So, time to learn how to cast metal. I bought a Delft Clay Casting kit and got to practising. After a few goes I dived right on in to making the rings. It's a fairly simple process but an interesting one.
First up, making a wooden former which is slightly smaller on the inside and slightly larger on the outside than the final ring should be. I make a lot of wooden rings so this was pretty straightforward.
Awwww yeah, that's nice and satisfying and smooth.
Top ring fits on, ready to get filled with clay.
Now just fill up the top ring and tamp down again.
Also in there is fine silver grain and pure gold grain. I'll add a borax flux in the melting dish to make everything melts down nice and clean.
After all that, failure. :(
Deep breath. It's not a failure, it's a learning experience. Metal wasn't hot enough, or the hole to pour into was too small, or both (or maybe something else). Reset and try again.
When it does work, cracking open the mould to find a fully cast ring is so very satisfying.
Sprue is an excellent word.
Still pretty gnarly but it's getting there.
I probably shouldn't use sandpaper for this, but I got a load of these free with my dremel-a-like and I have to use them for something. It works.
Coming together now, but still plenty of cleanup left to do.
Back onto the turning jig (I'm not about to use the word 'lathe' to describe a power drill clamped to a bench) for fine sanding.
Almost done. The black mark is Sharpie so I can see how many times I've rotated the ring while shaping the inside profile, it will polish off.
Keep going with the sandpaper, from 320 to 600 to 1200 and finally 1500 grit - and it's starting to look like a finished ring.
Final polish, with jeweller's rouge. Wearing gloves not to protect my delicate skin, but to keep my dirty fingers off the nice shiny ring!
Usual spam for my Etsy store.