General information about the Site

This lapidary and jewelry design community forum is dedicated to the novice, more experienced, and expert lapidaries and jewelry designers.

Forum cabochon in the Spotlight

Bob ( bobby1 ) shared this unknown druzy

Forum Jewelry Design in the Spotlight

John shared this beautiful pair of amethyst cufflinks

Forum Jewelry Design in the Spotlight

Mick shared this beautiful Malachite Wrasse carving

Intarsias / Composites / Bead Making in the Spotlight

Kent shared this really nice Imperial Jasper pendant

Lapidary Related and Forum Member Shop Links

Brian Ababurko Silversmithing Classes / Rock Rollers Club

Dons Lapidary Arts

Idaho Rock Shop

Rare Rocks and Gems

Coyote Rainbow

Lightninghorse

Rocky Treasures

Talking Rocks

Fine Gem Designs

Idaho Rockman

Fine Woodwork and Lapidary

Darkstar Jewelry

DLC Gems

Teton Art Gallery

Art Cut Gems

Woman With A Torch

Lapidary Buy and Sell (Facebook Group)

Lapidary (Facebook Group)

Lapidary Equipment Marketplace (Facebook Group)


Lapidary / Gemstone Community Forum
December 10, 2018, 08:53:27 am
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
News:
 
  Home Help Search Login Register  

Resizing rings with stones

Pages: [1] 2  All   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: Resizing rings with stones  (Read 690 times)
redrockrods
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 1011



WWW
« on: April 16, 2015, 02:02:21 pm »

I was recently reading a thread on the facebook silversmith group where a custom order came back to the artist because the ring was too big. The ring contained a setting with an emerald. long story short, I suggested the emerald would have to be removed and the setting re-made to size it down. Ended up being blasted by a lot of arm-chair quarterbacks on there talking big about  how they can resize the ring with the stones in place but gave no advice or instruction on how to actually do so. They just referred to their expertise and "large balls", which I didn't find very insightful.

So, anyone care to share how rings with stones (even opals bragged one person) can be soldered without destroying the stone? Inquiring minds would like to know; but I understand if this is ancient chinese secret that can't be shared because of "reasons"...  bricks

Report Spam   Logged

Marty
Jr. Member
**
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 52


« Reply #1 on: April 16, 2015, 04:13:30 pm »

I am with you on the removal of the emerald or opal as heat will destroy them when you heat to resize the ring. Maybe they would be using a pulse welder that localizes the heat near the joint. I lean to being safe than sorry.
Report Spam   Logged

kjsspot
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Gender: Female
Posts: 262



WWW
« Reply #2 on: April 16, 2015, 04:58:11 pm »

I saw the same post but maybe in a different group.  I saw two methods discussed.  1) using a laser welder.  and 2) putting the stone in wet sand.  I myself have tried neither.
Report Spam   Logged

Mark
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 5569



WWW
« Reply #3 on: April 16, 2015, 05:47:09 pm »

I have used two different compounds that are for protecting solder joints or stones from reheating by a torch.  They somewhat work and probably would work better if i could solder quicker and not heat things up so much.

I also once tried re-soldering a bezel mounted stone with protecting it.  Even with not hitting the stone with the heat and doing it relatively quickly, i fried the stone.  The funny thing was, i really improved the stone.  It was a brownish Jasper and it ended up being a reddish Jasper and very naturally looking as red.  Lucked out. 

I bet most people will end up cracking a gemstone by reheating, but there are probably some who can do it repeatedly without a problem.  There are people who can do anything with a torch, and then people like me that are lucky at doing simple things but who would fry most complicated solderings.

Mark
Report Spam   Logged

lopacki
Full Member
***
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 176



« Reply #4 on: April 16, 2015, 06:15:24 pm »

I personally would never do this with any heat sensitive stone, more power to those that get away with it.

All my best ..... Danny
Report Spam   Logged
Back
Full Member
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 161


« Reply #5 on: April 16, 2015, 07:06:40 pm »

Hey all

It can be done. I have done it many times. There are many factors involved. The most basic is can I afford the stone if I mess up.

You have to inclose most of the ring in a heat sink. Then you have to have a good torch and some experiance doing this with the correct torch flame is critical.

I have a ring with a stone in it that I am about to resize. I wil take some pictures and try to give a short lesson.

