Stone Set Ring Stretcher
Hi, Scott with FDJTool.com, I wanted to introduce to you a really handy tool that you might want to have at your bench called the stone set ring stretcher.
It’s really handy because you’re going to run into situations like this; The customer walks into the shop, has a beautiful stone set ring that they find just a little bit too tight and they want you to make it bigger so it can fit on their finger. Well as you know sizing a ring involves cutting the shank, putting in a new piece, soldering it in place, that’s a lot of extra labour, a lot of expense.
You could expose the stone to unwanted heat in the process and your customer may just not want to pay for that when they just want the ring to be sized up just a little bit to fit on their finger. So what’s your alternative, well you could stretch it. Get the ring stretcher in place, if you’ve got the large models here or your hand held pieces that you use with a hammer. Pop it on and stretch away. The problem is that these ring stretchers were designed for bands, because what they do is expand the entire ring in one go, all the way around.
That’s great, but when you do that to a stone set ring, you stretch the entire ring, you stretch the prongs of the ring, a little bit, little bit and out pops your stone, and that’s not good! All you wanted to do was size up your ring just a little bit for the customer. So, not a good way to go.
What’s your alternative? The stone set ring stretcher. What it does is act like a little bitty mini rolling mill. It comes with a set of steel dies that you put in place and use the handle to roll out just the shank of the ring, leaving the head intact. That’s pretty handy so why don’t we take one of these and show you just how to use it. We stock two different models of the stone set ring stretcher from Pepe Tools.
We stock the standard model and we also stock the deluxe model. Each comes with a set of 17 dies for rolling out the shanks. The deluxe model is a little bit larger unit, I find it a little bit easier to use so that’s the one that we’re going to demonstrate today.
Now we’ve got our customer’s ring and when we measure it we find that the ring is a 7 and a quarter and they want it to be a little bit larger. So let’s get to stretching but before we do, we need to examine the shank of our ring. There are a couple of things we need to look for; if you’ll notice on some rings, the shank of the ring at the bottom may be very thin but gets larger as it goes up to the shoulder. There’s going to be a point at which you don’t want to stretch the shank beyond, so you need to make note of that. There may be decorations or designs, in any case you don’t want to stretch that either.
On some rings if you’ll notice, on the inside it’s hollowed out here and that’s often a cost saving feature built into some cast rings and you don’t want to roll past that either. What you can do is to take your permanent marker and you can make a mark on your shank at the point at which you don’t want to roll past. That way you’ve got a nice visual cue and where to stop. There we go and now we need to select a steel die that’s going to work with our shank and you’re just going to pick one out and you’re going to hold it up to the shank and see how well it fits into the groove.
You want the groove to fit the shank nicely and snugly, you don’t want it to be too small where it can gouge the shank, you don’t want it to be too big where there’s a lot of play. You also want to make sure it’s going to fit the shank from one side all the way to the other. I find this die actually works pretty well. We’re going to put the die into our machine and we’re going to get stretching.
Inserting the steel die is pretty straightforward, what we’re going to do is remove this pin from the machine and we’re going to slide out the gear and the steel die that was already in the machine. Just take that out like so, set it aside and we’re going to put in the die that we’ve selected for our task. All the dies have a little hole in the side there that matches up with a pin that’s on our gear so we make sure they are in the right place. Just take it and insert it back into place, put our steel pin in like so and it’s ready to go.
Next I’ll take my ring and I’m going to insert tit over the centre flat steel die of the machine, notice my ink marks are up so I can see how far I need to roll on the shank. I put it around the centre hub and the handle of the unit has a screw in it, that as you turn it moves the die you have selected back and forth tightening or loosening it on your shank. I’m going to turn it and advance the die forward making sure it’s nice and centred on the shank and I’m going to tighten it down until it’s hand tight like so. Making sure to observe the black marks on my ring, I’m going to roll it back to one side and to the other. When I roll it back to the centre, I’ll be able to tighten it just a little bit because I’ve deformed the shank and I’m stretching it so I can roll it one more time back, and one more time back and back to centre.
I’m going to loosen it and I’m going to measure to see how much I’ve stretched the shank. Put it on our mandrel here and we’ve gone to a seven and a half, we’ve managed to stretch our ring a whole quarter of a size. Fantastic. Now this ring shank and many others may be thick enough that if my customer needed it to go a little bit larger I could then just insert the ring back into the machine, roll it back and forth, tightening a little bit in order to get maybe a little bit more out of it, maybe up to half a size but this is where we need to be so now we’re going to go onto the next step and finish sizing the ring.
With our stone ring we’ve managed to stretch it up about a quarter of a size but you know what, we didn’t have to do any cutting of the shank, we didn’t have to do any soldering, saved ourselves a lot of time; really all we had to do is put it in our stretcher here, roll the handle a couple of times and get that shank nice and stretched out. You do get a little bit of rippling in the shank but it was stretched so that’s going to be perfectly normal.
All we need to do now is put it on our steel mandrel and get it back to its original shape. We have our ring back to its original shape, really all you need to do is a little sanding and polishing to get it back to perfection for your customer but you didn’t have to do any cutting, you didn’t have to do any soldering. It was really easy to take our stone set ring stretcher and get it up a quarter of a size, I think that’s a really handy thing to be able to do. My name is Scott with FDJ Tool.