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Old 10-14-13, 01:28 PM   #1
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I want to design/make my girlfriend's engagement ring.

I'm currently not sure how I'm going to start this, but I do have experience in 3d modeling, designing and engineering. The requirement materials are steel, wood (possibly black cherry or hickory; something indeginous to PA), and Topaz as it's her favorite stone and she doesn't want a diamond.

I have friends who have a metal shop that could make a 3d print and I could get a branch from my back yard (of 5 acres.) Not to mention that there's a design studio here in Pittsburgh, http://www.techshop.ws/pittsburgh.html and I think I was going to get a membership for a couple months to complete this. I have done a bit of questioning and R&D with women around me, so I've been thinking of diferent designs all the time...

Thanks in advance all!
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Old 10-14-13, 01:30 PM   #2
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Cut her finger off and mail it to your friend?
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Old 10-14-13, 01:54 PM   #3
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Just something to consider... do you expect her to wear this ring all the time? If so maybe you need to research the materials, including the gemstones alittle more thoroughly. I am not a fan of diamonds either but the reason they are used in wedding rings is their durability. Topaz is 8 on the Mons Scale (diamond is 10) but has some issues. I assume you actually plan to make the ring out of a precious metal as wood won't hold up...
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Old 10-14-13, 02:08 PM   #4
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The main body of the ring will be made out of steel, but there will be wood incorportated in with it.
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Old 10-14-13, 02:11 PM   #5
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Just something to consider... do you expect her to wear this ring all the time? If so maybe you need to research the materials, including the gemstones alittle more thoroughly. I am not a fan of diamonds either but the reason they are used in wedding rings is their durability. Topaz is 8 on the Mons Scale (diamond is 10) but has some issues. I assume you actually plan to make the ring out of a precious metal as wood won't hold up...

My sister has a large tanzanite engagement ring and it's a softer stone. She's worn it every day for over 15 years with no damage. A topaz should be fine.

To the OP, are you thinking of making the ring stainless steel with a wood inlay?
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Old 10-14-13, 02:14 PM   #6
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Sounds like a fun 3D printing project. Have you considered titanium?
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Old 10-14-13, 02:33 PM   #7
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Titanium would be cool, but what happens when I wanna weld her ring to her steel bike? Or if she wants to weld her ring to her bike? I'm always thinking..

For Cbad, I wasn't thinking of that initially, but after talking to various women, I think that may be the best bet for durability.
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Old 10-14-13, 02:36 PM   #8
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way more effort than it's ultimately worth, bro.
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Old 10-14-13, 09:50 PM   #9
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Sci guy, you have been married atleast three times by now... Or you're 17..
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Old 10-14-13, 10:02 PM   #10
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Sci guy, you have been married atleast three times by now... Or you're 17..
Both, depends on which forum he is posting on.
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Old 10-14-13, 10:29 PM   #11
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....just a hint here: one off's are much more easily done in lost wax casting, similar to the process your dentist uses.

Sadly, unless you have your own foundry, steel is out of the question. I suppose you could machine something, depending on
your skill levels and available shop, but the mounting attachment of the stone would be problematic.
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Old 10-14-13, 10:35 PM   #12
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Are you stuck on making it or is designing good enough?

i designed my wedding band and had a company machine it from titanium. The cost was marginally different than an off the shelf titanium band.
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Old 10-14-13, 10:35 PM   #13
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Sadly, unless you have your own foundry, steel is out of the question. I suppose you could machine something, depending on
your skill levels and available shop, but the mounting attachment of the stone would be problematic.
Times are a changing. He can make a 3D model and send it off to a printer to get a stainless steel print.
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Old 10-15-13, 12:47 AM   #14
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...I hate change.
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Old 10-15-13, 07:18 AM   #15
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Sci guy, you have been married atleast three times by now... Or you're 17..
32. married for 3 years (together for 13).
i mean i get that you want to do something really cool for her, and that's cool of you. i'm sure she'll love it. it'll be pretty special.
i just feel way too much pomp and circumstance is put into the whole engagement ring thing these days.
ultimately a complex ring gets more in the way. its hard to match the wedding bands to it, it can do things like making putting on gloves difficult due to it's size, height, etc. worry about loss/damage, especially to a super duper custom ring like that.
me personally, i'd rather put the extra money toward paying off the wedding.
maybe i'm a grouch. who knows!
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Old 10-15-13, 10:03 AM   #16
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.......get off your lawn.
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Old 10-15-13, 10:28 AM   #17
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If you do a Google search for steel ring with wood inlay, lots of neat designs come up. I think something like this would work with the stone in the middle and wood inlays on the side instead of the opal in the photo.

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Old 10-15-13, 10:34 AM   #18
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I have experience with 3d modeling, CAD, design and engineering. I also have a friend that is a jeweler. After watching him work, there is no way that I would consider making something that special myself. My advice would be to find a jeweler that will work with you, it's hard to beat someone at their own game. YMMV.
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Old 10-15-13, 11:24 AM   #19
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http://www.personalcigarbands.com/
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Old 10-15-13, 12:45 PM   #20
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Wood inlays will not be durable. The ring gets wet several times per day (washing). I would be suprized if wood inlays last a year. Steel is a wierd material to make a ring from anyway. Make a wax model and bring it to a jewlery craftsman to cast out of silver or gold. If you go the stainless steel route remember some people have or develop a sensitivity to nickel.
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Old 10-15-13, 12:51 PM   #21
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She may not like diamonds, but it's really a stone you can not lose(she will love it) if you use one. Remember, quality over quantity.
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Old 10-15-13, 01:02 PM   #22
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Wood inlays will not be durable. The ring gets wet several times per day (washing). I would be suprized if wood inlays last a year. Steel is a wierd material to make a ring from anyway. Make a wax model and bring it to a jewlery craftsman to cast out of silver or gold. If you go the stainless steel route remember some people have or develop a sensitivity to nickel.
Thanks - that was what I was implying... no matter how much varnish you place over the wood, it will not hold up to normal every day wear. Steel is a reactive material unless its enhanced as with stainless but that might cause a reaction as Wulf says. All of these things you need to work out before putting in any more time and effort with a design.

I would love to know why your girlfriend wants a wood and steel ring over something else. I get not wanting to pay alot for rings, I think that a waste of money too, but wood and steel is just so masculine and not pretty by any standard. White Topaz tends to appear grey not white and any treated topaz, like "Mystic" is sensitive to heat and chemicals. I have alot of mystic pieces and have to handle them with care.

If cost is an issue consider doing a core of bronze or silver and then overlaying it with something more precious.

Anyway I love the thought - please post when you come up with a design...
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