View Full Version : Making engagement ring

Erik Brewster
07-30-2012, 06:15 PM
I recently got engaged and decided that I would make the ring. I cut it out of a 1" bar of titanium. Here are some pictures. The big roughing was done with a 1/4" end mill. The band was largely done with a 1/8" ball end mill. The prongs were roughed out with a 0.055" ball end mill and the indent below the setting was finished with a 0.035" ball end mill.


Erik Brewster
07-30-2012, 06:17 PM
More pictures:


Erik Brewster
07-30-2012, 06:35 PM
I milled the pockets for the stone by hand with a dremel and a 1/32" ball end mill. It turns out that was a bad idea (surprise! :P). Now I am making ring 2.0. The stone pockets are roughed out with a 0.035" ball end mill and finished with a 0.015" (!) ball end mill.

The ring is sitting in a fixture I made to hold it while milling the stone pockets. It turns out that holding a ring for five axis milling is not cut out for the Kurt vise...


Here is the fixe axis setup (all manual on 4th and 5th axes). There is a vertically mounted rotary table holding an indexer to index to all the prongs, complete with usb webcam microscope to set tool locations and actually see what is going on.

07-30-2012, 07:17 PM
Erik, very nice work, That lady will treasure that all her life.

07-30-2012, 07:21 PM
Cool!!! And congrats!!

sid pileski
07-30-2012, 08:56 PM
Erik- Nice work. About 26 years ago, just about this time, I made my wife's and my wedding rings. Turned the gold, and milled a pattern of flats in the center. We caught the chips
on a white paper plate. As I recall, we got back ~$56.00!

Don't wear mine that often, but the wife wears her's every day.


07-30-2012, 09:13 PM
Very nice work and congratulations. I am sure she is going to treasure all of the hard work you put into it, and would suggest you sneak these pics in the wedding album when she's not looking for others to appreciate later on.

When I get married I am planning on making a set of rings as well, though likely to be simple gold bands and nothing this fancy.

Bob Fisher
07-30-2012, 09:20 PM
Fabulous, Eric. Look for a lot more from you. Bob.

Dr Stan
07-30-2012, 09:24 PM
Very nice job and I fully agree with justanengineer put the pics in the wedding album and I doubt if you need to "sneak" them in. Your wife to be should be proud of your abilities as virtually everyone else can only write a check for a ring. Your is truly a labor of love.

07-30-2012, 09:48 PM
Nice work Erik. I too have been thinking about making a ring for my wife

07-30-2012, 10:42 PM
That is really lovely work! Question:- how did you phisically mount the diamond? I understand that you force the claws inward to grab the corners, but HOW without an OOOOPS. Most diamonds are set with gold claws, and occasionally platinum, but both are comparatively ductile. Does titanium behave "nicely" in this regard?
Please dont tell me that you just squeezed across the corners with a pair of pliers! THAT would take more guts than Dick Tracy has! (Showing my age!)

Erik Brewster
07-30-2012, 10:50 PM
Thanks for all the kind comments!

Here is a video of finishing the stone pockets. It's tough to video well with the usb microscope, so it's shaky and crooked.


Erik Brewster
07-30-2012, 10:54 PM
how did you phisically mount the diamond?

I made some pockets in the prongs and pulled them apart while inserting the diamond. It only worked so-so -- the diamond falls out after some time. I'm pretty sure I can deal with this by making the pockets more precisely. It also sits more deeply in the pockets now, so I'll have to pull the prongs out more. I'm working on some tooling to do that now.

Standard settings "mush" the prongs over the stone. This design just has prongs that fit around the stone. It's sort of a hybrid tension / standard setting design. I'm living the reality of it now, so I now understand why people don't make them this way :)

07-30-2012, 10:57 PM
Buy a bigger diamond, some JB Weld,etc

07-31-2012, 04:15 AM
I made some pockets in the prongs and pulled them apart while inserting the diamond. It only worked so-so -- the diamond falls out after some time.

Holding a princess-cut (square) stone at just the corners is problematic, even with a standard gold claw, since there is no nice little flat facet for the claw to grip. That's why I went with a rubbed-over setting in white gold for the princess-cut stone on my wife's engagement ring.

07-31-2012, 06:23 AM
Very nice job, but FYI most emergency rooms aren't equipped to remove a titanium ring in the event they have to. If they can't slide it off the finger.

07-31-2012, 08:42 AM
Nice work. No doubt you'll do some polishing afterward. Cutting the prong pockets can be a real art.

You can break the stones without the proper touch. You should cut with a very small ball burr just where the point of the corner enters to the the exact points don't make contact with anything.

Then you need an angled support (the same angle as the diamond pavillion) to support the stone.

Next, the top of the prong is pushed (tapped with a small hammer) to press the stone on your angled supporting part.

Some very good stone setters do their work under a ten power microscope to see exactly how the stone is sitting and that it is well secured.

Since you are doing this, you probably already know all this, but I thought I'd say it anyway, just in case.

07-31-2012, 10:41 AM
That's fantastic work Eric. Very well made.

A good friend of mine made a wedding band for his future wife out of a bar of titnaium. He used my father's manual lathe to turn it. Afterword, he gave me the remainder of the titanium bar. A few years later I cut wedding bands for my wife and me from the same bar of titanium. There's still a little of that bar left. Just waiting for another machinist to find love.

I'd really like to make some wedding bands out of tantalum or niobium but I'm having trouble coming up with one inch bar stock in my price range.

Alistair Hosie
07-31-2012, 04:56 PM
Wow that's avery nice job indeed thanks for showing.Alistair

07-31-2012, 09:02 PM
I wanted to make my wife and daughter a ring on my lathe and mill,and this has given me some great education on it. Thanks!

07-31-2012, 09:13 PM
Fantastic work on the ring Erik!
Also wanted to comment on the excellent write-up and photos.

Boy...some lucky girl is marrying one talented fella.http://i76.photobucket.com/albums/j31/250willy/cee48e43.jpg

07-31-2012, 09:39 PM
Well done. Thank you for sharing your joy.

07-31-2012, 10:21 PM
Very cool, indeed! Congratulations, sir! I recently got engaged myself and, although I contemplated making a ring, decided I'd take the job to a jeweler. I did have the jeweler make my own design with some unique "accents" that required quite a bit of research and networking on my part.

I think taking a genuine interest in the design and construction of a gift (especially something that is such a "token of love") makes it that much more special. I don't put much stock in jewelry as ornamentation, but I really enjoy jewelry that has a story behind it - something that ends up more valuable as a symbol than an ornament. Well done!