Dear Tool timers,
This weeks tool is only available from our friends at Gesswein. In
their new 2000 catalog it is on page 233 with stock number 811-1710.
It is a stainless steel ring length ruler. The cost is only about
$4.00. It gives you a set length to cut stock for band rings.
I have built a whole class around this ruler. Let me tell you why. In
our ring construction class we cover the process on fabricating and
sizing wedding bands. The class introduces our students to not only
servicing the rings larger and smaller but fabricating them to
specific sizes from metal of specific thickness. I consider this
foundation skill for fabricating any rings. It is (around here
anyway) foundation skill for employment in our industry also.
Now I know there is a specific ratio on metal thickness to length,
but I don’t want to figure this out every time I make a band. Besides
I fabricate my bands out of the same thickness metal all the time
anyway. So I want to figure this out as fast and efficiently as I
can. This gauge is perfect for this. And it is also made of stainless
steel so it won’t wear out.
Now on a plain band with no design I use 1.5 mm thick stock. Now If
you measure on the Gesswein gauge exactly a size 10 length, on a ring
mandrel your finished ring will be one and a half sizes off. The ring
will come out a size 8 �. If you make a band out of 1.0 mm stock the
same length, the gauge is one size off. This ring will be a size 9.
The key to using this gauge is that the length given on the gauge is
off the same thickness as your metal. This is metric thickness. With
this I never have to guess at the correct length to
pierce my wedding band stock. Now the one fact I didn’t mention is
that your ring mandrel can also be a little off. So you should find a
good ring mandrel and guard it with your life. With ring mandrels
coming from all over the world they do vary a bit. So to make sure I
always use the same mandrel with this ring length gauge. You also
should compare your mandrel to the finger measuring gauges you
measure your customers fingers with. They also vary a bit. To add
more to this finger challenge, many people will change finger size
over the course of a year. Here in the north as much as a half size
between Summer and Winter.
We also do two layered fabricated band rings in this class. It is
very important to cut and measure the correct lengths. The design
layer is drawn, transferred, pierced and formed to fit over a solid
base ring. The base ring has a specific size. These layers are 1.0 mm
thick. The design layer also has a specific length, different from
the base ring. Measuring lengths shouldn’t be guess work and on these
rings measuring is critical.
Now when sizing rings larger and smaller this gauge is great because
you can take your divider and just either cut out a size or add a
size with a quick measurement from the same gauge.
Just this last year I found another metal gauge from a company called
Reytec. It is a close copy of the Gesswein gauge. But the lengths are
not the same. This means the ratio of thickness and length for
fabrication is not the same. I won’t switch. $4.00 for the Gesswein
gauge is a great deal. Some mandrels also have gauges stamped right
in them. I still prefer the Gesswein because I have to teach everyone
the same and these mandrels again vary quite a bit.
I have and will always get tools and supplies from Gesswein. They are
great suppliers and I have always been satisfied with the quality of
their products and the speed of delivery they offer.
TR the Teacher