Cross this one off your metalsmithing bucket list—hollow form signet ring! This listing is for a digital download of a PDF template to make hollow form signet rings. Sizes included in the file are whole and half sizes from US 1-14, calibrated for 20 gauge sheet. I've done all the calculations for you—all you have to do is choose which finished size you'd like to make!
This is a downloadable file with four  pages. The first three pages are the templates, US 1-14, and the fourth page of the download is the 20 gauge ring size guide rulers and size chart, something I've included in this listing as a bonus. If you wish to try my wack-a-doo formula below, use the ruler and chart to help you make your sleeve. Be sure to print at 100% to maintain the correct sizing. Templates can be printed and used as many times as you wish. Once you purchase this listing you will have access to the file, and therefore cannot be returned or exchanged.
Before you read any further, a disclaimer
Accuracy, in terms of size, is highly variable due to how each metalsmith works differently. Do you pierce to the outside of the guide line? The inside? How much do you hammer the blank when shaping? How hard to you strike the mallet? What type of mallet are you using! Throughout the multiple rings I made, my finished sizes were within 1/4 size of the target size. Because of all the variables mentioned [and more that I didn't] these templates are not guaranteed to turn out finished rings the exact size marked on the templates. Please keep this in mind.
Allow me to ramble a little bit
A hollow form signet ring is made up of two main parts: the outer part and the inner sleeve. This template is for the OUTER part only. Simply choose the size you wish to make, adhere to the corresponding sheet [I like double-sided tape], and pierce out. If you're unsure how to form the outer part, the internet is a wealth of information and tutorials can be found, some with great detail. Any tips and tricks or suggestions I offer in this listing are simply what I did, or what works for me. Please don't confuse my suggestions with any sort of formal instruction or tutorial.
I went through quite a few prototypes to figure out what works best for me, and I'll share my process below. There are some very mathy formulas out there that will help you work out how long to cut the sleeve blank to fit inside a circle of a particular diameter but I could never get those to work, so I came up with a more simplified way of getting the same result: same, but different.
Here is what I did...
Let's say I want to make a ring to fit a US 8. I choose the US 8 template, adhere to 20 gauge sheet, then pierce out and form the outer part. When I slide the fully formed outer part onto my mandrel and it slides past the chosen size, I don't panic! It's supposed to be big—approximately two sizes too big—I need to have room to insert the sleeve. So, how do I determine the length of the inner sleeve? What worked for me was to take the target size [US 8] from any ring blank sizing chart and add 2 x the thickness of the metal [0.8mm].
Here's what that looks like in a bit of a formula:
59.1mm + 2[0.80mm] = 60.7mm
I like to err on the side of too long, so I'd probably cut the inner sleeve more like 61mm long. That'll allow me to file the ends flush for soldering without worrying about losing too much material. Form the sleeve into a tube and check the fit. I'll likely have to keep filing and sanding the inner sleeve smooth and round as well as the inside of the outer part in order for everything to fit snug. For one of my rings I filed the leading edge of the tube to a slight taper that so it would fit through the other side of the outer part. That yielded the tightest and best fit because I hadn't filed the outer part bigger to make the sleeve fit. If I file too much from the outer part, where the sleeve fits through, I will inadvertently change the intended size of the ring.
The last step in creating a hollow form signet ring is to solder on the top. Here's where I have to decide if I'll leave it a simple ring, or continue on and add a stone. If I'm happy with a simple, un-embellished ring then I can just solder the top on. But if I plan to solder more after the top is on I need to make a vent hole somewhere on the ring. I like to hide it under the stone, for example, which is what I did on my very first attempt, a copper ring. I saved the copper prototype as a highlight on Instagram.
If you read all the way to the bottom of the listing, thank you! As I mentioned earlier, none of the above information is to be confused with formal instruction—it is simply some of what I learned along my hollow form signet ring adventure.
I would love to see your hollow form signet rings at any stage of the process. Please tag me on Instagram so I can share!