Beginning Jewelry Projects: Making and Soldering a Pearl Ring


okay here's all the materials we need

not a lot this is a purl let's see on my

sheet here it's a half drilled or you

can use a fully drilled purl which I'm

doing here this is a button pearl eight

to nine millimeters then for your ring

shank you'll want to use a rectangular

silver wire

this one is 0.23 six wide by 0.05 nine

thick which is approximately fifteen

gauge and you'll need a sufficient

amount for your ring size I will have a

link to my my ring size chart here

I'll have that on the information

section here so you need to calculate

how much material you'll actually need

for that and then you need a small

length of sterling or argenteum round

silver wire in this case it's bets six

centimeters long and that's all you need

for materials the tool listed on the

other hand is a different story so you

can if you have a rolling mill you can

roll your stock you can roll a bunch of

it and then cut it to size I just cut

this to size and rolled it and figured

I'd just trim it again I haven't done

any finishing I just used my

bench here to cut the middle you could

use a saw jeweler saw two hot blades

2/0 blades would work in a soft frame to

cut it and if you have heavy-duty shears

that are capable of cutting almost 15

gauge then you can use those two to trim

your metal down to size so I am going to

recut this to size and then we'll move

on I think I need to explain to you how

to create a ring shank kind of determine

your size this is one method using a

ring blank chart that they will have a

link for so I think I already mentioned

that I'm senile you know that anyway bla

bla on 15 gauge metal 15 gauge metal the

ring blank chart has a gauge 6 the size

for 16 gauge if using 16 gauge and if

using 14 gauge so what I did was I added

these together divided by 2 which gave

me 60 1.05 which is an average of these

two which is probably approximately

somewhere in here of 15 gauge because

this is over at my shank it's over 4

millimeters wide I need to add an

additional 0.5 of a millimeter on to it

so I come up with 60 1.55 so what I need

to do now because I have really non flat

edges and I need really not I read

really flat edges is I'm going to finish

one of the ends and make it perfectly

square and then I will take my

measurement off of that square end and

adjust maybe leave myself a quarter of a

millimeter or so half a millimeter to

finish the other end so you can actually

add so we'll go back to when I scribbled

out you can actually add an extra half a

millimeter on to your measurement

76 and 205 but I'm gonna do it the other

way because that way I have less to

adjust for and it'll be easier to get it

closer to the perfect size if this turns

out to be slightly too small we can

stretch it on the ring mandrel down the

road but it's gonna fit perfectly

because it has to so I'm gonna set up

for doing the mitre cutting vise and

show you also an alternative method for

squaring bands if you don't have a miter

cutting vise I'm pretty sure I've talked

about using this tool in about 18 videos

so I'm not gonna talk about it too

in-depth I also have a web page on how

to use this on Nancy LT Hamilton calm

never files

oh god that was bad files work on the

push so I'm pushing lifting lifting

lifting and what I want to see hear and

feel here I don't want to feel any

catching which means that I've still got

metal on the surface and you want to

feel it where you want it like god I

just had a colonoscopy yesterday so

please forgive me when I'm recovering so

you don't want to see any material

sticking out here so now you've got one

perfect edge except it has burrs on it

grab some sandal paper there we go so

what I do especially on this perfect

edge is I lay the material try to do the

same fancy flat on the sandpaper and

push my finger down on that and and drag

the reason I'm doing this is because if

I do it at an angle I will point make a

point on this and you always have

Brewers after filing so expect them

you'll also have them on the sides you

want to get rid of all the birds because

they interfere with the join that we're

going to be doing when we solder both


the ring shank together so now from here

I can measure off of my ring shank to my

whatever the heck I wrote down there

six beats one point five five plus a

quarter so I put my line into the on the

end of the shank material god I already

forgot the number

how's that for funnier neck okay 61.5 is

almost sixty two pretty much one to snow

right there and then I I do a real fancy

method of marking I push the ruler flat

down on a flat surface and kind of make

a square and then draw my line here so

I'm gonna go cut this on my shear you

can file it that vilest saw this

whatever you want to do so even though I

have a type of bench here that cuts

