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Square Forms

Dear Orchids,

I am looking for some tricks to build some square forms, say finger
rings. Square, rectangular, hexagonal whatever. Folding the band
over a straight angle is what I do today, but this never gives a
clean fold at 90 or below.

Any tips ?


Hi Ted,

With a square file you file a v-shaped notch in the band (==v==),
then gently fold the band and solder. Be sure not to file all the
way through, but almost. If you do it correct you will see a thin
line on the underside of the band, that is when you are deep enough.
Sometimes the edges of the file are a bit rounded. In that case I
would finish with a carre graver.

Hope that helped,

You need to cut and file out out a V shaped section from your metal,
but don’t go quite all the way through. Then bend and solder. If your
saw filing and skills are not great, the alternative is to bevel two
pieces of metal, fit them together and solder.

Mary Ellin D’Agostino, PhD

Folding the band over a straight angle is what I do today, but this
never gives a clean fold at 90 or below. 

You need to file a triangular shaped negative space in the corner.
Then when you fold it, you’ve got a mitered corner.



Cut grooves on the insides of the corners. Almost all the way through
and remove just enough metal so that when bent there are no gaps. For
a crude start separating disks work, then finish with files, gravers,
or scrapers ( usually home made with the need angle… think a Pull
engraver) Scrapers also works well with a clamped straight edge for
guidance. Old file tangs can be bent, ground, hardened, and tempered
saving the temptation of another visit to the tool store. Probably
some better descriptions with pictures in the archives.

Demand Designs
Analog/Digital Modelling & Goldsmithing

Also to what is said, I tend to make two L’s in the way described,
solder them together to make your box frame. If you are going to cap
it with tops and bottoms remember to leave a hole somewhere to allow
air to escape.

K. David Woolley


Sorry to bring back such an old post. I understand all of the above, super helpful but unsure of how to measure the amount of metal i’ll need for the project. Please could someone let me know the formula?

Thanks :slight_smile:

Hello Luisa,
Welcome to the forum…a group or really knowledgable and helpful people! I’m having trouble understanding exactly what you need to know…a square would merely require that you measure the outside dimension of a square side and multiply by 4, right? Surely you are asking something else, but I can’t understand exactly what? Am I being dense? -royjohn

From wax to metal?
Silver 1 gram wax 10.57 silver
Gold 1 gram wax 18 gms 18k

No sorry, I didn’t explain myself at all must have been late.

I want to make a hexagonal ring like the one attached. Usually i can apply the simple formula for a round ring that would sit flush to the finger however I have never attempted a ring of this shape.


OK, so IDK if the size will be the diameter across the flats or not…practically to figure the size you might have to make one out of balsa wood and glue to see what fits right. However, once you get the size, if the inside diameter across the flats is what you use to compute the size, just add the thickness of the material times two to get the outside diameter across the flats. Once you have that dimension, call it D, then the side of the hexagon, say S, is given by D/1.73=S. Once you have the side length (S), just multiply by six to get the length of stock you need. Use dividers to mark out the length of the sides and file as appropriate and you should be there. You might want to use slightly larger stock than originally contemplated so that you can stretch the ring if it is too small…you could also just use an emery and grind off some of the inside circumference, I guess. At any rate, this is what I get from geometry formulas that Google gives me. -royjohn

I’d make the first one out of jeweler’s brass or silver, in case something doesn’t come out right…LOL…then you can go to platinum…. Then size up the stock a little and bead set it with 1mm diamonds. You might get done by Xmas…LOL…-royjohn

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Something to keep in mind is that whereas a round ring has a simple diameter, a ring that is polygonal has two diameters: across the flats and across the corners. You cannot just slide a polygonal ring onto a ring mandrel and directly read its size. Usually the diameter across the flats should be a bit smaller than the ring size of a round ring. This difference grows smaller as the number of sides increases, making the ring closer to round.
I don’t know of any charts or formulae that lay out measurements for polygonal rings. Though there may be some for square rings other shapes are less common, so less likely to have been calculated.

Thank you both for your help. I’m off to put your suggestions to good use, time to just give it a go!!

If you start with a fairly heavy gauge round wire ring that is smaller than the desired final size, you can forge as many flats as you want on a round ring mandrel until you get to the finished size that you want. Use a sharpie to put gauge lines on the mandrel that are equal distant apart for the number of flats that you want to use a reference while forging. When I was on the craft show circuit, I would wind a coil of 14 gauge wire up a round tapered piece of wood to make a coil of wire with each coil a different size. I would cut the coil lengthwise with flush cutters and solder each ring. Once soldered, just forge as described above and finish…Rob

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