Last February, I made a decision that would change my life forever. We were on a mini-vacation in Washington DC and I got down on a knee in front of the Washington Monument like any true gentleman, and I asked the most wonderful person to ever enter my world to be my wife. Fortunately, she said yes! Fast forward to September 2019 - a short 8 months later - and we're 30 days away from the big day. As any true maker would, I didn't want to go purchase some random old wedding band, so I started to dig a little deeper.
Right near me in Pittsburgh, you can find The Barefoot Forge where local blacksmith Craig Cowan teaches classes on making Damascus wedding rings. I knew this style of ring was the perfect choice for me, so I took him up on an offer to take a class and made 2 beautiful stainless steel Damascus Rings!
You can check out the process from start to finish in the video below, and I break down a basic overview of the process itself below. Check it out!
Kick-off your Damascus ring by creating a billet. For this project, Craig created the billet of Stainless Steel Damascus before I arrived. He wanted me go through the experience myself, so he showed me how to make a Carbon Steel Billet for fun (and video’s sake, of course).
Once you make the billet, heat it to 2300 degrees. This is the temperature in which the billet becomes malleable and able to be forge welded. Once heated, use a 2500-ton hydraulic press and smash the billet. This forge welds the pieces together for the ring.
Continue heating and shaping the metal. Between heat treatments, you’ll want to create gashes and shave off the corners with an angle grinder. This is what makes the cool, grainy pattern in the steel. Once we feel we’ve mashed it sufficiently, we begin roughly shaping the metal into a flat round on the metal lathe. While most of this process is nearly impossible to do without access to some impressive tools under the supervision of a professional, I warn you that this process is extremely dangerous and recommend it only be done by someone with experience working with a metal lathe.
Next, begin flattening the face of the ring and bore out the center of the ring. From here you’ll get a pretty good idea about what the face of your Damascus ring will look like. Choose the pattern you want for the ring face and cut the ring blank down to the final width.
Next, it’s time to make the ring sleeve with sterling silver. Begin by shaping your silver stock into a rough round ring shape, soldering the sleeve together with silver solder.
Finally, press-fit the sleeve into the Damascus ring blank. Hammering the sleeve over the edges, the sleeve should fit nicely over the blank and can then be sanded down until smooth. To finish up, etch the Damascus wedding ring with chemicals, polish, and finish!
So there you have it! I hope you guys enjoyed watching me make a Damascus wedding ring before my big day. If you liked this build, check out some of my other DIYs:
Want to try this build out for yourself? Download the digital plan now for step-by-step instructions, measurements, and a detailed look at how to punch this project in the face.