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How to Make Soldered Jewelry, Episode #4 - Shaping and Soldering a Basic Ring

In episode #4 of our How to Make Soldered Jewelry video series, you will learn how to take flat sterling silver wire and shape and solder it into a ring. There are lots of tips and tricks to this and we cover them all in this class. >> Scroll down for the list of tools.

Here is a link to the Ring Sizing Guide.


hey there I'm Lisa Niven Kelly here for Beaducation.com and in this class we're going to teach you how to solder a simple ring out of wide flat wire [Music]

this class is episode 4 in our soldering series and in the previous class episode

3 we learned how to solder simple rings at a 14 gauge wire so the difference in

this one is the stock that we're using you could use sheet or we're using flat wire is wider it's about 5 millimeters

so soldering it together is a little trickier because you know to make sure that those 2 ends are perfectly

perfectly flush like we talked about in episode 1 in episode 2 one of the golden rules of soldering is making sure that

your seams are totally closed solder will not fill gaps that's the key in this one we're going to teach you how to

get those two ends to come together super flush and then how to solder the ring shut

according to the chart I'm going to measure this piece out to fifty four

point seven millimeters super specific I know but follow along with me here and so that it'll so the stock that we use

in the class today is one by five millimeters in measurement that's the

thickness and the width we're gonna use the digital caliper and turn it on here

at the red button Oh perfect perfect example here see how it balanced Lisa

hmm you always want to zero it out oh good it's like a scale you know mm-hmm

zero that out and then we're gonna open this up mm-hmm

to 54.7 Oh more Rashad tricky and you

could I guess you can use a ruler in future of course mm-hmm this just looks easy huh mm-hmm so there's fifty four

point seven and we have prepped this material so this end is already flat and

flush which is awesome and you're just gonna put that right up against the

little jaw of the caliper inner and with your sharpie come in here and place a

mark you know what I'm gonna flip this over it's always easier to sit and work on the back smart

excuse me hand here

so I want you to notice something so 54.7 and I placed a mark on the

interior of that length mm-hmm so when we go to cut this I want to remember to

cut on the right side run this rifle online don't cut inside cut on the right

edge of the line you got it yeah that makes sense okay okay and to cut this we're gonna

use the fat daddy cutter which is really nice still on it yeah yeah that's how I

mark my tools and the sticker yeah mm-hm and these are really great because they cut you know these thicker gauges of

soft metal now you could also saw mm-hmm you know use a jeweler saw and this is

how you're going to do this place your cutter here I'm gonna put it into

position and I'm gonna show you a couple things here

there we go there we go I want you to

see how it looks see how it looks kind of at an angle mm-hmm it's a little bit of an optical illusion oh because of the

jaw mm-hmm because of the jaw mm-hmm the microscope and cut nice he's all your

muscles so I guess it's important that that line you drew was straight yes yeah

oh good one the next step is gonna be using the miter vise to true up this end

and file it flat and flush of course not everybody has a miter vise so you could

use the the tables edge as a flat surface or you could just really

practice just filing true flat and straight to be honest I'm not super

great at that yeah I've heard ya I've always used a miter vise because it's such an awesome tool and here it is for

those of you who haven't seen it before the minor vise is cool it allows you to

cut at a 90 degree 90 degree angle or 45 if we were making boxes we would yeah

use those forty fives so we're going to loosen up these nuts here and then allow

these plates to slide apart we're gonna

use this little see a little square box yeah we're gonna use that as a straight edge or you know a little a little

straightening like a little straight wall to butter metal up against so I'm

just gonna put the metal through the vise and then slide it towards that

little block I just want inside against it yeah and

once I get into place here I'll show you - so I just want remember that sharpie marker is on the

inside of our measurement right so let's protect that we're just taking off just

a hair of metal now you can see if you cut it straight yes yes you want to make sure though

when you put this in here that the metal is put it up right there to the end of

that little square on the front and the back mmm because if it's not if it's a

little off on the back you'll file it'll be it'll be flat but your total piece

will actually be angled all right do you crank really hard on that you know what

to be honest I kind of do you don't want to you know use all of your strength

because we don't want to Mar the metal and we definitely don't want to smush out any of the stamping that we did

