Making a Diamond Eternity ring
Making a diamond eternity ring. To start, I needed metal. 18ct Yellow gold was the metal of choice. As this was to be a new ring, I had to use new refined 18ct Yellow gold. Once the metal is in, we have to smelt it up in a crucible and pour it into an ingot.
Once we have a fresh new 18ct yellow gold ingot, we have to mill down the metal to the required thickness, length and depth. This is done on a set of rolling mills that essentially squash the metal. Squaring the ingot in a set of squaring mills with gibe you an even spread over the metal. After a couple of turns through the mills, heat up the metal, quench and repeat until you have the metal at the required measurements. Before each new turn in the mill it’s important to check the metals measurements as well as any cracks in the metal that might be forming.
Once we have the metal at the measurements we need it’s time to start turning up. This is a process of bending the metal into a circle until each end of the metal meets. There are tools available to ease the process of bending the metal as this can be a tough process without experience. I prefer to use a larger set of Half round pliers.
I have more control over the metal and I can feel what the metal is doing and how much pressure to use. Once the ends meet, you need to get the join as good as you can. The ring is only as the weakest part (the join). Use a saw frame the cut through the join a few times to make sure the join is tight and there are no gaps. It’s not so important at this stage that the ring is perfectly round. Get it as round as you can but don’t get hung up on this yet, the join is important.
Use the correct solder. I can’t stress this enough. Solder comes is various ranges. Each range has a different melting point and durability. Easy solder melts super quick, where as Hard Solder needs much more heat to melt. For a ring like this, the solder should be 18ct Yellow Hard solder at the very least. You can also purchase Extra Hard solder and this will be even better for the join in this ring. This is to ensure the join in this ring doesn’t crack or fall apart under day to day stress.
Clean up and cut out
Clean up the ring at every stage you can, this will help when you come to give the ring a final polish at the very end. Cut out the channel. Mark out the diamonds by placing the diamonds on top of the ring and mark out. Using beeswax to keep the stones in place while marking is quite a useful tip. Drill out the sections and cut out the channel using a saw frame. Don’t take away too much metal at once, if you take away too much your have to start over as you can’t just add it back in. Keep butting up the stones into the channel to keep an eye on the fit, they should be just resting on the lip of the channel.
Once you’re confident you have cut the channel to the correct width and you have adequate depth for the stones to sit with out poking through the back of the ring it time to start setting. Using an under cutting burr in your pendant drill start cutting out a seat inside the channel for the diamonds to sit into. Don’t cut away too much metal as you can’t put it back if you take out too much and you’re never set the stone properly if it has too much room to move about in, resulting in the stone coming out. Take your time and do each stone individually. It takes time and patients. Each stone should click into place.
No click, then its too loose in my opinion. Once the stones are in place your need to rub the metal around the channel using a polished flat tool. If the metal around the channel is thick then you may need to file down some of outer ring to allow you to move metal over the stones. Again take your time and only put as much pressure as needed to move an adequate amount of metal over the stone for extra tightness. Once you’re happy the stones are secure and straight, go over the ring with some 1200 wet and dry on a flat buff stick to remove any marks in the metal done when setting.
Polish the ring using a polishing mop on a polishing machine. Use one part of the mop for putting polish on and another part of the mop for removing the polish. Once the ring is cleaned and polished, pop it into a heated ultrasonic machine with an ultrasonic cleaning solution. Leave for a few minutes, remove and rinse with warm water. If your happy the ring is free of polish you’re done! Pop it into a box and it’s ready for the customer!