The F-Ring for Falsetto

Many of us are lucky enough to a have a friend or two from the old skool that we grew up with and we still keep in touch with. There's nothing like getting together with an old friend and reminiscing of the days before worries and cares, that camping trip and the time you both in got in trouble. I'm lucky to have a couple of those friends, one of them is Mike. We go way back. About a year ago Mike came to me and told me he was getting married;  awesome! To top it off, he asked me if I'd make him his wedding ring. Wow. Of all the things I've made, getting to make a best friend's wedding ring blew my mind so I got right on it. What an honour. I started thinking about what a ring should symbolize. Should the materials reflect the importance of the engagement? Should they be expensive, shiny, classic? It occured to me that the materials chosen to make most weddings rings didn't embody the qualities that I wanted to include in this ring. It seemed to make sense that the materials should endure the test of time and be both strong and hard - much like a marriage. Gold doesn't oxidize which is one of the reasons it's such a precious material. I like that but it's too soft, too malleable and NEEDS to be taken to the jewellers to be repolished from time to time. It's like expecting you're going to have to go to therapy with your partner - not a good intention to start out with. White gold is even worse, it's surface is penetrated by something that makes it look lighter so it's got to be touched up to stay white. Silver oxidizes and is soft so it's out. Diamonds kill people and they're a big scam so they were out too. Tungsten was on the top of the list but it's so dense that you can't even work it. It's got one of the highest metling temperatures of all the non-alloyed metals. In the end I decided on sandwiching a layer of Titanium in between two pieces of 316 Stainless Steel. Titanium is a little exotic, it's an element (so it's pure), it's strong, hard and light. Having it in the center of the ring helped represent the unchanging core values of the groom that had brought him to this wife and would be with him the rest of his life. Stainless Steel on the other hard is a little more maleable, like his surface, it will change and develop some character without compromising any structural integrity. I machined the inner ring of titanium and the two outer rings of stainless. To put them together I chose to use a press fit so the materials would forever be held together by their own strength (much like a marriage). A press fit it made by creating a male piece that inserts into a female piece that is slightly smaller than it. To put them together, the male piece is frozen so it contracts in size and the female piece is heated so it expands to accept the male piece. Once they're both reached room temperature there is a material interference and the two pieces will hold each other together. How appropriate is that for a wedding symbolism. I shaped the exterior of the ring by hand on a lathe using files. The Titanium was so hard that I destroyed all the files I'd used but it was worth it. Ammmmaaazzzing!

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