mm-hmm but it needs to stay put okay you don't want to slide around I'm actually going

to move out to the edge of the table so let's change the camera angle okay so

here we are on the edge of the table and what I like to do is here's the length

of wire have that hanging off the edge of the table and rest the miter vise

here good one so my left hand is holding it in place yeah I've tried to do this holding it and it's quite difficult this

is brilliant and in previous classes we've just held it because you know we have to keep it you know you want to keep it in the frame but this is really

a nice way to do that take my file this is a course it's a coarse pile nice big one and we're going

to file just that little bit of lemon metal yeah okay so just a little bit of

metal there I want to tell you we're gonna we're gonna break a rule today do it rule breakers this is steel this is a

jeweler's file most instructors would tell you that this is a super no no but in my work and

the way that I use tools I make choices about how I am going to what's the nice

way to say it let some old traditions go and accept some new ones right I like

that this file is not that expensive and the benefit of filing against the steel

tool is is awesome so I just go with it right yeah it's really expected it's not a $50

five no no no mm-hmm and it's really rough one so we can get the job done pretty quick pretty quick exactly so

what's gonna happen is here as I file you're gonna feel the sticky you suck see that little jump there yeah it's cuz

I'm catching the sterling silver sterling silver is kind of sticky so once I'm once I that I'm done when the

files just like gliding a clock across the steel watch this okay there we go

I'm showing you they'll hear it oh yeah yeah disgusting stealing stealing stealing breaking

rules very in Rome's not in control and you're only going one direction with

this file because that's direction it's best yes people say that it dulls are

ruined your files go back and forth but really it just takes longer as well mm-hmm so now this is now now feel that

mm-hmm flatten flush good one so let's

check on our measurement now to check the measurement your natural gut

reaction is gonna be just to turn this on and go like this yeah but I want you to start over right yeah zero no okay

zero right now and instead of this time just pulling out and finding that sweet spot we're truly just measuring this so

pull it out squeeze it in all right we lost a hair 54.5 we lost point two of a

millimeter we lost two tenths of a millimeter am I worried about it I'm not me neither I'm not worried about

it because you know what when we are done soldering this and we're rounding it off on the ring mandrel I'll probably

stretch out a little bit anyways two 10s worth yeah totally

all right Lisa what do you think we do from here no oh wait first we're gonna

begin sorry first we're gonna shape shape it in preparation for soldering we need to

shape this ring okay and your you know your natural instinct for to go okay now

we're gonna shake this into a perfect circle but actually we're not going to we're going to shape it into this really

wonky kind of D shape so you're going to use a wrap and tap to do this you could

also use a wooden dowel really any round thing you could find a shape around I

like the wrapper tabs though yeah so use the middle section this is also going to

depend on the length of your strip let's say you're making a size 10 ring you would probably want to use a little

larger or smaller stemming down yep exactly but we're making a pretty kind of middle of the ground size so we're

news the middle handle here and just with my fingers I'm gonna push the wire

around the middle rapid tap okay into

this shape now here we're gonna stop because we have stamped this metal we

have now shaped this metal and now we've worked hardened it so we're gonna stop and we're gonna and kneel this mm if we

wanted to we could you know we could fight this for the next step but I've

got to tell you it's it's worth the pipes made a similar ring and I learned

she spent a lot of time on making sure those heads are flat and shaping it

don't fight it just a meal it don't be lazy and with that said if there wasn't

any stamping on this yeah you probably was named to you know all right so let's let's pull in the annealing tools okay

we talked about annealing previously in this series in the episode about sweat

saturnine yeah so we're gonna just we're gonna do it again it's always good to see it again right okay so yeah totally

so I'm gonna strike up the tour and I'm gonna apply some flux to the

piece and this is going to keep those copper oxides at bay and allow the metal to get cleaned up really fast in the

