The quality and proficiency of a pre-finishing job for a ring can depend on how it’s held for filing and shaping. JA® Certified Master Bench Jeweler? Wayne Lenkeit of Lenkeit Manufacturing, Temecula, Calif., offers the following innovation:

Lenkeit’s innovation. For position A: Using a coarse file, remove a portion of the left side of a bench pin, leaving a “saddle” for the inside of a ring shank to rest upon for filing.

For positions B & C: Using the tang of an old needle file or any other suitable piece of steel, heat with a torch until red and bend the end into a “U” shape, to about the same radius as the bottom portion of a standard-size ring shank.

Once you have attained the desired shape, reheat and press it into the wooden bench pin at strategic locations to form depressions for holding shanks while filing.

Here is how the accommodations and depressions in your bench pin can work:

  • Position A—for filing on the top and outside portions of a ring.

  • Position B—for filing the edges and side portions of a ring.

  • Position C—for filing the inside surface of a ring.

Always make sure that your working area is well ventilated.

Benefits for the Working Bench Jeweler

  1. Versatility. You can use any size and width starting shape to accommodate a variety of ring shanks.

  2. Precision. Increases proficiency and precision when pre-finishing.

  3. Continuing education. This technique will be helpful to those taking any levels of the JA® Bench Jeweler Certification? practical bench tests.

Bench Tricks is an exclusive monthly column designed to give jewelers a quick and handy reference for solving many common jewelry repair dilemmas. Be sure to look for Bench Tricks every month in JCK. We extend many thanks to Jewelers of America for providing this valuable service to our readers.