square I still trust this I always go

back to my minor cutting vise but I want

to show you if you don't have a miter

cutting lace by the way I've said this a

million times

where's the other one the difference

between the cheap and the expensive at

least the one I got is five thousand now

this is supposed to be good sliding up

and down easily and I literally I mean I

old this too you can probably see the

glistening oil in there it is really

stiff compared to this this just moves

like a dream and the reason you want it

to be smooth is because when you're

trying to line this up in here you

wanted to drop down on top of it nice

and easily so that you you can push it

up against that tooth it's not as easy

as it sounds with this I've got to use I

need three hands essentially so don't

buy the cheap one if if you can I mean

I'm sure having a cheap one is better

than not having any

because the method about to show you is

not nowhere near as accurate so you once

your your flat file and you want to try

to hold your hand to square as possible

and drag down the file face like this

this is one way to do there are

everybody has different ways

another method is to cut extra length on

your stock shape your ring and then soft

through have the have the metal cross

over like that and then cut right where

that mark is on my finger cut through

there that's another method to do it

this is how I do it sometimes sometimes

I do it the other way so anyway that's

and don't forget even if you're doing

this method you're still going to end up

with burrs so you know do your drag

method to take those burrs off before we

do anything before you do anything else

so I'm gonna put this back to mitre

cutting vice get that done then we need

to go and kneel this police I hope

that's what we're doing next well I'm

now been proven to be in accordance of a

liar I can't help myself we're not gonna

kneel this quite yet because I want to

kill a couple of birds with one rock

here I'm we're using this it's

pre-stamped disc you can stamp them at

home if you have a hydraulic press which

I do actually have some that I've

already stamped by hand but this is from

Rio and it's I don't know if you can see

it but there is a ledge on here all

stamp pieces tend to have these ledges

so we want to take that off now and the

way where I'm killing two birds with one

stone is I'm gonna go ahead and anneal

my ring shank but I'm also gonna torch

clean this at the same time I almost

lost as that I lost my right there


so I'm also going to bring over my 20

gauge wire and heat clean that so these

are all gonna go get heat clean and I

really believe I am actually going over

there now the wire I'm going to keep

over here on the edge because I'm

probably not going to do too much on

that heat wise there is a little tape

residue on here that I need to burn off

but I want to be very careful because

these are hugely different in their

weights and it be simple tech to melt

that wire if I wasn't paying attention

on this I'm looking for okay while the

ring bands is in the pickle we're gonna

prep our disks here so take your desk

this is a center finder you could use a

template circle template but I'll tell

you it's a pain in the butt these are

like 12 bucks or something maybe even

less and I'll have a link so we're all

these lines intersect here about is the

circle the center of your circle now you

need your steel block and a punch you

can make these from in that nail this

was the nail that I just heated the

steel up and twist it and then tempered

it and stuck it in a dowel so I like to

come in at an angle so that I can see

exactly where I'm putting the point line

it up and give it a really good whack

because we're gonna be or two because

we're gonna be putting these in the

dapping set and this could disappear

we're not going to drill until after

we've domed it so you want your divot to

be face-up in the dapping punch set

yours so it'll be like that when you're

making your dome shape actually we could

probably smoothly transition into that

right now

see how smooth that was we have

transitioned so face up give it up

centered in the recess find the punch

and I must have started different one

last time on each other

see I want it to fit in there we don't

want it to be too big because you'll

damage your punch like this little the

steel will cut into the side of the

punch which is it is that it yes alright

so I want to make sure it's still

centered it won't hit the camera so I'm

gonna give it three good Wallops I try

to keep it straight then I'm gonna go to

a smaller one right here

three big whacks I can go to another one

it's slightly smaller find the DAP and I

at this point I'm going to kneel this

it's gotten work-hardened so we'll do

that so everything's in the old divot

