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Harden My Heart ring

This ring is a bag of tricks: there’s sewing, forming, tube riveting, and more!

This project will test you a bit, but I have no doubt that you are more then equipped to become victorious. Time to leap off the high board, my friend. Hold your nose!


  • 20-gauge copper sheet
  • 1 1⁄2" 12-gauge copper wire
  • 8” 24-gauge copper wire
  • 1.63mm or 1⁄16" OD (outside diameter) thin wall copper tubing
  • #56 drill bit
  • #51 drill bit
  • Center punch
  • Steel bench block
  • Rawhide mallet
  • Chasing hammer
  • Roundnose pliers
  • Flatnose pliers
  • Dapping set
  • Disc cutter
  • Ring mandrel or dowel
  • Liver of Sulfur setup
  • Scrap piece of wood
  • Sandpaper
  • Fine-tip Sharpie marker
  • Vise (optional)


Harden My Heart A
Harden My Heart B
1. Disc cut two 1" discs from 20-gauge copper sheet. Dap the discs, using the dapping set to form them into domes.

2. Place sandpaper on the steel block and sand both dome edges flat. Sanding on the steel block takes off a bit of the edge evenly. (PHOTO A)

3. Sand until the domes nicely fit together with as little gap as possible. This may take a bit. (PHOTO B)
Harden My Heart C
Harden My Heart D
4. Using a Sharpie, mark the inside of one of the domes with about 10 dots in a random pattern, towards the center of the dome. Center punch, then drill these marks with a #56 drill bit. Drill from the inside of the dome. Sand both side of the holes to remove any excess metal from drilling. This is now called the top dome, and the one without drilled holes is the bottom dome. (PHOTO C)

5. While placing the top dome facedown on a piece of wood, put the center punch in a hole and hit the top of the center punch with the chasing hammer to flare and expand the hole. Flare each hole to about 1-2mm wide. Sand the holes smooth with sandpaper and then steel wool. (PHOTO D)
Harden My Heart E
Harden My Heart F
6. Hold the domes together, making a spherical shape. While holding the pieces together, draw a mark from the top dome to the bottom. Repeat on the opposite side. These do not need to be exact. (PHOTO E)

7. Separate the domes and extend the lines from the outside of each dome to the inside.  (PHOTO F)
Harden My Heart G
Harden My Heart H
8. Make two dots about 1⁄8" from the edge and 1⁄8" apart from each other inside each dome. These don’t have to be exact either, just close. Then center punch the dots and drill with a #51 drill bit. You may need to hold the domes with pliers while drilling. Sand all the holes, brush them with steel wool, and set the domes aside. (PHOTO G)

9. Cut a 1 1⁄2" piece of 12-gauge wire. Flatten both ends to about 5⁄8" wide, using the chasing hammer. Mark the centers of each end of the wire, then center punch and drill with a #51 bit. Make sure to drill both wire ends. Round the ends, then file and sand the wire smooth. (PHOTO H)
Harden My Heart I
Harden My Heart J
10. Form the wire around the ring mandrel so that the holes align side-by-side. You may need to use a rawhide mallet to help form the wire. Put the ends of the ring wires in the jaws of flatnose pliers to flatten them a bit. (PHOTO I)

11. Align the holes of the end of the ring to the outside center of the bottom dome. Mark through the holes with a fine-tip Sharpie to mark the dome. Center punch the marks on the bottom dome and drill with a #51 bit. File and sand excess metal from drilling. (PHOTO J)

12. Cut two 4" pieces of 24-gauge wire. Oxidize all wires and both domes. Brush with steel wool. Set them aside for now. 
Harden My Heart K
Harden My Heart L
13. Rivet the ring wire to the bottom dome by placing one piece of tubing into one hole of the bottom dome then through the ring hole. For the first end of the rivet, place your piece on the ring mandrel. Be careful not to drop anything! Start to flare the tubing. (PHOTO K)

14. Place the same dapping punch used to form the dome in a vise, or in a secure place on your worktable. Flip your piece over and cup the dome onto the punch’s ball end. Flare the back side of the rivet. Keep flipping your piece back and forth between the mandrel and the punch, widening the tubing very slowly. Go back and forth until the rivet is tight. Take your time, this is a tricky rivet and is very much a test of your patience! Remember to breathe and go slowly. Repeat with the other rivet. (PHOTO L)
Harden My Heart M
Harden My Heart N
15. Time to stitch the top and bottom domed pieces together. Do one side at a time. Grab your 24-gauge wire from Step 12. With the roundnose pliers, make one end of each piece of wire into a hook. Align the holes of the top and bottom domes. Thread the hook end up, going from the bottom hole to the top, on the same side, leaving a 1" tail of wire. Using the long end of the wire, sew into the second top hole, then come out through the bottom hole. Repeat with the other set of holes and wire. (PHOTO M)

16. Use pliers to pull the ends of each set of wires nice and tight, but take care not to break the wires! Cross the ends of the wires, twisting them a few times to tighten. The pod should look like a Star Wars TIE fighter!  (PHOTO N)
Harden My Heart O
17. Snip the ends, leaving about 5mm of wire. Now tuck the wires into the closest holes, use the pliers to push them nice and snug. Repeat with the other side.  (PHOTO O)

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Jewelry maker and adventurer Casey Sheppard shows us her secrets to making jewelry on the road, in this series of videos, projects, tips, and techniques. Catch up on what you've missed today!