pickle pakka strike strike all right myself a little bit

so my issue with the kneeling and go ahead and start all right firing it one

asking questions as I always turn my torch up higher and I just being lazy

overkill I think people are nervous about the torch and they forget that it

has a lot of controls on it because it looks like a simple little thing but you

really for soldering for annealing for most of the things that we do in our

jewelry making you actually want the flame turning down pretty low it's called a neutral flame it's a happy soft

flame it's not a raging oxidizing flame you want to hear it

here's the difference this is a neutral flame yeah that's an oxidizing flame

let's pull that back all right so now I'm ready to anneal and I'm gonna just

work in some nice soft circles here and you put the correct

and I'm actually just going to work in a little circle here until I start to

notice that as I pass my torch by the metal I can see an undertone of like a

salmon salmon peachy color we don't want

this piece to get up to like a glowing orange or glowing red this is like a

light heat massage I call it

see yeah that would help a lot no yeah

no we don't want to we don't want to read all right we're good yeah don't

pick it up with your one I'm gonna wait people want to immediately clinch mm-hmm

but there's no reason but thermal shock the metal so you can give it like count to five and then quench okay hold on so

it's all blurry wasn't it okay is it all

nice and squishy soft now we'll see we'll see

fingers crossed but we need to pickle this before we shape it because I don't want this any of the butts I don't want

the butts to be dirty it's fresh out of

the pickle pot I'll cleaned up and let's shape it so we have this what would you

call this shape you see you and what we're gonna do is we're gonna pull these little legs inward to meet I like to use

the this size rapping tap mmm a medium for that and I'm going to you know what

I'm gonna do you want to make sure that

the nylon part is actually on the nylon yeah cuz now it's not super soft you really married up it is so this this

protects the marring of the metal I'm gonna go in here just on the side just

choose one side or the other doesn't matter I leave a little bit sticking out there and pull it inward now go to the

other side and do the same thing pull it

inward you're gonna make it look so done and

seem let's see time it's the other there's a gap yeah

solder doesn't feel a gap so we have to close this down I'm gonna move down to the smaller barrel on this rapid tap see

I'm not right on the end here I'm kind of in the armpit yeah I knew laughs that

was smart you left a little street I see why no and now I'm going to push inward

and down just slightly I'm going to do

the same thing on the other side and are you having to push really harder is it pretty mushy yeah it's pretty much Shay

it's nice don't be lazy

okay now I'm going to firstly I'm just

gonna do it again here we go down so

bypassing them passing the sides here hold tension on there - yeah you got it

well and let's like let's have some real talk about this I I do this all the time

in my work I make rings constantly so I'm making this maybe look a little easier than it is this this takes little

see how I see that mm-hmm it takes a little practice and you gotta go back and forth and back and forth

annealing is really gonna help you but you know what like you to have these

black ends coming at each other if they're trying to come in each other round that would be more difficult

they're coming a straight line mm-hmm if they're coming at each other off of like a round edge only like a third of them

would even be touch of it like the surface area would be touching we need those those flat ends to be completely

flat and flush and touching 100% so here's what it looks like currently

you do apologize for my hands I am a full-time working jeweler these are the

hands the jeweler woman I think people

think that we're like you know we're here doing some dainty thing but making jewelry is a dirty business oh yeah if

your hands are all perfect you're not working hard enough yeah that's good

mm-hmm always flip so I'm gonna make sure it's okay I'm just kind of going

back and forth here mm-hmm if you were still struggling would you anneal again so annealing is really

great to soften your material but you don't want to anneal in anneal and any

line any line O'Neill and the reason that is is that every time you heat your sterling silver you're pulling the

silver content or the surface of the metal and you're actually depleting the

core silver of the metal so every time we anneal it we are slightly I mean I

hate to make people nervous but you just don't want to do I kneel 10 times it's a good concept yeah - no that makes sense

we're good to go Lisa

let's solder it

looks good to solder let's do it before I start I should check us out we both

have our safety goggles on and here pulled back we sure do mm-hmm it's add

to that we're actually also wearing cotton yep just purpose a good thing I

have our ring resting on the kiln brick and if you look closely there is a pal

yin of hard solder resting right there the first thing we're going to do is

coat the ring with flux for this

technique we're going to flex the inside and the outside of the ring

because we're going to [Music] floo the solder from the inside but then

we're going to draw it to the outside

we want to make sure that we're being thorough

good can you see it well alright so maybe Lisa you can talk us through this

I'm gonna concentrate okay okay

do not crank up your torrent and you don't need to concentrate on where the

cotton dress once it's up to temperature it's just going to pull that right through and

