Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Stacking ring love..and necessary tools.

Carol Dekle-Foss
I'm obsessed with making stacking rings! I think it's because there are so many design possibilities. I like that any small charm can be converted into a solderable, then be combined with different gemstones and metal textures to make a unique, one-of-a-kind ring. I have so many designs in my head right now!  Here are some newer ones I've made and also some I've made in the past. 

My lotus charm with textured bands and a white topaz faceted gemstone.

I'm in love with this little owl! I just sawed off the jump ring that was attached to the top of his head. The cabochon is mother of pearl.


 One of my cherry blossoms combined with berry wire.

I use a ton of different tools when making rings, but here are my favorites and the ones I can't live without.


This file rocks! It files so smooth, like a babies bottom:)
Very accurate ring sizing chart.  
Pepe ring mandrel. I recently purchased one of these and love it! My other ring mandrel completely destroyed the insides of my rings.
Flat and half-round pliers. I use these to round together the ring band wire to be soldered.
Maun flat-nose urethane parallel pliers:  I have no idea how I lived without them. The urethane even stands up to my abuse!
Digital calipers from Harbor freight. 
Mounted sandpaper roll, 400 grit. For sanding the insides of ring shanks.
AdvantEdge pumice wheel. I use the knife edge to remove metal under the charms so the ring bands fit snugly.
Locking head tweezers. They keep everything held in place and at a 90 degree angle.
Rotating soldering table. With the locking head tweezers, and this table, I can easily look at all angles of the ring to make sure its lined up and ready for soldering. Sorry, I should have taken a photo of a ring about to be soldered!
Photo courtesy of Rio Grande
My newest favorite tool! A stone-setting system.

Tube setting a faceted gemstone like the one above can be challenging. I've chipped way to many using a regular bezel pusher, so I decided to give this stone-setting system a try. It works like a charm and very easy to use. It pushes in the sides of the bezel wall evenly so the gemstone sets perfectly. I love it! Melissa Muir has an extremely helpful video on how to tube set if your interested in learning. Thank you Melissa!!! 

Sending positive thoughts and safe wishes to those in the path of this monster of a hurricane!

5 comments:

stacilouise said...

The right tools make eveything easier

Sandi Volpe said...

Thanks so much, great tips, love stacking rings!

Patti Vanderbloemen said...

Yum...yum...and yum again! These are fabulous! You have shared so much wonderful information - I believe you have a tool that I do not have...yet! :)

freshbakeddesigns said...

What a great post! Thank you so much for not only sharing your adorable ring stackers, but also favorite tools. Always learn so much from other designers' generosity!

Carol Dekle said...

@stacilouise I've used the wrong tools for far too long! So you're right, having the right tool makes it so much easier, plus just plain fun to be in the studio.

@Sandi Volpe You're welcome! Thank you for your comment!

@Patti Vanderbloemen Darn, I was hoping it was more than just one! lol Thank you Patti!

@freshbakeddesigns You're very welcome! I love sharing what I'm up to in the studio with the hope that it inspires others to create!

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