Making the Ring

Inner Surface Finish & Polishing on Flickr

I remember seeing instructions online for making rings from coins a few years ago, but it wasn’t until last year that I decided to try my hand at it.

I wanted to make Xue’s engagement ring instead of buying one for a couple of reasons. Firstly, I think engagement rings are primarily symbolic, and I would much rather have it represent my dedication than a dollar amount. Secondly, I think we share a taste for simple jewelry, if anything, and I was able to make the band as clean as possible (though they “traditionally have a stone”).

The ring was made at home in my spare time over the course of a few months. Most of that time was spent gently tapping it into shape against a small jewelry anvil using my favorite little ball-peen hammer. I tried to use hand tools whenever possible, but ended up using an electric rotary tool for some of the surface finishing and polishing.

The box was made at work on a manual mill to unnecessarily exacting specifications. Paul gave me the wood, a small block of black walnut, and showed me how to treat it with a heavy oil to bring out the grain.

The ring definitely took the most time and effort, but I have to admit that I am a bit more proud of the box. I remember hiding it in a pair of socks when I went out East over winter, and later feeling it in the breast pocket of my coat, worried that Xue might hug me and feel it.

More photos from the making of the ring can be found here.

February 15, 2011

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