after she did you can't realize I'm

using that flash I think it really showed it's good really good don't hold

it up before you toss that punch sure nice thanks for turning that

through sometimes talking and making jewelry at the same times I like patting your head here with your stomach that

looks good yeah that's great all right clutch it and we will pickle it arm rest

okay we're rolling

here's the ring fresh out of the pickle pot looks good yeah looks good I have a

steel ring mandrel here in the sandbag that we normally use for metal stamping

on a ring mm-hmm and we're not going to stamp right now but to be honest a lot of the tools that

I use are like multi-use tools and so this is turning into just a rest because

I'm kind of gonna rest the back of the ring mandrel on it and it's also just kind of supports my hand and I just

handed it to you and didn't give you a choice but I have I have one I love it I love it it's always with the ring

mandrel Center go together so I'm gonna slide the ring on to the ring mandrel

and you notice I just kind of pulled down a little bit and then there are going to be high areas you make those

bumps on all those bumps and we're gonna we're gonna go after those and you'll

notice that with every tap I'm pulling down because the more true it gets

around and we're using a plastic mallet

you know non marring mallet that's not gonna hurt you and with this material I'd like to take

it off and flip it yeah because the mandrel is tapered and we don't want to create a tapered

mm-hmm it's a little stuck if it gets really stuck you can do this you're not

also this tests hmm your solder seam Oh busts open mm-hmm

and if it does boast bust open it's not ruined did you were supposed to know I would

have been good teach the people what not to do but it wouldn't be ruined you could you know reshape and rice literate

you know what I didn't do no we have to check the size yes what size you mean put it on my head my

way well in a few more steps see a little teeny shy of six oh right because if we were two tenths

yeah of a millimeter oh it's six - here's a good example see

how two tens okay you know Darrell that and I'll get it little zoom actions I can see the

number well no no no hold on what I'm saying is is that it's tapered because

it's smaller on this side than it is on this side mm-hmm so this needs to get hammered out a little bit more this way

okay do you want do it

same on both sides good one here why don't you hold it right there hold it

right there and just see if I can zoom in then you guys can see the size better

it's no six it's actually hiding you

want to pull it off and pull it on just a little bit so you can see the line yeah nailed it good one so if you're off

by two tons that's not the end of the world no sure isn't now what it's a good

question Lisa how about I go oxidise impulsion thing about well actually we need to do some standing oh yeah

so let's look inside the ring really quick hair there is the seam mm-hmm you

see it mm-hmm there and we want to

remove any excess solder up and smooth over the seam so that nobody knows it's there okay to do that we're gonna use

800 grit sandpaper which I have here

there's a little piece right there up here on this stick - mm-hmm let's start with the outside just for fun


so this is a stick and it Lisa wrapped 800 grit sandpaper around it it's a very

high-tech tool mm-hmm then as you use it up you just mm-hmm and unlike files you

can go back and forth right so here's the scene I'm gonna rock back and forth

keep the shape of the Rings correct I don't want to sand in a flat spot so

you're blending it mm-hmm and of course you could use you know if

you have a flex shaft you could use silicon discs in your hand up it was

getting out of focus just keep going and start again with of course you can use of course if you have a flex shaft you

could use silicon discs to do this yeah

since this is a beginner series we're trying to teach you with stuff that you may have on hand one second it's just

filmed one key thing

and because we're sanding this area and I want to have a consistent finish on

this ring I'm actually just gonna sand the whole thing the whole thing is so you want to put the texture everywhere

yeah we've got it of course I'm not really fine it is of

course I'm not I'm not I'm really going for it you know

not removing all the standing no I know is there right I just want to match the finish

is your grit running out should we change it I'm most gonna flip it and use

this part down here because those you can kind of hear it when it starts getting smooth sounding that was the

