What You Need to Make an Exceptional Ring
Whether you want to wow the love of your life with a bespoke engagement ring, or set up your own jewellery making business, you are going to need the right tools for the job. But what are they, exactly? Here is a list of the equipment you will need to create such a spectacle, presented in order of what you'll need from start to finish.
Credit: Mauro Cateb
Ring clamps can be made from a variety of materials ranging from plastic to wood and metal. They are used to hold rings while you work on them. Some clamps have one rounded end for working on eternity rings, and the other end is flat for working on cluster rings.
Most jewellers would say this this tool is almost indispensable. This flexible cable drill consists of a motor unit, often suspended above the user, connected to a hand-piece by a flexible cable which transmits power down to the hand-piece. This allows the hand-piece to be small and light. Speed is often controlled using a foot pedal.
A grain tool is usually made from carbon steel. It looks like a long three-inch nail which has a concave hole in its point. It is mostly used for pushing claws over stones or rounding off grains which are raised by a half round scorper.
Grain tool holder
This is a small wooden handle with a screw chuck at one end for holding grain tools.
A needle file is a tool used to design or finish small pieces of material. This small tool has a series of teeth laid out on metal with a small handle, designed according to what kind of finish is required on an object. The file is used to smooth and shape metal, wood or glass and is often invaluable when creating intricate details onto an object. The friction created when the teeth of the needle file push against an object effectively shaves off pieces of the material until the effect that is required is produced.
Drills (assorted sizes)
These can be called burs (American) or fraizers (English). They are used for drilling out holes in metal and come in all shapes and sizes ranging from 0.5mm – 10mm. They are made of carbon steel and are used with the pendant drill.
Scorpers (many sizes and types)
The scorper is a tool, like a chisel, used by goldsmiths, silversmiths and jewellers for stone setting, carving shapes, cleaning castings and texturing surfaces as well as engraving.
credit: Steven Brownlee
A loupe shows the jeweller or craftsman what the naked eye can’t: it magnifies an object, normally a diamond, ten times over. It is used to inspect the stone and is easy to use. A loupe normally has one or three lenses and allows the user to see the minute details of a stone. They can be mounted on stands or hand-held objects.
Long nosed pliers are normally used by setters for straightening or moving claws.
These very sharp cutters are used for cutting down claws or wires.
Buff sticks are used to polish jewellery, particularly in areas that are hard to polish by hand alone. They are usually flat and made from wood and felt or leather.
Setters buff sticks
These are made from a flat piece of wood about 12 inches long and are wrapped in sandpaper. They are used to take scratches out of the metal and come in different grades ranging from very course to very fine.
This guide was produced by Ingle & Rhode - London based jewellers of unique engagement rings, wedding rings and a variety of other bespoke jewellery designs.