The simple metal ring is one of the first projects beginner jewelry makers usually need to master. Making a ring involves the practice of some major jewelry making skills, such as shaping, forming and soldering, which can later be applied to more difficult projects. Although copper is not often used in making rings fit to wear, due to some people's averse skin reactions to the metal, it also works as an excellent practice material for those looking to eventually work with gold, silver or brass.
Things You'll Need
Copper sheet metal
Jeweler's hand saw and blades
Lay out a sheet of copper metal. Draw a rectangle on the metal, using a pencil, that is as long as the circumference of your finger and 1/4 inch wide.
Cut the rectangle from the copper using a jeweler's hand saw. File the rough edges of the copper, then sand down the edges until they are completely smooth.
Lay the copper rectangle on top of a fire brick in your soldering area. Heat up, or anneal, the rectangle with the soldering torch, then pick up the rectangle with the tongs and drop it into the pickle pot.
Remove the rectangle from the pickle pot when it is cool enough to touch. Bend the copper rectangle into a loop with your hands, so that the edges meet together. If you cannot bend the copper by hand, bang it into a curved shape over the ring mandrel, using the mallet.
Paint the short edges of the loop with flux, then press the edges together as closely as possible. Clip a small piece of silver solder and lay it over the "seam" created by the short edges.
Attach the loop to the soldering clamp, with the solder side facing upward. Heat up the soldering torch to a small flame.
Apply the flame to the copper loop, holding it slightly away from the solder. Remove the flame when the solder melts and runs into the "seam" between the loop edges.
Remove the copper ring from the clamp with the tongs and drop it into the pickle pot to cool.
Dry the copper ring, then file and sand away any excess solder, until the "seam" disappears.
Slide the ring onto the ring mandrel. Bang the ring with the mallet until it forms a more circular shape, then slide the ring farther down the mandrel. Continue doing so until the ring is perfectly round.
Polish the copper ring with a polishing cloth.
The pickle pot is usually a heated crock pot filled with a solution called "pickle," which eats away at the oxidation caused by the torch.