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Sizing: elementary

G’day; Professionals need read no further.

A month ago, had a call from the local Medical Centre; patient in
agony with finger very badly swollen around ring; could I help? I
live opposite the Centre, so the bloke came straight round. With an 0
size blade in my sawframe, teeth towards the frame and fastened one
end, I slid the blade under the ring, fastened the other end of the
blade, tensioned it, got him to hold the ring in parallel jaw pliers,
and had the ring sawn through upwards in a few seconds. You should
have seen the relief on his face as I opened up the cut with a pair of
circlip pliers! (No, the cut on the ring, silly) He returned
yesterday, finger now OK; would I melt it down (the ring, not the
finger, silly) and make a new one using the same gold? For it was of
sentimental value. No, I wouldn’t. He was a really big bloke and his
finger was a good bit bigger than my biggest sizing ring. I gave him
a bit of soft iron binding wire and had him fit it and twist the ends
so it slid over his finger easily. It was slipped on my tapered
mandrel, rounded and the position carefully marker penned, his cut
ring placed over the mark and hammered circular with a hide hammer.
A pair of draughtsman’s dividers were set to a little bigger than the
gap. I had a 3x3 mm square bar of the same colour and carat gold,
but his ring was 6 mm wide, so the dividers marked off a length to
cut. But how do you roll a bit of 3 mm by about 7 mm gold sideways -
how to get it between the 3" rolls? And back? 'Cos you see, rolling
only really increases the dimension in the direction of the pass.
Well, I put it on a strip of very thin card and after a couple of
passes, it had cut a ‘gold-shaped’ hole in the card which held it in
place whilst it passed back and forth, with a couple of annealings,
down to just over the required thickness and width, then a couple of
passes lengthways. The ends of it and the ring were filed off dead
square and to size, the thing inserted and gold soldered with the same
carat gold solder, filed up nicely, polished - and the bloke went
off rejoicing! Especially as he only got charged for the gold
replacement value.

But, look, mum, no rulers, no digital callipers, no ring sizers, no
metric, American or British or any other measures to screw up the job.
Just very old fashioned methods. What no rolls? Well, I borrowed
them from a good mate. What no good mate with rolls? I’d have
increased the width with a home-made cross pein hammer.

Just goes to show; there’s always a way if there’s a will, don’t it?
But beware; where there’s a Will, often folk will contest it. Cheers,

John Burgess; @John_Burgess2 of Mapua Nelson NZ

John, Professionals may not need to read any further, but then they
would miss out. I’m not a professional and I always enjoy reading
your posts, informative and always with a nice bit of humor. Hope you
are having a wonderful autumn.

Dan Wellman
Indianapolis Indiana USA

… g’day john’s recounting of a ring cutting incident reminded me of
what happened at an antique show last year: i almost always carry a
small pr of pliers, rosary pliers & cutter with me at shows, etc. i
was looking through a box of items at one booth when a loud bang made
everyone jump. 3 seconds later the woman from the next booth came
running up flapping her right hand & crying - the bang was when a
customer had dropped the lid of a wood display case onto her right
hand, smashing her finger & the ring on it, which was so distorted
she couldn’t get it off. by the time she had run the 15 feet the
finger was bleeding & already swelling & turning blue. pulling out my
cutter i asked if it was all right to just cut the shank through (in
case it was an irreplaceable ring). she begged through tears, ‘honey,
i don’t care if you bite the d----d thing off, just get it off’. only
one little boy was curious to know, ‘do you always get to carry those
[tools] around?’ another bonus he was looking forward to having in
adulthood: carrying tools everywhere. ive