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Tips for ring butt join?


#1

Hello everyone, I’ve been “off-list” for a long time due to some
personal stuff, but I’m back now, and am going to start working again
in my studio :slight_smile:

I’m hoping I can tap the vast experience out there in Orchid to help
me with a very very basic but frustrating problem…

I find that I spend an inordinate amount of time, when fabricating
ring bands, in getting the two ends of the blank to meet up squarely
so that I can successfully solder the band shut.

Any and all tips would be extremely welcome and gratefully received.

Susan


#2

Hi Susan;

    I find that I spend an *inordinate* amount of time, when
fabricating ring bands, in getting the two ends of the blank to
meet up squarely so that I can successfully solder the band shut. 

Don’t worry about getting them to line up square (butt jointed).
Instead, work to get the ends to simply line up. Never mind the
slight “V” visible from the side view of the joint. Now, assuming
that there is some tension at the joint (use bow-bender pliers to
tension the joint, bending on the opposite side), you can now run a
saw blade through the joint, from one edge across and out the other
side. Repeat if needed. This will allow the ends to mate forming a
seam with no gaps to give you solder problems. Hope this is clear.

David L. Huffman


#3

Susan - Cut the ring blank a size or two larger than you want to end
up with. Bend the the ends around a mandrel until they just meet.
Don’t bother trying to make a neat joint, just solder the ends
together. Put the ring on your ring mandrel and hammer it down on
the taper with a plastic mallet, until it is perfectly round. Size
the band down to the correct size by cutting out the joint section.

Steven Brixner Design - San Diego CA USA
mailto:brixner@att.net
http://www.brixnerdesign.com


#4

Place the ring flat on a flat wooden bench-pin with the (so far)
badly meeting join facing you. Saw into the wood a little way with
the saw dead upright (as you would). This precauthion ensures the saw
blade will stay in one place. Leave the saw there embedded in the
wood, and wax the back of the blade. Bring the ring up to the saw
blade. This allows you to start sawing the ring accurately. Saw the
ring right where the join is, holding the ring by pressing down
firmly on both sides of the join, sawing the wood as well. Bingo the
saw join will now look like an evenly spaced gap. Now tap the gap
together with a soft mallet, by holding the ring up with the join up
and tapping down each side of the join. Repeat the saw cut thing if
necessary.

Brian
B r i a n A d a m
e y e g l a s s e s j e w e l l e r y
Auckland N E W Z E A L A N D
www.adam.co.nz/workshops/


#5

Susan, get the ends to meet using a 3 prong pliers (one prong on one
side 2 on the other) or any other ring bending method like hitting
with a mallet on a non marring surface. Once you can get them to meet
run your saw blade down the seem to make the sides square. This might
take a couple of cuts depending how thick the metal is. You will have
to apply some pressure so the spring in the metal doesn’t pinch the
blade but once the blade is in the ring you can instead of pulling
the ends apart turn the ring around and cut back out. I don’t even
spend time trying to guess where the ends will meet and put the
correct amount of bevel on the ends but get the ends together
(SOMEHOW) then do the saw blade trick. I think it is faster.
Sam Patania, Tucson


#6
I find that I spend an *inordinate* amount of time, when
fabricating ring bands, in getting the two ends of the blank to
meet up squarely so that I can successfully solder the band shut. 

Hi Susan, I don’t know if this will help… it would be easier if I
could see what you’re doing! :slight_smile:

When I’m fabricating round bands, making them actually round is one
of the last things I do. When I’m butt soldering the two ends
together, the piece is usually a short, squat oval, badly deformed.
At this point, all I’m worried about is that the piece of stock is
the right length, and that the ends meet squarely and in the proper
alignment.

After the piece is soldered and pickled I’ll place it on the mandrel
and then work on making it round, file and sand as necessary, etc.

Also, it helps to be sure the metal is annealed… it is much easier
to manipulate that way. Even in the annealed state, I am able to get
enough spring to hold the two ends together with tension.

Hope this is of some use!

