Rings Within Rings


Handmade bezel set rings on a ring mandrel together with textured sterling silver soldered ring

Tools and materials you're going to need for this class

Before we dive in, please make sure to watch the classes in full and read the handouts before going out and purchasing any new tools listed here.  We always like to show that there is more than one way to do everything and so have included ALL THE TOOLS we demonstrated in the class (which in this one is a lot).  Wanted to demonstrate a lot of finishing and forming techniques in this class – it’s pretty much why we designed it:


So please, please, watch the videos first. Remember, it’s not the size of the tool collection, it’s what you do with them that counts.  

And finally, please note that these tools will not just be used for this class alone, most of the tools (aside from the consumables) will last your entire jewellery making career and be used on a huge variety of different projects.

jewellery tools and materials you'll need for lucy walker jewellery metalsmith academy's online classes.

Where to buy metals

USA:  Rio Grande, Otto Frei, Stuller, Hoover and Strong, Halstead, Allcraft

Canada:  Ormex

UK:  Cooksons, Betts MetalBellore Rashbel

Australia:  Koodak

South America:  Fornitura

Europe:  K A Rasmussen

For more worldwide suppliers, please see our Suppliers and Discount page within the Metalsmith Academy

Where to buy gemstones

Lucy Walker Jewellery Bazaar

Gems by Genovese

Rare Earth Minerals

Clam Shell Gems

For cheap as chips cabochons for practice, we recommend checking out Ali-Express. They might not be real, but they’re cheap!

Absolutely though, the best place to really buy gems is at a gem show. If you can find one locally, it’s always worth a trip!

cabochon or rose cut gemstone

Round cabochon or rose cut gemstone (7-10mm is ideal)

We cover bezel setting a 7.3mm rose cut in a bezel setting as part of the class. Ideally, you’ll want a cabochon with a flat base for an easier life, however this style will work with cabochons that have slightly domed bases.  

silver sheet for jeweller and metalsmith

16 gauge (1.3mm) or 18 gauge (1mm) sterling silver sheet for the ring band

The amount required will depend on the size and width you wish to make each ring band.

silver sheet for jewellers and metalsmiths

18 gauge (1mm) sterling silver sheet for the domed portion of the setting

2cm x 2cm will be more than enough for this project. Hard, half hard or dead soft is perfectly fine for this. However, if you do purchase hard or half hard, you will need to anneal this before forming your dome.

beaded wire for jeweller and metalsmith

Beaded or twisted sterling silver wire for the outer ring bands

I used 1.9mm beaded wire in the handout and 1.5mm beaded wire in the video.  The size you choose is entirely up to you.  You can also use plain round wire or any other wire if you prefer.

Halstead and Rio Grande have a great selection in the USA. Cooksons would be my go-to in the UK.

Twisted Wire 2Jewellery Making Tools

Beaded or twisted wire for the bezel setting border

5cm should be enough for one ring, but it does depend on the size of your stone.  I used 12 gauge twisted wire in the handout and 16 gauge twisted wire for the video – again, this is entirely personal preference. The size you choose is entirely up to you. You can also use plain round wire or any other wire if you prefer.

16gauge round silver wire for jewellers and metalsmiths

16 gauge sterling silver wire for the bezel seat

4cm should be enough for one ring, but it does depend on the size of your stone. 

solder for jeweller and metalsmith

20 or 22 gauge wire silver solder in hard and medium and easy

I like to use 22 gauge wire solder which I roll out as thin as possible using a rolling mill.  You can also do this with a hammer if you don’t have a mill.

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As this is an intermediate class, we won’t be covering the absolute basics in terms of tools and soldering equipment (it’s assumed you’re set up for soldering confidently, and have the basics such as saws, file, flex shafts etc) – and I don’t want to bore anyone to death!  We’ll just be covering tools that are relatively specific to this class.

If you don’t have the basics or understand how to use them – I do not recommend starting with this particular class – it might be a little too advanced to do it well – and of course, I want to ensure you’re doing everything as well as possible.  

If you haven’t done any bezel setting before, I recommend taking a look at our Bezel Set Pendant, and Chunky Bezel Set Ring classes before diving into this one.

