues,

  1. the bending of silver stock

2, the bending of tea spoon handles.

Lets look at 1. now to give you any proper advice on what will do
what you want to save your wrists, can you respond with thickness and
width of the sterling you want to bend and to what radius?

Because bending strip to a complete circle in finger ring sizes is
allmost impossible, due to the problem of getting the ends of the
strip to take up the same radius as in the midle of the strip.

If you bend longer strip then cut off the ends then theres the
problem of getting the strip paralell.

You need to look for whats called a tinmans stake.

this is a T stake then all you need is some round rod in varius
radii that match the grooves.

with someone to hold the silver and you with a hammer and the steel
rod, just tap the rod on the silver over the groove and it goes
round. you can mechanise this with a press and and more sophisticated
tooling. the principle is simple enough.

Round wire isnt a problem.

Now 2.

With these you need to make sure you have annealed them 1st under
flux (stops oxidation) then support the thick end of the spoon handle
on your ring stake held firmly in your bench vice with a piece of 1in
square iron bar on top of the spoon handle behind the ring stick. an
elastic band holds them together.

then using a leather mallet hammer down the overhung bit of the
handle to the radius you want.

then move the spoon handle along the ring stick and bend again. Turn
the handle round and mallet down the thin end. then close up this
circle of silver to the ring size you want.

Ive made hundreds of these but from EPNS as its illegal to do it
from sterling here in the UK.

when I anneal them first the silver plate usually goes into the base
metal so i allways replate them.

Hope this helps.

Hi Jean,

I use the Pepe Super Ring Bending Tool which comes with metal and
nylon formers. If you go on the Pepe site, it is product #301.00. I
have bent wire up to 3mm thick and it will bend it right on the end
which is hard to do for anybody but especially if you are a woman. I
love this product but I just make sure that the metal is annealed
when I am bending anything that thick.

Good luck and I know you will love it if you do buy it.


My hands were hurting as well, so I decided to get a ring bender. I
LOVE the Pepe super bender. [PDF file]

My bender came with white plastic inserts so the rings do not get

I don’t even have it bolted to the bench, just hold the tool with
the left hand, move the little handle with the right and the rings
are bend. I bend up to 1.5mm rings 10mm wide easily. No more sore
hands from ring bending.

See Rio’s German Ring-Bending Pliers (Item Number: 111185):

If you close these pliers a tiny bit at each bite, moving along your
strip in tiny increments, you can bend even very thick stock into a
perfect circle of the desired size with hardly any pressure—like
butter! The more you press down, the tighter your curve. You will
probably want to file the edges down or put tape on them. An
excellent tool. They have a much cheaper Pakistan version which
looks very similar, but I have never see it in person (I got the
German one many, many, many years ago)…

Janet in Jerusalem

Here’s the thing, except that mine is 30 years old and about 10 times
stronger as it’s all cast iron except for the business end:

This machine will bend ~anything~into a circle, up to a certain
diameter, and it’s handy for other things, too.

Mine is more like this: but
Pepe didn’t exist at the time…

Ive made hundreds of these but from EPNS as its illegal to do it
from sterling here in the UK. 

Wow! I didn’t realise that. That’s a shame as I fancied looking for
some sterling spoons to do that with.


I got these last year at snag and love them!

I have even been able to bend 10k white gold 2mm thick by 8mm wide
with them.



You can make such items but they have to go back to the assay office
for restamping. A change of use or substantial alteration. There
used to be a special mark applied but I think that with harmonisation
rules you will probably get just a new set of hallmarks.

Nick royall

Have a go with epns. the reason its illegal is that you are not
allowed to remake any sterling grade silver object, like a spoon into
a ring without having it re hall marked.

Thanks to everyone in the group for sending me such great ideas for
saving my wrists when making sterling rings that are thick. Using
strips of sterling isn’t as bad as the thick sterling spoon handles.
Of course the higher end the flatware the thicker it is and harder
to work with"but that is what sells"that is what people want.

I am going to take a close look at the Pepe bender tool and the
pliers. One more question- how do you keep the sterling from
scratching and marring when using the Pepe bender? I hope it comes
with something to use as a protector.

Thanks again,
Jean Menden

I thought it was legal provided you stamp out the old hallmark, and
have it hallmarked as a new piece. The assay office would provide


Cut strips of corn flake packets into strips. put between the silver
and the concave part of the tool. Does the job a treat. Tho am
surprised you didnt think of it yourself.

Layering painters tape seems to work well with the forming pliers.