'add and we're gonna just start making

this a little smaller so I'm gonna do

the one two three and then go to the

next smallest and you can make these

cups any size you want but remember that

pearls are fragile and this is cup acts

as a protector for the pearl so we have

a cup looks about like that then what

you wanna do is take it and put on some

sandpaper 400 320 probably 320 then for

just for help there's more fingernails

and what you want to do is have a nice

flat this is not ready so I think 320

probably be better to start with and

then go to 4 but you want a nice flat

edge and then roll this edge or

sandpaper please terrible assistant here

you could do this to where you run you

just want to take any sharp edges off

and rest your hand on something

otherwise you're doing this

and you're not it's not as effective so

just keep cleaning up I have nine of

these to make so I will be back with you

in a minute

I have class in four hours okay now it's

time to drill out our little divot that

we made earlier I have a point eight Oh

drill bit in here for 20 gauge

lubricating with drilling into a hunk of

beeswax here perpendicular you want a

really nice sharp eye drill bit because

you don't want this thing spinning

around and I want to keep this straight

up and down no wiggling and that's how

you should be able to draw through so we

are through there we may have to adjust

this a little bit for our wire so I'm

gonna get that in check perfect it's a

nice tight fit that's why if you don't

wiggle your arm you get these nice tight

fit so if your drill bits are dull get

rid of them make them into tools punches

whatever but don't drill with them

especially on these tiny little things

and lubrication will make them last a

lot longer because not only does it

lubricate them but keeps them cooler

because it's lubricated and when they're

cooler they don't overheat and if they

overheat and they turn blue some of your

tips may be blue or purple we colored

that means that you've annealed the

metal so it's soft and it will no longer

hold its edge so there's two good really

good reasons that all relate to one

thing keeping your drill bits alive

longer so now you think we'll get set up

to bend some ring shanks something I

hate to do there are several ways that

you can bend a ring shank and I don't

think any of them are very fun I'm going

to show you on this this is the Pepin

tools ring bender it has these del we're

on our nylon part and then

these see whatever they're called they

come in different sizes I'm using this

smallish one because I want to make a

tight curve and I start by putting it in

and bending Michael ends so this handle

cranks like that so it goes around and

we have our hook putting it should be

keeping it flat on the floor of the tool

and it's really nice tool it is a really

nice tool to use with this really heavy

gauge metal especially if you're an old

fart like me so see we're starting to

get the shape just bend it around a

little more until it meets in the middle

I still have to do some hammering and

futzing and I never understand why it

gets off like that but that's a pole you

can use pliers up here to pull if that

gives you more leverage and I'm just

going to tighten it down a little more

the rest of it that's gonna have to be

done with hammer know what I should say

so see this has gotten us pretty close

to where we need to be I need to line up

things a little bit better so now we're

gonna move again now I need to level

this up just a bit it's it's pretty

close probably get worse after I hammer

it I've been kind of playing around

using the dapping blocks cut block

because I figure it it's round and it

keeps you from getting too out of shape

it's kind of been working it plus it's

steel so it's resisting I need a

slightly bigger hole I don't want to Mar

the metal yeah that feels better so what

I'm going to do is look at my gap here

and make sure that I don't see a lot of

light through there like this end right

here is way too far apart they need to

hammer on this side to push this side


so I'm going to tap on the outer edge

and on both sides so that means I'm

going to tap on this side it's the sick

thick stuff that's a pain in the butt so

now I've got an overlap pull it apart

slapping it down the hair here if I

start to see that it's curling in in

here like I don't like the way that

looks right in there and move you again

you can use either a ring mandrel or I

just put a dapping punch in here just

kind of flatten that out again so we're

gonna move over to the traditional way

to doing it all right here we are at

yield pipe vise with yield ring mandrel

I am going to go up to about this this

is an 8 remember so I'm going to go to

about a 7 I'm going to curl these edges

and I'm going to go ahead and hit it on