Discount Codes For Jewellery Tool Suppliers

Gesswein – LWA21 (5% discount)

Otto Frei – LWAY5 (5% discount on orders over $100)

Pepe Tools – LUCYW24 (5% discount)

Microtools – LWROCKS (3% discount)

Please enter the code at checkout for an exclusive discount.

You do not need everything listed here as many of these tools do the same thing. Please watch the class first!

ring opening plier for jewellers and metalsmiths

Reverse Action Ring Opening Pliers

Super handy for opening up joins in ring bands and bezels to place solder.

Flat and Half Round Pliers Jewellery Making Tools

Flat and Half-Round Pliers

With one flat and one half round jaw, these pliers are ideal for basic light-weight work such as forming ring bands.

Round and flat pliers for jewellery making and metalsmithing

Flat and Round-Nose Pliers

With one flat and one round jaw, these pliers are again ideal for basic light-weight forming work requiring tighter bends than the flat and half round pliers previously mentioned.

parallel pliers for jewellers and metalsmiths

Maun Parallel Pliers

Parallel jaw pliers are a must in my opinion. A budget option of these is available, but Maun are certainly the best, and more comfortable to use.  I recommend the flat nose, and chain nose options.

flush cut snips for jewellers and metalsmiths

Flush Cutters

Flush cut snips, as they’re also known as, are another must. You get what you pay for with these and my favorite brand by far is Tronex – however they are a little pricey.  Second in line and more reasonably priced are Xuron.

Ring bending pliers nylon jaw

Ring Bending Pliers with Nylon Jaws

Great for helping to close up heavier gauge ring bands without leaving marks on your metal.

ring bending plier for jewellers and metalsmiths

Ring Bending Pliers

If you’re intending to make rings with heavier gauge metal and you don’t have strong hands – these are a big help. 

Ring Forming Pliers Jewellery Making Tools

Ring Forming Pliers

Handy to have for forming rings, but not really necessary – the main issue with these is they only come in one size.

seadblow mallet for jewellery making and metalsmithing

Dead Blow Mallet

If you’re going to buy a mallet, buy a dead blow mallet. There’s steel shot inside, so this mallet really packs a punch.

ring mandrel for jewellery making and metalsmithing

Ring Mandrel

If you’re going to make rings, you’re really going to need one of these.

Never blindly trust the measurements on these things though, always check it against the ring sizing set you’re using at the time to make sure the sizes match.

ring sizing set for jewellery making and metalsmithing

Ring Sizer / Finger Gauge

If you’re going to make rings, you’re going to need a set of these.  Again, don’t trust these blindly, always measure!

I’d suggest getting a couple of sets in different widths if you plan on making a lot of rings.  

Durston guillotine

Durston Tools Guillotine Shear

For sure, you don’t need this just for this project, but I just wanted to make sure I linked to the exact one that I used in the class.

It certainly saves a lot of time cutting straight lines with a saw frame.

Durston Ring Stretcher

Durston Tools Ring Stretcher

Again you really don’t need one of these, but they are exceptionally handy to have.

miter vice for jewellers and metalsmiths

Miter Vice

These aren’t absolutely necessary, but they do help ensure you have perfectly
flat and perpendicular edges when filing. This is just the economy one which works fine, but there are more expensive ones available.

dividers for jewellers and metalsmiths

Starrett Dividers

If you want to work accurately, then a pair of dividers are a must. Starrett are my favorite (reasonably priced) brand, but budget options are available too which will work perfectly well.

caliper for jewellers and metalsmiths

Mitutoyo Electronic Digital Caliper, 6"

There are cheaper options available, but this brand is by far my favorite!

You will notice the difference in accuracy with a cheaper pair and those certainly don’t last as long (in my experience).

abrasive sandpaper bands for jewellers and metalsmiths

Sandpaper Bands

I use these in 120 grit to clean up the inside of ring bands.  These will need to be used with the Drum Arbor next door.

Drum ArborJewellery Making Tools

Drum Arbor

If you want to use the abrasive bands previously mentioned, you’re going to need one of these to mount them on.

rubber wheels by EveFlex for jewellery making and metalsmithing

Eveflex Rubber Wheel Kit

You can buy these wheels individually, but I highly recommend starting out with a kit.

