After I lastly made peace with the conclusion that I truly wished to marry my girlfriend, ideas in regards to the typical subsequent steps made me cringe: backroom bargaining within the diamond district, limitless visits to mall jewellery shops to attempt to find out about cuts and readability, spending manner an excessive amount of cash I’d quite spend on touring or instruments or meat. Fortuitously, my nascent furniture-building pastime has accustomed my girlfriend to appreciating my lovingly flawed dwelling creations, so I made a decision to go the identical route with the ring. Googling “DIY marriage ceremony rings” instantly introduced me to Sam Abbay and his one-man store in New York’s monetary district.
Sam is a 33-year-old who’s been constructing jewellery since highschool and arrange enterprise as New York Marriage ceremony Ring right here within the metropolis a couple of years in the past to show folks how one can create their very own engagement rings and marriage ceremony bands. Since I had wished to maintain this a shock, I didn’t ask Lisa a lot about what she had in thoughts, however I knew she appreciated vintage and property rings, so I looked for photos of Artwork-Deco-era designs. When I discovered one I appreciated, I met with Sam to speak in regards to the construct and supplies. He walked me by the assorted metals and their properties, and we settled on platinum. Then we turned to stones. Lisa had made it clear she didn’t need a diamond and let slip that she appreciated sapphires, so Sam defined lab-grown versus mined (the previous is lighter, simply as lovely, and a few sixth the worth), and confirmed me samples of various sizes till we discovered one which was proper for my design. Then we scheduled two days for the construct — the week between Christmas and New Yr’s, after I may lie and say I used to be at work.
Sam ordered the uncooked supplies, so on day one of many construct, I started with two four-inch lengths of platinum in several gauges, or thicknesses — one for the precise ring, one for the main points. As he usually does on extra concerned designs like this, Sam constructed the identical ring out of cheaper palladium alongside me, so he may exhibit every step however let me do it on my ring. Since I wished the ring to have a groove down the middle, I truly made two rings, barely flattened, and soldered them collectively. Soldering at this scale is loopy: The solder is a platinum alloy that melts at a barely decrease temperature than the ring platinum, and it is available in sheets that Sam cuts into flakes in regards to the dimension of glitter. With tiny tweezers, you set a flake over the joint you need to seal, attempt not to have a look at it fallacious lest it transfer, then warmth it with a small oxypropane torch till it melts — and never a second longer or you might soften the ring. You additionally use the torch often to anneal the platinum: warmth it red-hot for 30 seconds after which cool it, to realign the crystals and make it much less brittle.
Flip the web page to see the completed ring.
The Completed Product
On the finish of the primary day, we had a hoop with a basket setting connected on the highest. Many of the 13-hour second day was spent on the little bridges and cross-bar particulars. To my shock, there have been few secret suggestions for making these things: it’s simply a number of precision work with very small saws and really small recordsdata, and a number of endurance. Every bar needed to be mitered on a few edges to take a seat flush, then set delicately in place and soldered to the opposite items and to the ring. I want I may let you know it got here out flawless, however there’s positively some off-center stuff occurring, and I may have used about one other eight hours with a file set and sharpening cloths to work out all of the little nicks and bits.
By 9 pm, the ring was collectively and polished; all that was left was to set the stone — and screw up massive yet another time. As soon as the rock is within the setting, you need to bend the prongs to carry it in place, then trim and file them. Sam demonstrated on one prong and handed me the wire cutter and jeweler’s loupe to do the opposite three. Apparently about that very same time, I used to be having a bout of the DTs, as a result of I instantly lower off manner an excessive amount of. That is the place Sam actually shone as a trainer — regardless that my screwup price him a night along with his girlfriend, he was completely affected person and moved rapidly by the repair. We needed to bend all of them again, take away the stone, solder on a brand new size of wire, lower it and file it till it matched the opposite prongs and re-set the sapphire. I lastly walked out of there round 11 pm, exhausted and combating the urge to simply stroll within the door, throw my creation at Lisa, and get it the hell over with.
Fortuitously I fought that urge, and waited till we have been on trip on an island in Mexico a few weeks later. She’s not a tough gal to please, however she liked the ring, and on a subsequent journey to her hometown, it was an enormous hit with the long run in-laws. Now if solely the remainder of the marriage have been so simply solved with a little bit metallic and a blowtorch.