Dave
Dave Sebaste
Sebaste Studio and
Carolina Artisans’ Gallery
Charlotte, NC (USA)
dave@sebaste.com


#7

Susan, one trick is to get the ends of the ring as close as possible
and then saw through both at the same time. A second trick is to get
the ends as close as possible, solder, and then saw through and
resolder. In both cases, the saw blade acts like a file removing a
small amount of metal where the irregularities are. Marilyn Smith


#8
  1. Use ring bending pliers…
    1. make the ring flat - sort of a flattened circle
    2. butt the ends up togeher so the ring is under tension
      here’s the trick part–
    3. cut through the joint with your saw and the ends will come right
      together.

Learned this at Revere School in SF!

Have fun,
Mary


#9

Hi Susan, I use my ring pliers to tension the joint tightly shut, so
there is closing force on the joint. Then using the jewelers saw,
make a straight cut right at the junction. This takes a little metal
off each side, and makes them parallel, and close fitting.

John…


#10

Hi Susan Out of frustration in trying to size old gold rings which
are aged hardened, I took to using a V grove in on side and a V
point on the other. It sounds somewhat complicated but it is really
easy. Just use your saw and cut a shallow cut across the cross
section of the shank joint. Then using a very fine square file,
open up the saw notch to a 90 degree cut that is centered on the
band. Now on the other side or on the sizing stock, file a rough 90
angle, at 45 degrees to the edge of the band. Make sure it is also
centered on the depth of the band. Now when you pull the two sides
together, you have an alignment tool built into the joint. A
secondary benefit is that the additional surface area of the joint
gives it greater strength. When sizing up, leave the sizing stock a
little thicker than the band and size about 1/4 to 1/2 size small.
You can now pound up to size by compressing the sizing stock and not
loose any of the original band thickness, and end up with a very
nice finished product.

Don @ Campbell Gemstones


#11

Why use a Butt Joint? Why couldn’t you fuse the joint using the same
material as the shank is made from? Fusing eliminates solder lines
and is much stronger than a solder joint.

Regards,
Roger


#12

When I make rings from wire, I do it the same way as making jump
rings. I have tried short cuts, so that I do not waste as much silver
by cutting the ring close to size, but I always find that I waste
more time and have to do it the other way.

I wrap the wire around a ring manderal, so the silver passes each
other (on different rows) Then work the wire down to the size of
the ring needed. Take the piece of silver off the manderal. Cut the
metal- straight. Anneal the ring and then fit it together with
plyers. To improve the joint you can scrape the wire on both side
of the metal to make sure all impurities are removed.

If you are using sheet instead I would follow the other suggestions.


#13

Greetings: My tip for aligning perfect fitting for a ring band
solder joint NEVER fails.

  1. I use a combination a bounceless hammer and ring-bender pliers,
    whose jaws are tough nylon to get the best possible "by-hand"
    alignment. The nylon jaw pliers (orderable from most jewelry
    catalogs) almost totally eliminates scratches from such a tool.

  2. If the alignment is still just a little “off” I use my jeweler’s
    saw with a #3 or #4 blade to saw straight down the joint. Usually, 1
    saw-thru is enough, but sometimes 2 or 3 saws are needed. When
    finished, the solder joint is a perfect fit, and you’ll hear and
    feel both sides of the metal sort of snap together. They will also
    be under a little tension, so the sides are more resistent to moving
    as you set the ring up in a “third-hand” holding device.

  3. After soldering and pickle clean-up, recheck the ring size on a
    mandrel to ensure the the sawed out metal isn’t a big deal. If it’s
    a weensy too small, just give it a few gentle hammer blows on the
    mandrel with a leather or bounceless hammer to size it up for the
    lost metal. By the way, sizing up is usually unnecessay.

Cheers and make something pretty!
Virginia Lyons


#14
 Why use a Butt Joint? Why couldn't you fuse the joint using the
same material as the shank is made from? 

