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Thursday, 24 February 2011

Handcrafting a Wedding Band

Remember the project I mentioned in my previous post? Its finally finished and now I can share it with you!

My husband was never very keen to get a wedding band. Neither of our fathers wear one, he doesn't like or wear jewelry of any kind and he is self-conscious about his fingers. I wasn't unduly bothered by this but I suggested that he got one anyway even if he didn't want to wear it, just to have. He considered it but in the end decided that was just a waste of money.

Soldering the strips side by side
However, when I got my soldering equipment through I realised that I could potentially make him one. It wouldn't cost much and even if he hated it or it turned out really badly the time would have been well spent as I would have learnt a lot from it.

Once I have an idea I have to go for it and I had a vague plan of giving it to him for Valentines day. I started with some 12 gauge copper wire and hammered it flat. I then curved it around my mandrel (guessing his size), cut off the excess and filed the ends so they were flush. Unfortunately that is as far as I got as my equipment didn't arrive before Valentines day, so I gave him that and explained the idea.

His response was actually positive so as soon as my items were delivered I set about soldering the 2 ends together to join the circle. After some filing, oxidising and polishing I was surprisingly pleased with the results but we decided the band was too thin and looked too feminine.

Cue an even more ambitious project!
The newly shaped and joined ring
is buffed smooth
I figured if I could join 2 strips of flattened copper wire together side by side it would not only make the band wider but also provide a contrasting colour strip all around the middle.
Initially the hardest part was getting the 2 strips of wire straight enough that they would be flush with each other but filing the sides did the trick. Joining the 2 pieces was surprisingly easy but filling the gap all the way along without spilling solder all over the wire was very tricky. Fortunately my file came to the rescue again!

Once the 2 pieces we neatly joined all that was left was to shape the ring around the mandrel, cut off the excess and join the 2 ends together. I filed away any bumps to make it smooth and shiny and finally oxidised it so the silver strip around the middle would go black.

The finished ring!

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