Resizing sterling silver jewelry in your jewelry studio requires careful consideration and the right tools. Here's a step-by-step guide to resizing sterling silver rings:
TOOLS AND MATERIALS NEEDED
- Ring Mandrel: A tapered, cylindrical tool used for shaping and resizing rings.
- Ring Clamp: To hold the ring securely in place during the resizing process.
- Jeweler's Saw: Used for cutting the ring to the desired size.
- Soldering Torch:For soldering the cut ends of the ring together.
- Soldering Pick or Tweezers: To manipulate the solder during the soldering process.
- Flux: A substance applied to the joint to prevent oxidation during soldering.
- Solder: Sterling silver solder appropriate for the type of resizing needed.
- Safety Equipment: Safety glasses and heat-resistant gloves for protection during soldering.
- Measure and Mark: Use a ring mandrel and ring sizer to determine the correct size. Mark the point where the ring needs to be cut.
- Secure the Ring:Place the ring in a ring clamp to secure it during the resizing process.
- Cut the Ring: Use a jeweler's saw to carefully cut the ring at the marked point. Take your time to ensure a clean and precise cut.
- Prepare for Soldering:Clean the cut ends of the ring using a file or emery paper to remove any burrs or irregularities. Apply flux to the joint.
- Align and Secure:Align the cut ends of the ring precisely. Use binding wire or a third-hand tool to hold the ring in place during soldering.
- Soldering: Use a soldering torch to heat the ring evenly. When the ring reaches the correct temperature, apply the sterling silver solder to the joint. The solder should flow into the seam, creating a secure bond.
- Quench and Pickle: After soldering, quench the ring in water to cool it down quickly. Then, immerse the ring in a pickle solution to remove any oxidation or flux residue.
- Clean and Polish: Clean the resized ring thoroughly using a jewelry cleaner or a mild soap solution. Polish the ring to restore its shine using a polishing cloth or polishing wheel.
- Check the Size: Use a ring mandrel to check the final size of the resized ring. Make any necessary adjustments.
- Final Inspection: Inspect the ring for any imperfections, such as visible solder seams. Address any issues and make final adjustments if needed.
Remember, resizing jewelry involves working with heat and potentially hazardous tools, so it's crucial to prioritize safety and wear appropriate protective gear. If you're not comfortable with these techniques, it may be best to seek the assistance of a professional jewelery company.