Create your own twisted wire to accent the center of this ring design. As usual, make one in copper (as pictured) before using silver so you can perfect your technique.
24 inches of 16-gauge round wire
12 inches of 16-gauge square wire
Hard and medium solder
Solder set up
Hand saw and bees wax
Anvil and raw hide hammer
Hand vise drill and vise
Align Metal Pieces
1. Bend your round wire in half. 2. Twist the two pieces together by putting both ends into a vise. Then make a hook out of a bent nail and insert this into the hand drill. Slip the bent part of the wire onto the hook. Turn the drill’s handle slowing and evenly to get an even twist. (There are other ways to do this, but I’m choosing the one I’ve seen most often used.) 3. Now you need to flatten the twisted wire by pounding it on the anvil with the raw hide hammer. If you have got a rolling mill, of course, you could use that instead. But, few of us an afford one.
4. Now decide the size you want your ring to be, and use the ring gauge/ruler to determine the how long your wire needs to be. You will need to cut 1 piece of your twisted wire a little longer than needed, say 1/4-1/2 inch on each side, and 2 pieces of your square wire to the length indicated by the gauge.
5. File the ends of the wires, flatten with your hammer if needed, and set in your pickle.
6. Next, line your 3 metal pieces on your soldering area so you have the square wire on top, then twisted in the middle, and then your other pieces of square wire on the bottom (see illustration).
7. Use hard solder to solder the 3 pieces together. The number of soldering joints will vary with the size of your ring. However, you’ll need enough to securely solder the 2 pieces of square wire to the top and bottom of the twisted wire.
8. After it is soldered together, this is the tricky part. To help your seam (which you will solder soon) become less noticeable, you want the twisted wire to match where they meet.
This will require you to use the hand saw to remove extra twisted wire at the perfect spot so that it looks like the twisted wire never ends. If you look closely at the photo, notice were the purple point of the paper is pointing to. This is the solder joint. You can see how hard it is to see because the wire seems to continue in its twisting, when actually this is where it was cut.
9. Quench and dry off when finished. You have one soldered piece now. 10. Next you need to form the ring by wrapping it around the appropriate area of the ring mandrel. For example, if you are making a size 8 ring, then wrap at the number 8 on the mandrel. 11. Use the raw hide hammer to close the metal round the mandrel. (Watch the fingers here.)
12. The two ends need to be flush against each other, so file if necessary to ensure they fit well.
13. Pickle the piece and arrange on your soldering area.
14. Using medium solder, solder the ring closed.
15. Quench, pickle, and then polish.
This design would also make a gorgeous bangle. In addition to using silver or copper, you could also combine the two metals for a two tone effect by making the twisted part from copper and use silver for the square wire, for example.