240 grit sandpaprt rolls for jewellers and metalsmiths

240 Grit Sandpaper Rolls

I used just the 240 grit for this particular ring, however they’re super handy to have in 400, 600, 800 and 1000 grits too.  These are my favorite brand as they tear off cleanly.

inside ring sanding buff coarse for jewellers and metalsmiths

Coarse Mini-Mounted Abrasive Buff Set

I used these in the video to clean up the inside of our ring band – not necessary (a regular sandpaper roll would work) but I do really like them!

inside ring sanding buff coarse for jewellers and metalsmiths

1000 grit Mini-Mounted Abrasive Buffs

The 1000 grit is for some reason not part of the abrasive buff set. Either 1000 grit or 1200 grit would work perfectly well.  Again, sandpaper rolls will work too.

3M radial wheel for jewellers and metalsmiths

3M Radial Disk Set

I find these to be invaluable in certain clean up situations.  My advice would be to use sandpaper where you can and save these for when you really need them.

pepe tools blade butter for jewellers and metalsmiths

Pepe Tools Blade Butter

Any lubrication will do, but this is always my go-to for my disk cutters.

dapping set for jewellery making and metalsmithing

Durston Tools Dapping Set

You don’t have to use this particular model for sure, but it’s the one I used in the video.

fine point anvil for foredom for jewellers and metalsmiths

Fine Point Anvil for Foredom Hammer Handpiece

We used this (with a little modification) to texture our ring band.

diamond filled silicone finishing polishing for jeweller and metalsmith

Dedeco Diamond Polishing Wheels

I used these to shape my hammer handpiece anvil – but the Eveflex rubber wheel set will work well too – it will be a slower process however.

fretz sharp texturing hammer for jewellers and metalsmiths

Fretz Sharp Texturing Hammer

I used this to texture the side of my ring band in the videos.  A cheap riveting hammer will also work perfectly well!

ronda croyell's masking mud for jewellers and metalsmiths

Ronda Coryell's Masking Mud

An excellent option for coating solder joins you don’t want to flow again.  Yellow ochre also works well for this!

pepe tools disk cutter for jewellers and metalsmiths

Pepe Tools Disk Cutter

My absolute favorite disk cutter – nothing gets stuck in here!

sand bag for jewellery making and metalsmithing

Sand Bag

Probably one of the most underrated studio tools out there.  I highly recommend getting one for a huge variety of jobs.

GRS benchmate for jewellery making and metalsmithing

GRS Bench Mate

I love this system,  it is quite the investment though, so I do recommend taking some time to see if it is right for you.  

But, to find out whether it’s right for you check out our blog post below:

GRS microblock vice for jewellers and metalsmiths

GRS Microblock Vice

Another great system for holding work during stone setting.

Thankfully, there is a budget option ball vice also available. It’s not quite as smooth and sophisticated as the GRS model, but it gets the job done effectively.

engineer square for jewellers and metalsmiths

Engineers Square

Your local hardware store should sell these.  If not, Amazon has a decent selection.  Just don’t buy anything too huge.

round bezel mandrel for jeweller and metalsmith

Round Bezel Mandrel

The easiest way to round out your bezels!

margun roller for jeweller and metalsmith

Margin Roller

I used this to smooth out the hammer texture on the edge of my ring band.

titanium sheet for jewellers and metalsmiths

Titanium sheet

I used this to make my little soldering stand.  Not necessary, but I found it super handy.  I used 22 gauge.

polishing paper for jewellers and metalsmiths

3M polishing paper set

I use this to polish up the sides of ring bands while keeping them perfectly flat.  Not entirely necessary, just an option.

medium pumice wheel for jewellers and metalsmiths

Mounted Medium Grit Pumice Wheel

An easy alternative to using a pumice wheel on a screw mandrel.  I also love the size of these!

mounted polishing mop for jewellery making and metalsmithing

Polishing Buff

Standard polishing mop – unstitched.

stitched muslin buff for jeweller and metalsmith

Stitched Muslin Buff

The stitched buffs have a little more rigidity.

