Monday, October 6, 2008

Ring a Ding Ding!

I recently instructed another great group of women at Anne Sturdevant’s shop, the “Bead Weasel” in Midland, Michigan. It was a soldering class. It’s delightful it is to teach students who already have some knowledge of soldering and don’t mind being given a great detail of information to sift through. It was a refresher for all who were there. This is not a project oriented situation and because I had knowledgeable students I was able to bring extra information and projects. I loved showing them how to make my standard “safety pin “earrings and some solutions to various solder issues that have arisen for them.

One of the issues nearly everyone has is cutting the appropriate length of ring stock needed to make a particular size. Let’s see, there is the wrap a string/paper/tape around your finger method. And that can work pretty well if the ring is for you. But what if you want to make a standard size 7 set of stack rings, or a wide band for someone who wears that size? Each of those situations would require a slightly different length even though they are both for the same size. A wider band needs more length or it will not fit the finger properly. Yeah, I know, it feels complicated.

A long time ago I saved a chart and some information that would help me with just this issue so I am posting it here so everyone will be able to use this guide to help them when they want to make a ring. As is often the case when we are making rings it is also good to remember that you are likely (99.9%) going to have to put it on a ring mandrel and round it up with a mallet. In doing so it is going to make the ring a smidgen larger – a lot larger. It is an easy fix to make something a tad larger than smaller after all your soldering and hard work, so keep that in mind as you are creating your shank. I have had to recreate many a ring when I neglected to take this and the width of the band into account when I was cutting a shank.

Ring Sizing Chart

Getting ring sizes right:The easiest way to get a ring sized right is to cut the stock or wire to the right size to begin with! It's easy once you know the size you are targeting. The formula is :
(Inner Diameter Of Ring + width of shank) X PI. PI is a constant 3.142.
The width of 18 ga wire or flat stock is 1mm. The following chart shows the inner diameter of the various ring sizes:
5 -- 15.7mm
6 -- 16.5mm
7 -- 17.3mm
8 -- 18.2mm
9 -- 18.9mm
10 -- 19.8mm
11 -- 20.6mm
12 -- 21.3mm
13 -- 22.2mm
So -- if you wanted to make a size 8 ring with 18ga round wire you would cut (18.2mm + 1mm X 3.14 or 60.3mm of wire and make a circle and solder.


rosebud101 said...

Dang it! Sharon, I wish you lived closer so I could take some classes from you!

angelinabeadalina said...

I enjoyed reading this, and I don't even make rings! Sharon, I'll bet your classes are incredible, just an explosion of information and how-to-solve-it know-how!