Custom Wedding Band

Recently a good friend asked if I could make her fiancé a wedding band. Both are active people living in Colorado and he wanted a silver band to match his lifestyle. They sent along a few examples of rings he liked and we settled on a ring with a rough texture and areas of oxidation that would highlight the white silver of the band. The photos below outline the process it took to craft his ring.

The first step was to carve a wax model. This can be done by literally filing away wax from a wax ring tube, but I choose to use a wax lathe to speed up the process and ensure that I ended up with a perfectly symmetrical ring with smooth edges.

Wax lathe

Once the wax model was finished on the lathe, I rounded the interior of the ring for added comfortable when worn, often called a "comfort fit". Any additional adjustments can be made at this stage, such as sizing the ring or further refining any surface details. Next the step is to sprue the ring and prepare it for casting.

Once cast, the now silver ring must be cut off the sprue.

Silver ring tutorial 
Silver ring cut from sprue

After cutting off the sprue, I filed down any extra metal.

Filing down the sprue

I then began to polish the ring. I started with 220 sand paper on a sanding stick and begin to smooth down the surface of the metal. I continued to increase the sandpaper grit while further refining the outer surface of the ring.

IMG_7726

Once I hit about 600 grit sand paper, I switched to an abrasive wheel and then a felt polishing wheel with polishing compound. I also used a rounded wheel to polish the interior of the ring, checking to make sure I had the correct ring size.

I brought the surface of the metal to a high shine and then oxidized (blackened the silver using liver of sulfur) the entire ring. Once oxidized, I put a rough texture on the exterior of the ring using 110 grit sandpaper.

Rough texture silver ring

Finished! Because the ring is silver, which is a relatively soft metal (compared to white gold, palladium or platinum) the rough texture, as well as the oxidation will wear away with time and use, but it can be easily retextured with sandpaper. This was such a fun process for two great people and hopefully that enjoyment is shown through these photos. Please don't hesitate to contact me with questions or custom orders!

Silver ring

If you would like to learn about the lost wax casting process, check out my earlier posts on the subject: Lost Wax Castings (Part 1), Playing with Fire (Part 2) or Time to Polish (Part 3).