Polishing brush for jewellery making classes tool list

Bristle Brush

These are great for getting right into the details for polishing.  Although I didn’t use this in the video, these are my favorites.  

cylinder bur for metalsmiths and jewellers

Busch Cross Cut Cylinder Bur

I used this in 2.5mm to cut a chamfer around the edge of my bezel.  Busch and Fox are my brands of choice – don’t buy cheap burs!

ball bur selection for jewellers and metalsmiths

2.5mm ball bur

I use a ball bur for carving out a recess in the ring band to fit the setting.  2-3mm in size will work perfectly.  Again, Busch or Fox burs are recommended.

Kite string used for thrumming by jewellers and metalsmiths

Kite String

This is only mentioned in the handout, but it’s exceptionally useful for polishing in hard to reach places using a process called thrumming.

Zam polishing compound for jewellery making and metalsmithing

Zam Polishing Compound

My favorite one stop polishing compound.

Snap on sanding disks

Fine sanding disks (400 grit - ish)

These are snap on sandpaper disks and so will need to be used with the snap on mandrel next door.

snap on mandrel

Snap on mandrel

If you want to use snap on sanding disks, you’ll need a snap on mandrel.

head and shank tweezers for jewellery making and metalsmithing

Head and shank tweezers

Handy for holding settings to ring shanks for soldering.

thumbler with stainless steels shots for jewellers and metalsmiths


This is not the exact model I have – unfortunately I can no longer find it. I do, however, recommend plastic barreled tumblers over rubber ones.

2mm Ceramic Balls for ThumblingJewellery Making Tool

2mm ceramic balls for tumbler

We used these in the video to finish up the ring.  We actually used 2mm balls rather than 3mm as mentioned in the video.

3mm Steel Balls for ThumblingJewellery Making Tools

3mm stainless steel balls for tumbler

We used these in the video to finish up the ring – as with many things on this page, not necessary, just an option.

diamond cylinder bur for jewellers and metalsmiths

Diamond cylinder bur (3mm)

We didn’t use this, but I did mention it as an alternative to the cross cut cylinder bur in the video on setting the stone.

foredom hammer hamd piece and setting punch for jewellers and metalsmiths

Foredom Hammer Handpiece

Rather than rotating, this handpiece runs in a back and forth (hammer) motion which is ideal for setting stones. The hammer handpiece runs best with a slower Foredom LX motor, but you can use it with an SR motor with care.

You could also just make a simple setting punch from a steel rod or even an old nail and use that together with a chasing hammer.

magnification for lucy walker jewellery metalsmith academy online class

When it comes to stone setting, magnification makes all the difference. But, what are the options?

triplet loupe for jewellers and metalsmiths

Triplet Loupe

If we’re working on precise projects, we need to clearly see what we’re working on. We can use a magnifying tool called a loupe to help us check our work at each step. 

The most common loupe and the best choice for jewelers is the triplet loupe with a 10x magnification. If we use a loupe with a higher magnification, the object can easily become out of focus and we’ll have less of the object in focus at one time. 

A triplet loupe has three lenses that help correct color and other distortions which provide better optics than a single or double lens loupe.

optivisor for jewellers and metalsmiths


You might need something to help you see better while you work, in addition to a loupe. You can use an Optivisor, which is the tool that jewelers usually use. I recommend using 2.5x magnification. It’s important to know that if the magnification is higher, you’ll need to be closer to what you’re working on. Remember, more magnification is not always better.

craft optics for jewellers and metalsmiths


If you are wanting something a bit more comfortable to use than an optivisor, I can’t recommend CraftOptics enough. I have a pair for soldering which have a longer focal distance and a pair for general bench work with a shorter focal distance.  If you do want a pair of these, I’d suggest calling the company to discuss your needs in detail – they’re always happy to help.

Do I need a microscope for stone setting?

The short answer is no.  But, there isn’t one single tool in the world that can make as big of a difference to the quality of your work than a microscope.  I do all my stone setting under a Leica S9D. As microscopes go, it’s undoubtedly spectacular, but it does cost a fortune.

But thankfully, they don’t have to cost that much.  Whilst there is a difference in quality between budget microscopes and Leicas, it is a much smaller difference than you might think.  And having a budget microscope is still 1000 times better than having no microscope at all.

Check out AmScope, Vevor, Vision Scientific and Amazon for budget stereo binocular microscopes.  And of course, to find out what others have bought and tried, visit our community forums – it’s quite a big topic over there.

Ready to dive in and create your own professional looking Jewellery?

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Bezel setting