Bless
 
Shawn
Report Spam   Logged
bobby1
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 3606


« Reply #6 on: April 16, 2015, 07:51:39 pm »

There is a material called crucible liner. It is used to line the inside of the crucible so that any metal residues from the last casting event won't contaminate the current process. I get a sheet of it and crumble it up into very small pieces. I have a small shallow stainless box that I made for this purpose. It is about 3/4" deep and 3" square. I pack the crumbled liner material in this box and add water until I have a wet paste. I embed the stone in the ring into the paste and mold it around the stone, ring and slightly up the shank leaving the part of the shank that I'm going to solder exposed pointing upwards. I slightly warm the exposed shanks and add the solder flux. I use a Smith little torch so I can get a small hot flame. Usually I use the #4 tip and crank the oxygen up to get a small hot flame. The fuel gas is acetylene, the hottest burning flame of all the fuel gasses used in jewelry making. With this very hot flame I heat the place to be joined as I hold the solder pallion on the joint with my home made titanium solder pick. It will quickly heat up to melt the solder and when this occurs I immediately pull the torch away and push the ring over into the wet material with my solder pick. This will immediately quench the hot metal and further protect the stone.
I've been using this method for the last few years (decades) with rings having various stones including opals with no damage to the stone. I will not us this method if the ring shank has broken on the side nearer to the stone, only just for sizing up or down in the center of the ring shank.
Bob
Report Spam   Logged

Talia
Jr. Member
**
Offline Offline

Posts: 54


« Reply #7 on: April 17, 2015, 10:09:02 am »

I've done it more times than I could recount. Sometimes there is just no way to take a stone out of a ring without destroying the stone or ring, or putting yourself on the hook for a massive repair.

When I started doing jewelry back in the 80s, I had a little pot of shredded asbestos (YUP!) that could be wetted down and the stone would be buried in it to protect it while soldering. Some stones could also simply be suspended with a third hand in a dish of water, and that was enough. Later on, I got rid of the asbestos and moved to using Kool Jool, which does quite a good job of protecting stones from heat damage. Occasionally I will still use the water suspension method rather than KJ. It just depends on what the stone is and how dicey I think it's going to be.

That said, if you don't remove a stone before sizing a ring, you may not be able to true the ring back to round, so that should be mentioned to any prospective customer before working on their jewelry.
Report Spam   Logged
bobby1
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 3606


« Reply #8 on: April 17, 2015, 10:40:05 am »

When I was doing jewelry repair in the 70's I used asbestos, too. In those times it wasn't condemned very much....cough! cough!
Bob
Report Spam   Logged

redrockrods
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 1011



WWW
« Reply #9 on: April 22, 2015, 02:06:32 pm »

Thanks for all the discussion an insight. So it is possible, but requires a well practiced hand. I still don't think I want to try it; just can't afford to burn up nice stones when a new setting could be made in the correct size. It's more expensive and laborious that way, but safer on the stone.
Report Spam   Logged

Back
Full Member
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 161


« Reply #10 on: April 22, 2015, 04:45:00 pm »

Yep what Talia said.

I was also trained in the early 80s in a repair shop.

Unless you had a high end sale"a new ring" you had to get it done with the minimal time. "trade secrets " I think.

Still have an A soldering bad and a jar of small A hide just in case

Bless
Shawn

Report Spam   Logged
Isotelus
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 1027



« Reply #11 on: April 23, 2015, 07:32:19 am »

A lot of good advice here and a few " secrets " too.

Spent more than a few years in a high end jewelry environment with a trade shop attached to the retail store.

As far as Emeralds go always remove them from the mounting, even blowing up a cheap stone will p.o. a customer even when you replace it. With the nature of Emeralds and their inherent two and three phase inclusions plus the fact many are oil treated to conceal fractures. It is not worth the risk to reputation and pocket book.

 We factored in the time to remove the stone and maybe replace prongs while it was out. That put us in a higher dollar repair quote but we gained a lot of customers after the cheaper quote down the street blew up a stone or dried out an oiled stone they could not get to look right after repair.

Less heat sensitive stone are pretty easy to do in mounting make sure they are very clean before starting, burned on hand lotion, skin oil, etc can discolor a lot of things at high temps or be hard to remove when fried on stones and metal.

Favorite heat sinks are wet white sand, garnet sand and copper pellet shot contained in an aluminum pop can cut off so it is about an inch and a half deep.
Fill the can with sand garnet or white,copper shot, or casting flask liner and water and submerge ( cover ) the ring stone in .  In addition I often clip a pair of cross lock tweezers on both sides of the ring shank as close to the stone as possible for extra heat sink.

