June 17th, 2006

anvil, ring

(no subject)

I'm pleased with my progress on the signet ring today!

I think the outer shell is pretty much done. It is symmetrical, slightly domed all the way around, moving into a rounded-corner square opening for the enamel. The size looks pretty good; I had to both stretch the middle of the band and shrink the edges to get the dome, so that was a bit more work than it needed to be; next time I will make the band a hair too long, so I won't have to do the stretching. Also, the bottom of one of the soldering seams started to open slightly as I was sizing it, so I filed a 90-degree cut into it and soldered a wee piece of square wire into the cut. Next I'll cut off the ends of the wire and file it down.

I also started work on the bearing for the enamel. First pass: 20-gauge (0.8mm) square wire, ends soldered together and then fitted to the inside of the opening. I calculated the length needed, so it will be instructive to see whether Real Life matches the calculations! I am also not entirely convinced that 20-ga. will be wide enough on the sides, since the ring slopes out a bit there. If not, I think the best plan will be to fit a piece of sheet to the inside, then pierce the middle of it. (I need to have a hole in the setting area, since the ring is completely closed except for that, and can explode if heated if there's not a hole somewhere. Also, I like to be able to rinse the inside of the hollow piece- and dry it- really, really well, so I prefer a largish hole.

(When I get my root canal this week, I shall have to ask if there's any way a layperson can get the wee, absorbing points dentists use to dry out small areas like root canal holes- these would be wonderful for getting moisture out of tiny holes when bigger ones aren't feasible.)

My marketing efforts are not going as well, mostly because I haven't been spending enough time on them. I should try to get some photos done over the weekend, and update the website- and maybe post a couple of things on Etsy, too.
anvil, ring

(no subject)

I made a first pass at fitting the 20-ga. square wire bearing into the ring. It's a wee bit too big- which surprises me since I tried to cut it a bit short according to my calculations- but, more importantly, it's clear that 0.8mm is not wide enough to support the enamel on the sides. I suppose that it doesn't desperately need side support; I may need to think on this, since while placing 2 wires or strips along the top and bottom, spaced exactly the same distance from the surface and inside of the ring is tricky.... trying to shape a piece of sheet to the exceedingly funky inner dimensions of the space sounds even trickier.

If I go with supports on only the top and bottom, I think I should also put a "stop" in on the sides, so the enamel can't move side to side during setting.

Now, I could follow the Lap. Journal process and make an entire setting for the enamel, then solder that into the ring. The problem I have with that right now is that I don't have an appropriately-shaped bezel mandrel. I really want a rounded-corner square shape for the enamel, and I don't have that in a mandrel.

So I have some thinking to do...