ticket so that looks good I'm gonna hit

this edge here a little bit mm-hmm I'm gonna turn the sand stick and use a little narrow part here it has a little

rolled edge so I'm gonna make sure to yeah that's what's great about this flat layer that we carry it has soft round

edges it's not rectangle wire so it already has a nice finish it's perfect

for rings like this huh mm-hmm yeah cuz I use it for puffs yeah I do too it ain't cheap but it's pretty darn

cheap but it's worth it nice again we've

talked throughout this whole series about patience and boy does that apply here huh mm-hmm with putting up the ends

which getting the solder right getting the sizes the ends together perfectly

you know good yep and I want to match that you know that area I'm so actually just really quick enough

yeah here just

[Music] you can actually go after that side seam

that way too and then for the inside you

could use a half round sanding sticks to that we are going to find the seam I

know this isn't the most exciting part of the video yeah but it's important how

long it takes and exactly how to

problem-solve or attack assessments is scheana this is great you don't want to

see this just fast forward yeah there we go beauty shot at the end let me wearing my

doing all right Wow still there a little

bit but you know what I'm just sleeping up yeah it looks pretty good you could continue you got the silken wheels mhm

and I do like that Lisa said I do i do fabricate jewelry almost every day and I

have invested in a flex shaft and all the kind of fancy bits and it's a it's something I've never heard read it oh

yeah so but especially when you do this for a living yeah if you if it's something that you're really gonna get

into I would consider that purchase for sure well we saw the silicon dust that you can just put in a dremel oh you're

up for that fact true yeah yeah alright have a class on polishing the silicon discs go ahead and search for that you

guys can check that out alright Lisa this is ready to be a patina okay and

pashed I'll do it that we will do off-camera I'll be right back in my hand

that looks great well where's very well stamped Lisa oh very well soldered

alright we're going a little tour there it is

now you and I have talked about how we could put it right back on the ring mandrel and stamp right at the seam to

help hide it mm-hmm but what I want to point out is make sure you're doing a small stamp because trying to do it long

stamp like that branch after it's curved is difficult to impossible so you don't

want to mess it up look maybe it didn't write any little 2 millimeter flower no old Daisy we haven't any little guy mm-hmm okay

and also keep in mind yeah just like the limits already there you see it on the right and if you're making an exact size

ring all right yeah you wouldn't want to stamp too much cuz your rings gonna stretch mm-hmm but that would also be

what if if you made your ring and it was too small you couldn't stamp us somewhat yeah yeah now what about since we're on

that subject it sure was too small could they have hammered a little harder to

try to scoot it up the ring mandrel to stretch it a little mhm and I've been flipping it and if that doesn't work you just give it to

someone else okay I like it yeah different finger yeah different finger or let see the

inside can you turn in a little yeah it looks good

there's the same yeah but that's you would if we had worked harder with the

tools that we use like the pill pillow like the silicon disk we can have at

that mm-hmm no problem come out I think it's really pretty



Tools & Materials

Metal Stamping Blanks Copper Flat Wire 17g, 1/4" wide (priced per ft)
Metal Stamping Blanks Sterling Silver Flat Wire 5mm x 1mm (priced per ft)
Metal Stamping Blanks Sterling Silver Flat Wire 5mm x 1.5mm (priced per ft)
Metal Stamping Blanks Sterling Silver Flat Wire 7mm x 1mm (priced per ft)
Jewelry Making Tools Digital Caliper
Digital Caliper
Jewelry Making Tools Large Wrap and Tap Plier
Large Wrap and Tap Plier
Metal Stamping Tools Fat Daddy Cutter
Fat Daddy Cutter
Sold Out
Jewelry Making Tools Kiln Brick
Kiln Brick
Jewelry Making Tools Max Flame Jeweler's Butane Torch
Blazer Stingray Butane Torch
Blazer Stingray Butane Torch
Sold Out
Jewelry Making Tools Silver Sheet Solder, Hard
Silver Sheet Solder, Hard
Sold Out
Jewelry Making Tools Coarse File Set with Handle
Coarse File Set with Handle
Sold Out