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Adjustable-shank wire-wrapped ring

Comfortably accommodate up to four ring sizes with this adjustable ring

Many people can’t wear traditional rings because arthritis, joint inflammation, or large knuckles make it impossible for them to slip rings on and off. The shank of this adjustable wire ring easily expands to slip over a large joint before returning to its original size. I used Argentium Sterling Silver wire, but you can use sterling silver, gold-filled, or another metal. Some people believe that untreated copper can bring relief to arthritis sufferers, so copper would make a great material for this ring (though untreated copper may react with your skin, turning it green).

For the ring-making project instructions, click here to download the free project PDF. Read on for a materials list, information about sizing rings, and how to place the wraps.

Materials

  • Cabochon: 25 x 18 mm
  • Wire:
    - 22-gauge (0.6 mm), square, dead-soft, 45 in. (1.1 m)
    - 21-gauge (0.7 mm), half-round, dead-soft, 38 in. (96.5 cm)

Tools & supplies

  • Painter’s tape
  • Permanent marker: fine tip
  • Wire cutters
  • Pliers: flatnose
  • Polishing cloth
  • Tape measure
  • Ring mandrel
  • Rawhide mallet
  • Needle file
  • Finishing items (optional): flex shaft, hard felt buff, rouge

Suppliers

Adjustable shank wire wrapped ring size chart
Source: The Contenti Company. Other sources show up to 0.5 mm variance. 
Sizing up the situation

When you’re sizing rings, you need to keep wire gauge in mind. As the wire gauge gets heavier, additional millimeters are added to a ring size’s circumference. The ring circumference in this chart is based on a wire thickness of 1.6 mm.

Tension in the shank of the featured ring may leave a gap of several millimeters between the shank end and the ring base, making the finished ring slightly larger than anticipated. Since this ring is adjustable, you may want to make the ring slightly smaller than your ideal size.

That’s a wrap

To make a secure bezel for your cabochon, you need to think about where to place your wraps. In general, you can vary the placement of the wraps, but they should be evenly distributed to keep the wire bundle that makes up the bezel wall intact. For the featured ring’s bezel, I made sure to wrap on one long side of the cabochon and at both small ends.

Wrapping over the top of a cabochon serves two purposes: It’s decorative, and it helps secure the cabochon in the bezel.

When designing the top wraps of the cabochon, make sure that the swirls cover at least two-thirds of the cabochon to prevent the stone from popping out of the bezel. If your design doesn’t cover two-thirds of the cabochon’s surface, you will need to make angled bends in the wire on the top of the bezel just as you did on the bottom.

Get the project instructions here

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