Wednesday, 20 April 2011

Ring Top Tutorial

Due to popular request :o) A quick explanation of the techniques behind making ring tops :o)

Option one - no pictures:

Make a cab on the end of a dipped 4mm or 5mm mandrel. Cool, glue in a nut with your favourite 'will hold even in the apocalypse'-glue, and you're done.

Option two:

When you make ring tops "on the go", it helps to burn off the nylon insert first. To do this, hold the nut in a pair of tweezers, and hold it in your flame. Burn off the nylon out (you'll see a small flame flaring up, then die down), then leave to cool.

Dip a mandrel in bead release - *either* a 2mm mandrel (left in pic) or a threaded mandrel (right in pic - trust me, the end is threaded, even though it's hiding under the bead release). If it's a normal 2mm, just pop the nut on top (as shown), if it's threaded, screw the nut on. Leave to dry.


When dry, get the nut in the back of the flame, to pre-warm, as if you are warming a rod of glass.


Then, moving to the front of the flame, get you nut glowing gently - don't go hell for leather!


Wind glass around the nut, near the bottom, making sure not to cover the underside of the nut:


Cover the top of the nut as well, and make the top as large or small as you dare (but make sure there is enough glass to give the nut a nice even coating. Hold it so the glass can start to cover that last bit of the nut (you can till see an edge here):


Here, the nut is covered:


Decorate as you like (or make it bigger)!

A few hints and tips:

1) If you want to make a large top, use a marver and marver the bottom to ensure it doesn't creep underneath the nut.
2) If you choose the 'balance-on-top-of-2mm-mandrel' option, the bead release may break if you engage in too much poking and/or prodding, so be careful!
3) As you can see from the top above, light transparents aren't very pretty options, since you can see the nut. Use frit, or etch, in order to cover the 'evidence' :o)

And *cough* nuts, threaded mandrels, and rings and pendants in stainless steel and sterling silver are on my website: ;o)


  1. Thanks Sabine, that's great I am going to give this a go and I will let you know how I get on!

  2. Wow, great article, I really appreciate your thought process and having it explained properly, thank you!

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