Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Dan's Wedding ring

My brother Dan got married to the beautiful Kati on the weekend in Port Stephens on the NSW coast. It was an amazing weekend in a gorgeous location.
I was honoured to make Dan's wedding ring.

Dan is a cinematography based in Sydney. It was important to Dan that the ring be light weight, strong and comfortable. It has been years since Dan wore a ring due to the nature of his work. Cinematographers work with their hands all day long and in Dan's own words "I need the hardest metal in the world". That would be titanium.
The titanium ring shank is slightly tapered for comfort and the above image shows the materials I began with to make the ring, a titanium shank and the ingot of silver to be in-layed at a later stage...

Here is my bench. Firstly I gave it a bit of a tidy up. I like to do this before beginning a new process or project.

The required tools....

Before picking up any tools I masked out the ring with tape to protect the brushed surface as much as possible.

Here I am filing the inside of the ring to a comfort curved interior finish. I really love a curved interior profile as it increases the comfort and wearability of rings exponentially which was a number one requirement for my brother.

After filing out the bulk of the material with course and fine files, I then went on to polish the inside of the ring with small buffers.

This step is complete.

The next step is to get the silver inlay into the titanium. I re-mask the ring leaving a gap in the masking exactly where I want my inlay to be positioned. For this ring I chose to slightly off centre the inlayed strip.
Using a micro grinding wheel, I ground out a slot 1.5mm wide into the ring. This process took a while as accuracy in this process is absolutely crucial.

The piece of silver must be a tight and exact fit into the groove with some over lap to strike with the hammers. Once the piece of silver has been wedged ito the groove it is a matter of hammering and trimming the ingot until it has been planished into place. I have no images of the hammering because I was so absorbed with the making process that I didn't think to take any photos.