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Ring Making Tools

Forming and sizing rings requires several tools and the right techniques. Essentials for ring making are listed below and we also provide some tips and tricks for successful ring making. Making a ring from metal clay may seem a little intimidating at first, but it's actually very easy with the right tools and techniques.

Aluminum Ring Stick

Aluminum Ring Sticks are intended to measure rings. A ring is slid onto the mandrel and the number it rests upon indicates the ring size. An Aluminum Ring Stick makes an excellent tool for forming metal clay rings. Use a mandrel sleeve that is made by taping a piece of mandrel paper around the stick, then form the ring on the sleeve. Never try to round or size up a ring on an Aluminum Ring Stick. For rounding rings and forming metal, use a steel ring mandrel, found in our mandrels section.

Finger Sizing Gauge

A finger gauge is used to determine a ring size. There are several different types of Finger Sizing Gauges including ring-style finger gauges, paper gauges and strip gauges. A ring-style gauge is a set of plastic or metal rings with one ring in each size that can be tried on until the proper size is found. Ring-style gauges are available in plastic and metal. The plastic gauges usually include whole and half sizes. Metal gauges often include whole, half, quarter and three-quarter sizes. The most expensive metal ring gauges are available in wide and thin bands. A paper gauge is basically a miniature tape measure for the finger. A strip gauge works like a cable tie. The strip is cinched onto the finger and reveals the size at a plastic stop. A strip gauge generally measures in whole, half, quarter and three-quarter sizes.

Freezer Paper

Freezer paper is used to form a sleeve on a ring mandrel. If clay were placed directly on a mandrel it would become stuck as the clay shrinks during drying, locking the clay onto the form. In order to easily remove the clay parts, a protective sleeve is made to cover the mandrel. Freezer paper has a special non-stick coating that allows the clay to release.

Multi-Mandrel

The lightweight Multi-Mandrel was designed for creating wax ring models but is absolutely perfect for making metal clay rings. The set of 6 ring mandrels are 5" long and provide 2 sizes on each mandrel. The smallest mandrel includes size 4 on one end and 5 on the other; the largest offers sizes 14 and 15. A mandrel is fitted into a stud on the mandrel stand. The stand can be placed so the mandrel is horizontal or vertical. The mandrels can be rotated on the stud, giving access to every possible angle. The mandrels are available in whole and half sizes, and in aluminum or wood. A wood storage rack to store the mandrels is also available. The double-ended mandrels offer lots of ring-making real estate with no tapers to throw off sizing. Multiple projects can be created simultaneously.

Tapered Ring Mandrel

Tapered ring mandrels are made of steel to allow forming of metal with mallets and hammers. There are mandrels with sizes engraved into the steel, and there are mandrels with no markings at all. The size of a wide metal clay rings formed on a tapered ring mandrel will have a difference of 1 to 1-1/2 ring sizes from one end of the band to the other which can result in a ring that is too tight or doesn't fit at all. To overcome this problem, be sure to center the middle of the ring at the desired size on the mandrel.

Redy Pellets Ring Sizers

Redy Pellet Ring Sizers guarantee the size of metal clay rings. Metal clay shrinks as it sinters so a ring must be formed larger than desired to allow for shrinkage during firing. A Redy Pellet is inserted inside the shank and keeps the ring from shrinking any more than the desired size.

Ring Pellet Mold

Ring Pellet Molds allow metal clay artists to cast unlimited ring sizing pellets at only pennies apiece. Ring Pellet Molds are ready to use out of the package. Simply mix and pour investment into the mold cavities and allow to dry, then pop out the pellets. Ring Pellet Molds are durable, reusable, and washable.