It’s a beautiful design, a ring bound by another ring, which spins freely. They’re great for people who like something to fiddle with and it’s a fantastic design element.
Whatever you call them, when one breaks, it can be a challenge for a jeweler to fix, especially if what fails is the solder on the inner ring.
Thus was a repair job that was brought to me a few months ago. The solder on the inner ring had broken, but not the solder on the outer ring. The problem was that there was no way to get the outer ring off so that I could solder the inner ring.
Let’s back up a little. The way one of these rings is made is by shaping and soldering the 2 rings separately and then sliding one onto the other. The inner ring is then flared open (or separate rim pieces soldered on) so that the outer ring can’t slide off again. Unfortunately for the jeweler who has to make the repair, the flared edges of the inner ring cannot be un-flared to allow the outer ring to slip off again. The ring has to be repaired as a whole
Binding Wire To The Rescue
For this repair I needed to clean up the old solder joint, reshape the inner ring into a fully closed circle, and then hold it closed as I soldered, all without accidentally soldering the outer ring to the inner ring and causing it to stop spinning.
If you look at the process photo carefully, you’ll see that there are 3 pieces of binding wire on the ring. Two are around the perimeter of the inner ring, holding it closed. I put one wire at the top and one at the bottom of the ring to hold the solder joint together along its entire length (the ring was a heavy gauge and wanted to spring open). There was no room for manipulating the metal to get the tension needed for it to hold itself closed (a trick that every ring maker learns early), so the binding wire would have to do that job.
The third piece of wire was used to hold the outer ring up and away from the inner ring so that they wouldn’t be soldered together. I fed the wire between the 2 rings and then oozled it around to a position near the seam, but not close enough to accidentally solder the wire to the ring. The thickness of the wire was now giving me the distance I needed between the 2 rings and I was ready to solder as normal.
Everything went swimmingly, my client was pleased, and the ring spins like new.