Open Source Wedding Rings (update 2)

Polishing rings with a dremel

Polishing rings with a dremel. This technique will quickly burn your fingers, and is not recommended.

On 2013-03-14, Suzette and I had been married 10 years. We had a 10th anniversary ceremony with Mr. Gerald Williams, who was the celebrant for our marriage/elopement 10 years earlier.

As I noted in previous posts, I’d designed wedding bands with OpenJsCad for the occasion, and had them cast in platinum (actually a 95/5 platinum/cobalt alloy). I ground off the sprues and polished them myself with a dremel.

Zette putting the ring on my finger

Zette putting the ring on my finger, as our flower girl and two ring bearers run amok. (Photo credit Jay G. Moore)

I wore the same suit that I’d worn 10 years earlier – amazingly without busting the seams. Zette wore a sparkly velvet dress that I designed and made for the occasion.  (I have to give credit to “WhatTheCraft” for teaching me how to fake a coverstitch with a serger and a double needle.)  Her dress was intended to match the sparkly “galaxy dress” that Jamethiel (our youngest child) was wearing.  Megan was wearing the same dress that her grandmother made when Zette was a flower girl 30 years earlier.


The Rings

The rings

As it turns out, my ring fit well, but hers was at bit too small. Fortunately, I’d planned for that, and bought a ring-stretcher. A combination of stretching and polishing the inside has made it wearable. There’s a lesson for any amateur jewelers out there: the width of the ring can matter a lot. Zette can comfortably wear a standard ring-sizer at size 7.5, but in a 10mm wide, celtic-knot pattern she was losing circulation to her fingertip. If you’re making a wide ring, use a wide ring sizer.

Since I had a credit at Shapeways, I had a copy of Zette’s ring printed in sterling silver, and it arrived today.  Interestingly, it came out noticeably smaller than the same file printed and cast by Techform Casting.  I guess silver shrinks more than platinum when cast?

Silver copy from Shapeways

Silver copy from Shapeways, unpolished and uncleaned.

At some point in the future, I may offer the design for sale through Shapeways.  Since it’s a parametric design, I could easily vary the size, width, number of repetitions, etc. That said, I gotta be honest… as much as I’m an open-source advocate and believer in collaboration and sharing… these rings are special partly because they are unique. Bespoke, as Gunnar says. So, I think maybe I don’t want it to be too easy. Everyone would be sporting them.

3 thoughts on “Open Source Wedding Rings (update 2)

  1. Gunnar Hellekson

    An awesome project, but you have set the bar unnecessarily high for the rest of us. I can only hope that The Lady never gets wind of how great a 10 year anniversary can be.

    1. Dan Post author

      I advise you to immediately start a campaign of expectations management. For example, I’ve been carefully sending birthday cards to my mother 3-4 weeks late for the past 20 years. Now she’s happy to get anything at all. Protip: be erratic, so that you can slack & ride the low expectations, but also get double credit when you go over the top.

      “Anything worth doing is worth insanely overdoing.” – Robert Risacher


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