Well, call me timid, but fusing scares the **** out of me as a
fabrication technique. You’re right up against the melting point of
the metal, and a breath away from total meltdown. I see it as kind of
like doing a dovetail joint… there may be technical advantages, but
is it worth it? Is the conventional technique really that
deficient? I would rather have a well-executed solder joint than have
to go back to my stock to cut a new ring because I melted the first
one.

One man’s opinion,

Dave
Dave Sebaste
Sebaste Studio and
Carolina Artisans’ Gallery
Charlotte, NC (USA)
dave@sebaste.com


#15

regarding fusing, there are certain types of torches that make
fusing easy. the best torch i have used is the kind using natural gas
,oxygen is from your breath. you can get the metal red hot and hold
the heat just below melt, and the fusing happens at the edge of where
the circle of the flame ends, i have great control of the process. i
can do it slowly and carefully and get just the result i want. it can
be used for fusing pieces of metal together, and i can granulate. i
also use it for fabrication where multple solders are used and i have
a lot less chance of solder flowing out of any of the joints because
of control i have. when i fuse i heat it till the metal looks shiny
or wet and just control where i need the shiny to go. if you use
roller printed sheet, the trick is to fuse and keep the texture, its
a fine line and takes focus, as with many of our processes. once we
have the focus, its a skill. using natural gas works better because
this is one case where acetelyene’s reputation as a dirty gas becomes clear.


#16

I watched Joy Raskin fuse a butt join in a wide bezel with an
acetylene-air torch yesterday. She placed the bezel on a charcoal
block, with a tile propped up behind it to reflect the heat back, and
played a soft flame on the join until the bezel was glowing red, and
at just the right moment, pulled the flame away. And, voil=E0!, it was
fused.

Christine in suddenly chilly Littleton, Massachusetts, USA


#17

Christine, you did not mention the type of metal she used. It does
make a difference. I like to fuse 22k gold and fine silver bezels by
using a clip of very thin gauge metal of the same metal as the bezel
placed over then join of the two ends. This supplies added material
which not only covers the line of the joint, but because it is so
thin it tends to melt first. Acts like a solder. For 18K and
sterling I do the same thing but use a high temperture flux to
protect the metal from oxidation. Just my way of fusing.

Joe Dule


#18
  I like to fuse 22k gold and fine silver bezels by using a clip of
very thin gauge metal of the same metal as the bezel placed over
then join of the two ends. This supplies added material which not
only covers the line of the joint, but because it is so thin it
tends to melt first. Acts like a solder 

Has anyone tried this with copper or brass? I have a student who
likes to work in these metals, and is unhappy to have a silver solder
line on rings. Our first attempt to fuse copper was not successful
(we put a very thin slip of copper trapped by pressure between the
two sides of the shank, reasoning that the thin metal sticking up
would melt into the joint. Heated it til the whole thing nearly
melted. It stuck, but not strongly). I plan to try again. Any
hints/experiences? Thanks! --Noel


#19
  Has anyone tried this with copper or brass? melted. It stuck,
but not strongly). I plan to try again. Any hints/experiences?
Thanks!           --Noel 

I don’t have experience with soldering those metals so the color of
the solder matches, but I do recall an Orchid message which
suggested the use of an old copper penny (you would have to check in
the archives, this year, the date of issue before they doctored the
composition of the penny ) that you mill down and use this as a
color matching solder. PS that was my method of fusing you quoted.
Let me know if it works. J.Z. Dule PPS Did you try using a flux which
lasts thru prolonged heating such as Black Flux?


#20

Noel, Why not use brazing rods to solder the copper or brass
together. They can be bought at welding supply places or Home Depot,
etc. None will be a perfect match, but they’ll be better than silver
solder-- and cheaper too. I don’t know enough about it to recommend
specific brands or types. Maybe someone more knowledgable will jump
in here. If not, the people at the welding supply place should be
able to help. If nothing else, just throw it in the pickle with some
steel wool. This will cover the seams with copper and make you very
popular with everyone else in the studio.

Kevin Ard
http://www.kevinard.com/