Torch flame usually about three inches long and hot ( I like a #6 tip ) little torch tip
flow the solder quick usually for me about 10 seconds or less ( don't dwell on the shank long ) get in and get out. The longer you dwell the more time heat has to conduct down to the stone and precious metals are very good conductors. I often use a large wet artists brush to cool the shank right after the solder flows.
Report Spam   Logged

Bryan
Mark
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 5569



WWW
« Reply #12 on: April 23, 2015, 09:44:41 am »

Maybe i should try resizing my wife's wedding ring so she can wear it again.  Not!!!!

Actually, i just need to make her's bigger a bit and that should not require heat, just put it in a ring stretcher or put it on a mandrel and tap it up to the next bigger size.

I like Bryan's use of a pair of cross lock tweezers attached to the ring shank for extra heat sinks to pull the heat away from the stone setting.  I have noticed when i use a third hand that it makes it much harder to melt the solder as the heat tends to get siphoned away from where you want it and it takes more heat to getting to the melting point.

Soldering/heating/melting, can be the biggest pain in the butt imaginable.  One time the solder and the piece you are working on, melts down in 4 seconds and the next time the same type of situation and the solder doesn't melt within 3 minutes and you give up.  There are so many things that affect the metal and solder when using a torch, like the heatsink effect, dirty metal or solder (gunked up with skin oil), where the heat is concentrated, etc.  Every time i think that i have it down, I am surprised (usually pissed) at how things go.  Sometimes it is the easiest thing ever and works perfectly the first time.  The next time you end up resoldering a piece 3 times and burning the heck out of the piece and causing tons of firescale.  Ya gotta love it to keep at it.

Mark
Report Spam   Logged

ileney
Full Member
***
Online Online

Posts: 196


« Reply #13 on: April 26, 2015, 02:23:55 pm »

I was recently reading a thread on the facebook silversmith group where a custom order came back to the artist because the ring was too big. The ring contained a setting with an emerald. long story short, I suggested the emerald would have to be removed and the setting re-made to size it down. Ended up being blasted by a lot of arm-chair quarterbacks on there talking big about  how they can resize the ring with the stones in place but gave no advice or instruction on how to actually do so. They just referred to their expertise and "large balls", which I didn't find very insightful.

So, anyone care to share how rings with stones (even opals bragged one person) can be soldered without destroying the stone? Inquiring minds would like to know; but I understand if this is ancient chinese secret that can't be shared because of "reasons"...  bricks



I am with you on this one and would remove the stone, but there is something called the "cool cup." I guess the idea is that the stone is submerged in water while you do the soldering up above on the shank, but I would think the whole thing would act as a giant heat sink and refuse to flow. Maybe not with easy? I don't know. I'd be super careful with emerald or opal, personally. Here is the link. http://www.kingsleynorth.com/skshop/product.php?id=98964&catID=350
Report Spam   Logged
39don
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Gender: Male
Posts: 2290



WWW
« Reply #14 on: April 26, 2015, 09:48:33 pm »



I recently made a sterling silver ring with a Fordite cab for a friend who had been wearing a size 7 1/4. It turned out to be 1/4 too large. She lives 70 miles away and I was returning home this past Thursday from a Rock Swap and returning Friday so I had Thursday evening to resize it.
A friend of mine who is a goldsmith jeweler said for me to submerge it in water to where the shank would be 1/8" above the water, have a super close metal to metal fit and have a soft squeeze with something to keep the shank closed. I found a stainless can lid about 1" deep by 4" diameter and filled it as high to achieve the 1/8" air gap. I was looking in my old Tool & Die tool chest and found a small pair of parallel clamps. I used one clamp with almost no pressure and was able to rest it on the edge of the upside down lid. I changed to a #5 tip on my smith's little torch, adjusted it to a hot flame and heated the shank with the torch upside down, heating the shank on the inside, the joint fluxed and a pallion of solder on top. (Same as Bobby1 did/does.) Holding the torch close but not too close it was done in less than 5 seconds. As soon as I turned the torch off and laid it aside I submerged the ring completely under the water.
I slowly turned it over to checkout the Fordite cab and found it to be perfect in every way. No problems to be found! I cleaned up the newly soldered joint put it in a ring box and gave it to my friend the next morning at the Rock Swap.
If I can do a resize with a Fordite "paint" cab without having a trace of heat for a solder joint most any stone should pass with flying colors. shemademe shemademe

39don
Report Spam   Logged

Pages: [1] 2  All   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Bookmark this site! | Upgrade This Forum
SMF For Free - Create your own Forum | Buy traffic for your forum/website

Powered by SMF | SMF © 2016, Simple Machines
Privacy Policy