this side now because this is a conical

shape so you want it even

and you can count and do this evenly

which would probably make more sense but

see how we're starting to curl round I'm

gonna go back on my seven maybe six and

half two three four five and just moving

in towards the center okay you become an

acrobat sometime I'm gonna move up to

six really whack this dang thing


okay I'm gonna switch to a smaller MLA

mallet and I want to tap this down a bit

we're going to be using a ru finger

shaped mandrel where it's wider up here

narrower down here I like this shape it

keeps you this keeps it from rolling and

especially when you're gonna have

something rather heavy on top the other

reason is this is flatter and it'll make

more sense for soldering a domed item on

top of it than a fully round one more

surface area to adhere the the disc to

so there are several ways you can put

your ring to solder it I left my tripod

at Chimaera so I've rigged up this goofy

thing with a screen and a trivet for

enameling and there's a nice little dent

in there to arrest the ring in so I can

heat from underneath but my flame is

very close to it I'd rather have it back

farther but I just did one that way so I

know it works and then another option is

after warming it putting my solder

across the seam this way and then

heating from this side so I'm going to

do that now and then the other option is

to put your solder on and once it's

adhered pick it up with your cross locks

and hold hold your flame you know like


so I'm gonna do the sideways model right


okay these warm chunk of solder it's a

little flex brush

there's my seam

it's the only problem this is you got a

deal with gravity okay I don't you can

see that but it's across the seam and

we're going in for the kill


and this feeling hits you that this is I

have to lay over to the side to see the

solder flow


and the reason for its load by the way

the reason for heating on the opposite

side of the solder is to pull the solder

through the ring so it's time for me to

file two four six eight ten these on the

back and I've found this stuff for

another project I'm working on called

Joe's sticky stuff on Amazon I'm just

stuck on my desk it's kind of like those

gel pad things that you put on your

car's dashboard my thoughts are that I

can just I haven't tried this yet but I

don't see why it wouldn't work wine all

my there's many as I can get on here

little domes half domes on sticky stuff

and file them all at once alright now

all we need is a file so I'm hopefully

going to have success just flattening

back sides so that there's more area to

sit on the ring shank and I'm trying to

keep this thing level so now I have flat

spot obviously some of them are higher

than others I didn't think of that all

right I'll just take out the ones that

are done

yeah okay you want to leave goodbye but

you could do something like this at home

with wine it'd probably be a heck of a

lot easier than trying to do five

million of them these guys look good

down here get them out of there

oh good stuff sticky but it it peels off

it's pretty cool

can you see that flat spot there with

not 600 different angles on it which is

a good thing next step is we're gonna

saute these little half domes on to the

ring tanks after plate no back up

first I have to reshape the ring tanks

and we're gonna solder it on so see ya

in a few

so I put the seam on the middle this is

the finger shape mandrel I put it that

lined it up in the middle of the back of

the mandrel of this the front side of

it's the top sides over here that's at

the bottom so I'm just gonna start

forming it and trying to keep that in

the middle going under sideways I'll hit

my finger okay so now I'm going to turn

this over and I'm going to you can see

the shape there I'm going to put this on

the top side

got a bruise there see how snowing

otherwise they didn't even sit down and

start sobbing off do it again on this

side and when you do this kind of take a

look to make sure it looks balanced you

know so it doesn't get Wonka Lee

actually this looks pretty good

oh no no not really

what do you think I think it's good

enough for a sample piece and now I can

check my size not too big right at 8 so

that was good

everybody whether they have a size 8 or

not are getting 8 size 8 rings for this

class so once I'm done

shaping I'm gonna go over to my factory

here my sandpaper and I'm just gonna run

this on the sandpaper I'm gonna around

these edges here you could do this by

hand or with a sanding stick I never can

seem to find mine

work your edges theoretically you don't

have globs of solder in there no do not

for cleaning up in here they make these

little barrel things there's also those

little flap barrels mmm this is a same

kind of idea of a different type and

therefore cleaning inside of rings you

