Sizing down a ring

Most bezeled semiprecious stone rings can be sized down with the Garnet Jewelers Cast without unbezeling the stone. With previous methods, turquoise and softer stones have been ruined by the amount of heat needed to resolder the shank of the ring. Some stones that we have tried and succeeded with are Turquoise, Opals, Agates, Quartz, and Onyx. Practice is a very important part of this process. So follow the steps below with a disposable ring until you feel comfortable with the process.

Step One

Using the metal snips, cut the ring to be sized in the middle of the shank, the farthest point away from the stone. Find out how much length needs to be taken out using the chart and scale below. Cut the excess metal off one end of the shank and file the rough ends flat. Bend the ends of the shank so that they fit flush together. If both sides of the joint do not match up perfectly, then the finished joint will be kinked or not completely soldered.

Step Two

Mix a fresh batch of Garnet Jewelers Cast. Place a pile of the Cast on the Garnet Soldering Block. Push the ring with the stone down into the Cast until it reaches the Block. Build the Cast up around the shank of the ring to about two-thirds of its height.

Step Three

With your torch, slightly preheat the Cast and the shank of the ring. This will cause the surface of the Cast to harden and form a protective crust to protect the stone and hold the ring steady. While the ring is still hot and without turning your torch off, place a dab of paste solder on the exposed joint. Turn your torch so that the point of the flame heats the joint from the side. This will keep the heat directed away from the Cast and the stone. Keep constant heat along the shank with a back and forth motion of the torch until the solder flows. This part will take some practice. It does not always work smoothly, even for us, so we have learned to be patient and cautious.

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