People love to follow old traditions. However, when it comes to weddings, it’s always better when you give your stuff your very own personal touch. Create your magnum opus and you’ll turn heads, specifically your fiancée’s.
A few years ago, Zack Nelson of JerryRigEverything married his fiancée Cambry. Prior to that, Cambry was involved in a horse riding accident which caused her to be confined in a wheelchair. So to make his wedding ring more personal, Zack decided to take a piece of his fiancée’s first ever wheelchair and combine it with a thin strip of 14 karat gold.
Since Zack didn’t have much experience making jewelry, he asked his friend Weston of Rose Anvil to help out. Here’s what they did:
Rounding the Gold Strip
To make the gold strip into a round shape, it has to first be annealed to a point where the molecules in the gold move further apart from each other. This constant heating will soften the gold, allowing you to hammer and press the strip into a ring shape. That’s what Weston did.
After the heating process, the gold Weston was working on became black. The blackened gold could be polished later but first, Weston cut out the overlapping edges of the now rounded gold strip. He cut the edges off with a jeweler’s saw, making sure both ends would touch each other with very little space in between them.
Soldering the Gold Into a Ring
Welding the two gold ends together would result in a large lump of metal on one side of the ring, which wouldn’t look good for something you’re supposed to be wearing for the rest of your life.
With that, Weston instead soldered the edges. After filing off the black oxidation on the gold, he applied some flux to prevent it from oxidizing. He super-heated the ring edges together before adding in the solder.
Once the solder set in, he dunked the ring into a cup of water to cool it down before shaping it with a couple of hammers and a ring stretcher.
Getting the Gold Ready for the Titanium
In order for it to be extra special (since only one-half of the ring is made of gold), he had to fit it with the titanium of Cambry’s first wheelchair.
Weston used a pair of callipers to mark the area where the titanium inlay would be. Once set, he took it to a lathe to remove the marked layer of gold in the middle of the ring.
Fitting In the Titanium
After unceremoniously chopping his fiancée’s wheelchair, Zack took the titanium piece back to Weston. With the help of some calipers and the lathe, they managed to cut out a 2.3 mm piece wide enough to fit in the middle of the gold.
There’s still work to be done, however. The titanium was a bit big at first, and it needed to fit through the ring. To help with this, Weston employed a ring resizer to shrink one side of the gold ring. Using the smaller diameter as an entry point, he fitted the titanium into the gold and used the ring stretcher to bring the shrunken side back to size.
Sizing and Cleaning
Zack’s ring finger failed to fit the ring, so they used a ring stretcher to increase its diameter. Once finished, they leveled out the titanium (so it could match the gold ring) and sanded everything up.
After removing the black oxidation, the gold ring came out amazing and ready to wear! It might not match what you may find in a jewelry store but for Zack and Cambry, this ring perfectly encapsulates their special relationship.