should if you use just small amounts of

saw you shouldn't have hardly any

cleanup because all the solder should

have run down into the seam which is why

I am a packet of minimal solder if I

need more I can always put more in there

so oh yeah here's one this kind of thing

with the little sandpaper floppies on it

so I'm gonna just clean up the inside of

this and maybe Brittany well this

grooves if you run this over the edges

it grooves so if you're going to use

something mechanical instead of pant by


you know use one of these sanding discs

out here find one you don't want to help

you don't want it to do too much on this

at all actually so I'm going to sand

away just like this

feel sorry for me so put it in some kind

of vise your ring shank that is just put

it and you want to have it squared it

keeps your I to work better so I want to

file a flat spot right in the middle by

the way when I do this it looks like I'm

filing back and forth like that I'm

actually doing a lift on the way back

this is hard to do to get this nice and

not 400 angles on it you don't need a

huge spot this is this place where this

is gonna sit so it's not gonna fly off

see just like that I put two solder

points and some flex that I forgot to

heat up first on to the back of the dome

shank out of there so the cross legs

don't get hot they keep this up

and I'm gonna melt the solder on the

back I'm using hard still go off I'm

gonna get it flat as you can with heat

then we're gonna pickle this and sand

off some of this so that it sits flatter

I hate binding wire so I go to all kinds

of contortions to avoid it so I've got

my flat spot down I've got my solder

sanded down the hair I'm trying to line

this up and I'm using a an Achilles dolt

and what I want to look for here is that

my dome is centered this way and also

this way and that like right now that

bands a little too far to the left

it's like an adjusted a hair but then I

want to check again to make sure it's

still on center doesn't look horrific

I could do binding wire on this too

like I said but that just makes me want

to cry so we're just gonna go for it

well you can tell it's the end of a day

and I have a deadline because funny

enough I've ants all over my phone which

is what I'm filming with because it was

overcharging on my desk and they got

into the cat treats so now there's

10,000 of them and I'm hiding over on

the other side of the room I have a

class that starts in a little two hours

and 20 minutes takes me a half-hour to

get there so I have not a lot of time

and I thought I hit record on this when

I soldered it but it didn't so I'm gonna

pretend that I'm soldering it again and

what I said so Willie you missed it I

think I'm now it's a wit is that this is

a much larger area up here a lot hotter

hotter more thicker gauge more metal

blah blah blah and it's got the added

benefit of having a crosswalk on here

that sucks heat away so most of the heat

is going to be directed at the ring

shank itself and you're just going to

get your head down on the side without

burning your face off and watch for that

solder to flow next to this you know the

seam between the copper and the silver

so I'm going to pick a list and we're

going to do the purl promote a post

after I kill this and I'll be right back

sort of alright so you probably don't

have to do this since we already a

little hole in here but it makes it so

much easier to do this is back to our 20

gauge drill bit a little wax and I want

to drill straight up and down I'm going

to drill right through the center of the


okay so now that we've got this whole

running through the ring I'm going to

put the pearl post in and show you what

we're gonna do one of these days I need

to film me making a movie it's like so

scary tripping over this cord on my

microphones like 40 feet long I get it

wrapped around everything it's really

exciting I've cats coming in begging and

you know jewelry making it okay so

that's flux flux

there's our hole that hopefully our

wires going to squish into sit before

there you go so you want it in there

nice and snug and I'm gonna heat this up

so this flux grips everything little

keep them here

I'm gonna turn it over in some how far I

got that wire in hmm not very far well

I'm gonna have to try to get that wire

in when this cools off because that will

fill that hole in the back and you won't

see it I have to make me trim this and

tap it a little bit so we're going to do

that I should show you what I'm doing

I'm grabbing these with the pliers I

trimmed it a lot and I'm kind of

wiggling it down in there one hopes I

want to see it poking out the back if

it's incredibly difficult to get in you

can always go back and open that hole up

a little bit but this really should be

tight it

somewhere near square so it's also check

