Project No. 4

Materials: Ring-tubes and scrap.

One of the first, and probably one of the most interesting, types of articles to be made from plastics is rings. These can be made wholly from the special ring-tube shapes cast for this purpose, or built up from sheet, or carved bodily out of 1" or larger rod, or made from ring-tube and ornamented with bits of contrasting color attached with cement, or with wood, metal or glass ornamentation. The directions below merely indicate the basic mechanical operations involved in the interesting art of making rings out of ring-tubes. Various styles are suggested in Figure 22, No. 5—from that point on each craftsman can follow his own particular bent. Other ring designs will be found in Plates 3A and 3B and in other photos in the costume jewelry section. Some of these incorporate more intricate carving, which makes the use of power carving equipment desirable, but in most cares the general idea can be obtained by simplifying the design so that it can be worked out with hand-tools.

Ring-tubes, cast especially in this shape to save time and material, are 5" to 6" long, enough to make from 4 to 8 rings each, depending on the width desired. If you are making a quantity to a more or less pre-conceived design, the fastest method is to form all the bands at once, before cutting off, as indicated Figure 22, using either a 1/2" rat-tail file, or a coarse grinding wheel 1/2" wide, with its corners worn rounded. Following this operation, saw off the separate rings on the dotted line with a hack-saw (preferably, although any type of hand or power saw will do, the finer-toothed the better). Then decide the shape ring you are going to make. Several types are indicated in the sketch. The first is a conventional signet style, with beveled edges and polished face. This type can be shaped by hand with a file, or on a coarse grinding-wheel or sanding disc, bearing in mind always that there is only a little stock to be removed, and power tools cut fast. If you can engrave, cut your initials on it, and if you can't engrave, try it anyway— you will find it works easily. The engraved scratches can be inlaid with quick-dry enamel in contrasting colors if desired. Ia bufing and polishing, be careful that the buffing-compound do— not destroy the sharp clean edges and angles. The 2nd and 3rd are "cabochon" shapes, probably the easiest made, and one of the best-looking. These can be very quickly shaped on a coarse grinding wheel, sanded and polished. They can be left plain in this shape, or a groove filed around the edge, to give the top rounded portion the appearance of being a separate piece from the ring-part. Another very interesting treatment is to carve an Egyptian scarab on the top rounded portion. This can be done easily with a triangular file. The 4th and 5th present the most interesting possibilities of all. These are 2-piece, 2-color rings, having a "setting" of a different color from the base, cemented on. These different colored pieces can be any shape or color, provided you have a pleasing contrast. Cabochon shapes, faceted shapes, or even little carved figures or initials can be developed. In the 5th the top piece is crystal or other transparent color such as ruby, emerald, amethyst, etc., cemented on in the rough, and the entire shape ground at once to the angles shown. In the 4th the little prongs which hold the jewels in metal rings are simulated by filing little notches around the edge of the platform to which the "stone" is cemented.

In finishing, always SAND WELL and BUFF WELL, and then the polishing will be easy.