A man was wearing his wedding ring while doing some electrical work. PLEASE DO NOT DO THIS! Gold is an excellent conductor and you can suffer burns or loss of your finger entirely.
Thankfully I was able to get the finger back on successfully… Wait, his finger was actually just fine but I DID get to fix his ring!
More damage on top. When electricity meets gold it acts as a weld.
Step 1: Cutting out the melted section.
Using a jewelers saw, I cut out the section that was badly melted. A bench pin works great to keep the ring nice and steady.
Melted section removed!
It is important to make sure you cut straight lines, or at the very least file the cuts straight to prepare for the new piece of gold.
Step 2: Measure out the new piece of gold.
Slide the ring down a mandrel until it is tight. Take a piece of gold stock and rest it against the ring. Using tweezers, score the new metal to achieve your proper length. When adding new gold to a ring, make sure it’s slightly wider and thicker than your ring. This ring was 2.5MM wide and 1MM thick, so I used gold that was 3MM wide and 1.25MM thick. This is beneficial in avoiding thinning of the original ring in later steps.
Step 3: Use metal bending pliers to give the new gold a curve that matches the existing ring.
Step 4: Rest the new gold in the ring.
This can be a bit tricky to get right. What helps is to use a file to taper the ends of the metal. You also want to avoid too much tension as the gold could pop out once heated. Try to eliminate gaps in the seams as much as possible to avoid porosity in your solder job.
Step 5: Solder the seams
Using a hand torch, soldering pick, and white gold “hard” solder, I soldered the seams.
Soldering is all about heat control! You want to be hot enough to flow the solder, but not hot enough to melt your ring. If that happened we’d be back at a square one and quite frankly I would rather not play the game of, “who melted it better: Electricity or Goldsmith?”
Step 6: File and blend the metal.
File the metal on the top and the sides until you achieve a near flush result. This is a Grobet USA number 0 file. I like mine with a little bite.
Blend your metal until you are nearly flush. Make sure not to overdo it as that would be thinning out the original gold.
Step 7: Grind and blend the gold on the inside of the ring.
You can actually interchange steps 6 and 7 and be just fine. This is an inside ring cylinder bur equipped on a hand-piece and flex shaft. Powered by a small motor and operated with a foot switch. Wear protective eyewear to avoid metal grindings entering your eyes.
Step 8: Finishing with a sanding disc.
Now that the metal and has been filed nearly flush, I use a micro-motor with an interchangeable hand-piece to do more of the finer finishing work. I love these small Moore sanding discs available in different grits. Other jewelers use tools like emery sticks during this step. Whatever gets the job done I say! This sanding disc was also used to remove the weld spots on the top of the ring.
Step 9: Polishing time!
I first use a small polishing wheel with my micro-motor before moving on to the bigger polishing machine. Polishing is all about continuous movement to prevent any flat or over-polished areas on your ring.
The finished project!
This was certainly a fun one to do and I hope I can share more of these in the future.
Check out other fun projects we are working on!