When deciding whether to fabricate or cast a ring design, the value of Hoover & Strong mill products should not be overlooked. This article will show how to combine various Hoover & Strong mill stock products to produce a custom-fabricated platinum ring. In this scenario, the customer wants a wedding band created to match an existing engagement ring with a comfort-fit shank and ornate filigree gallery work. The engagement ring had been meticulously fabricated; the wedding band necessitates equal skill and attention to detail. In terms of materials, the new ring requires half round wire for the shank, dead soft rectangular wire for the filigrees, and diamonds that match the originals. All these materials are easily procured from Hoover & Strong.
After receiving the materials from Hoover & Strong, use the platinum half round wire to fabricate the inside of the ring. This is done by supporting the platinum with a ceramic mandrill and TIG-welding the seam using grounded copper. With the weld done, round the shank on a steel ring mandrill. The next step is to fabricate the outside of the ring. The ring needs to be tapered in both directions from the point where the shank splits; do this with a hammer and rolling mill to compact the platinum. The other task at this time is to put a bend in the shank so that it will lie flat against the engagement ring.
Here is what it looked like at this point:
Next, wrap the platinum half round wire around the inner ring, keeping the flat surfaces together.
Weld the edges on both sides, stopping at the point where the shank splits from the gallery. To ensure a deep penetration on the weld, use only a small amount of filler wire.
For a tighter fit, create a slightly concave surface on the side that will rest against the engagement ring.
Fabricating the shank from half round wire provides a flat area to receive the filigree wires; due to the high quality of the original wire, the inside of the ring mounting is smooth. Thanks to Hoover & Strong’s superior mill surfaces, the flat areas are ready for polishing.
Flat rectangular wire from Hoover & Strong is employed to make the ring’s decorative filigree inserts, using 24-gauge round wire as filler.
Because Hoover & Strong’s platinum wires are a perfect material match, the weld seam on the scrolls is prevented. To achieve the sharp junction, run a triangular file over the fillet. Alternatively, Hoover & Strong’s platinum tubing can be paired with the rectangular wire to produce the filigree scrolls; the weld seam created in joining those materials can easily be cleaned up with a flat file.
Before fitting and welding in the filigree, pre-polish the area where the scrolls will be placed. Hoover & Strong’s dead soft rectangular wire is ideal for creating designs with tight bends, and is perfect for fabricating the ring’s diamond plate and heart-shaped filigree.
After tacking the top of the wire, cut the bottom to length with micro-edge side cutters. The weld will hold the top of the wire while the bottom of the wire is hammered into place. To complete the decorative gallery, weld the top and bottom of the filigree from both sides.
With the foundation laid, it is time to make sure the new wedding band fits snugly against the engagement ring. Grooves designed into the side of the wedding band receive the engagement ring’s center stone prongs, locking the rings together.
After polishing the ring, finish the wedding band by setting the Hoover & Strong HARMONY diamonds and hand engraving the shank.
Undeniably, the fabrication of the ring is streamlined by the ease of ordering both mill products and loose diamonds from a single source. Along with exceptional customer service, jewelers can depend on the superior quality of Hoover & Strong’s materials to complement their vision and craftsmanship, and to produce an outstanding custom-fabricated piece.
This article was written By Kevin Lindsey and edited by Veronica Sandoval