your solder joint you're pushing on this

and your cap comes off you know your

solder didn't flow okay I'm gonna call

that done feel snug snug is back in the

back weird person okay so we're gonna

prop this little bugger up wash my hands

flux I put some flux back here to and

I'm debating I could I'm gonna I think I

might put a little tiny piece loathe to

do it I think we're gonna do is I'll put

the solder here up against the wall of

the post and touching the the base of

this and then I'll heat from back here

and then with any luck of this solder

will flow down down the roll

nope sorry yeah down the gang post I'm

losing it and I have to go teach class

for our people

yeah all right Sawada need a little tiny

piece because it's a little tiny join

well we want perfection because mama has

to get ready

there it is that can you go in there

okay we're gonna call that Danny done

I haven't any solder in there yes teeny

little piece we want we want running

down here so we're going to heat where

we want run and medium would be good at

this point for the solder pipe

you could do that if you wanted I think

I used hard because I like to make my

life extremely difficult at all times

alright so I'm going to pickle that go

murder some more ants and we will put

the Pearl on and it's not affect my

liver suffer it first figure so a couple

last tidbits I've decided I'm going a

liver of sulfur at first before putting

the pearl in because sometimes the epoxy

gets on the interior of the cup and if

that happens the liver of sulfur will

not take there so it could look splotchy

so I'm gonna liver this first doing a

really low scrubby finish essentially

and I already did the band just gonna do

my cup here probably it's a little large

oh look what they did to my pin just

roughing it up cuz I like that brush

look and this gives you a great fresh

look so um I also yanked on this to make

sure that it was actually soldered

that's that's important see we don't

have a ton of solder goop in there so

that's good another thing is you want to

make sure that your Perl fits it needs

to be tight but if it doesn't go on and

I'm going to shorten this post a lot so

I'm gonna drill this out a little bit

more put it in my water

get my doo-dah on mic drill bit just

gonna drill through this little come

here you want you always want to do it

with wrong machine if you do this with a

dremel be careful you don't like acute

yourself there's no power down at this

end on a flex shaft

I'll just go it's kind of pushing it a

little on the sides and then I'm gonna

check my fit although I could trim this

quite a bit all right let's see if we


oh for goodness sakes well I guess I

need to push a little harder so I'm

gonna do that and I'm gonna go liver of

sulfur it and then we'll come back for

the putting the epoxy on it okey I gotta

charge my phone with the ants okay

before my battery goes dead we're gonna

do a couple of little things I could do

a better job on cleaning this up but I'm

in a rush so I delivered it it's

something nice and black that got so

what I'm gonna do here I trimmed this by

the way be careful do this slowly the

trimming you don't want to do it so much

that it doesn't come out the end mine

fits on it and it just to the very top I

would have liked a little bit more

because I was gonna tap it down but what

you want to do now is make little

squishies on the wire they're gonna act

as things to hold the glue the epoxy so

just give it some squeezes so that you

dent up the wire for the the posts for

the Pearl and then you're gonna want to

have some kind of brush they make these

little tiny brushes or hold on we're

gonna go for a big ride or you can make

a toothpick brush okay what happened the

hammer I had two and a half seconds ago

oh there's geez so organized I'm scary

so I I use this in but you can use

whatever end my chasing hammer and I'm

just flaring out the tip of this and

making a toothpick brush you can trim it

and make it really pretty if you so

desire I don't know if I'm gonna do that

or not

sounds hard oh here's tremors what the

heck okay so now I have a little brush

for my glue and I think

I'm just gonna use Loctite oh my

goodness so you take your little brush

and you want to put the Loctite around

the peg I try not to get it all over the

inside and now I'm just gonna slide my

pearl on top maybe push it all the way

down see how it just you can barely see

it on the top so yeah that's the ring we

did it

so the soldering project too and

hopefully a series that I'll be doing

I've started it I've got two so this

needs to dry for 24 hours of course I

have to wear it tonight because I have

to show it to the class but if I think

of anything else I'll blob Alon I

actually have 15 minutes to get dressed

and a half hour to lay on the couch

whew thank you see you soon