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Sizing Technique

I’m following the soldering and sanding hints. Can someone help with

When sizing (down) a wider bend where the ends can not be sprung past each
other and then back together, how does one get them to stay tight for
soldering. A third hand does not open wide enough to pinch them together.
I can’t get wire to hold on the rounded edges of the ring. Any

Bob B

I just vise pliers which is adjustable too about any ring size and I
just slip into a small bracket I made from a coat hanger which is attached to
my bench.

I have a heavy duty ring bending pliers, available from any tool company.
They work great to bring the two ends of a ring joint together with enough
tension to hold together during the soldering. The only thing you have to
be careful of is the possibility of marring the metal.

use a hand held ring bender but use caution because it can over bend
sometimes break the shank if it has been 1/2 shanked in the past and it
will also put little dent in the surface so us a match book cover,
business card or a little pieace of leather. Hope this helps you.

Sometimes I use a miniture toothless vice that I found in a Job Lot store
for $1. I have seen these around in other places too - maybe Home Depot?
It is made in India and the jaws are 1.25 wide and open to about the same.

Jill Alessandra Jewelry

I can’t get wire to hold on the rounded edges of the ring.

The ring doesn’t have to be round. FLATTEN the ends to be joined, so that
the edges meet vertically! That’s the trick to get solder to flow in that
seam. I use two pairs of pliers. Hold each end in one of the pliers and
use your strength to go past and then meet end to end. (I use a ring
bender to get a “U” shape before getting the ends to meet!)

I use a pair of bow bending pliers with a piece of leather as a jaw pad.
This has been my method for years- I work my way around the ring and do a
final slice through the joint with a saw blade before soldering.
Occasionally I use head andshank tweezers or iron binding wire to hold the
ring while soldering.

Rick Hamilton

Richard D. Hamilton
A goldsmith on Martha’s Vineyard
Fabricated 14k, 18k, 22k, and platinum Jewelry
wax carving, modelmaking, jewelry photography,
and sailing whenever I can…

Bob, When I have this problem I use the bench vise. Using two small
asbestos pads, one on each vise jaw, place the ring between them. Flux the
joint and place a solder chip in the seam and close the jaws bringing the
joint closed. Heat and as the solder begins to flow, increase the pressure
slightly to take up the space the solder ocuppied. Works fine for me. I
use thin hard asbestos pads, but there may be some other heat proof
insulator I haven’t thought of. Jerry in Kodiak

Use a pair of ring bending pliers, the kind with two jaws: one with one
bar and the other with two bars. These enable you to exert a lot of force
with leverege. Squeeze the pliers around the band, closing in the circle
and then more pressure adds the needed tension to hold the seam tight.
Using a third hand for this kind of thing, even if they fit around the
work, is risky, because once the metal gets hot it also is easily deformed
under pressure.

Try the ring bending pliers and use a copper shield on the two-bar side to
protect the ring from damaging nicks. It works.


Hi Bob,

You might try to lay the ring on its side on your bench (on wood) and hit
the side of the ring with your leather mallet. If you work near the gap
and work both sides it should close. We have to do this on class rings

Mark P.

Yes and once you get the edges flat and CLEAN, make them touch each other
with just alittle tension.Then all you have to do is pre-flux, flux then
heat till the flux starts to become liquid then add a small bit of solder
to the joint and heat till it flows into the seam ,capillary action, its
called then heat the whole ring slightly and pickel, then put it on a
mandrel and finish rounding!!

Matt W.

Two ways:

  1. Brute force way. Tap the joint with a mallet and slightly squash the
    ring - the joint comes together at the top (at the expense of the
    underneath). Solder and round up.

  2. Fancy way. I have a great way to bind such a rounded edged ring. Shall
    I send you an attached gif image? It’s easier to see than to describe. I
    use this technique to bind a push-over bezel onto a flat-spot filed on a
    half-round shank.

In fact I have this image already on my website at
Go to where I say ‘JEWELLERY DIRECT - Jewellery classes for all levels’.

I’ll try to describe it:

I first wrap a small 1" piece of binding wire round the ring at three
points evenly spaced round the ring - the twisted end provides a tiny
place like GUIDES to thread the next piece of binding wire.

So, next thread a 4" length of binding wire, the BINDER, through those
pesky little pieces and right round the outside of the shank.

Tighten the twists on the guides to nip them up onto the binder. Allow
some movement.

Twist the the binder onto the ring to be snug, then tighten with
flat-nosed pliers at several places along its length, NOT at the twist. Do
this by making a zigzag in the wire. Do you know to do this? Like so:

Maybe the binder wire could be doubled up for extra strength.

Any help?

B r i a n � A d a m J e w e l l e r y E y e w e a r �
@Brian_Adam1 ph/fx +64 9 817 6816 NEW ZEALAND Recent Work across the bench from me

When I have this problem I use the bench vise. Using two small
asbestos pads,

I know a lot of others will have a lot to say on this matter of using
asbestos, but I feel that I must add my 2 cts worth. Don’t use it. Don’t
use it. Don’t use it. There are other materials that are better and will
not do damage to your lungs and your health. If you have any asbestos in
your shop have it removed at once. Your health is worth more than that.
Thanks for letting me sound off.

Herb in North Carolina

{---- a take it the ring is curved in its cross section
| |
| |
|–o--| { a piece of binding wire with a loop in it.
|_ _|

make this bits on 4 places on the ring, crimped around to the inside of
the ring to hold them in place. run binding wire through the loops and
twist it together tight like. when soldering heat the side of the ring
opposite the seam, this will actually push the seam together too as the
metal there is expanding more than the metal around the seam. i dont even
heat the ring actually, i heat the brick and then when im actually flowing
the solder the brick is helping by radiating heat back to the other parts
of the ring. dont actually put your flame directly on the seam until the
solder looks like its ready to go then hit it, and dont forget that solder
flows where the heat is so put you solder at the top of the seam, and heat
the bottom of the seam. Robb

Hi Bob:

There is a pair of pliers (invaluable) which are made for just that
purpose. They’re called bow closing pliers-rather heavy duty and will
create the tension necessary to keep the seam closed. (Hint) Place your
solder within the joint by pulling the ring apart just slightly, flux &
solder. This will guarentee that the solder will completely penetrate the
seam. Best of luck; Steve K.