Professional Jeweler Archive: From Start to Finish

April 2002

Professional Bench/Manufacturing Up Close


From Start to Finish

Wayne Lenkeit produces a platinum custom ring, starting with carving the wax through the finished piece


Wayne Lenkeit, who operates Lenkeit Manufacturing in Temecula, CA, and is a part-time instructor at the Revere Academy in San Francisco, CA, demonstrates here how to make this custom ring from start to finish. The ring, which Lenkeit designed, features an 8.08-ct. aquamarine cut by Meg Berry and has Montana sapphires along the sides. The piece is cast using 5% ruthenium platinum.

This process will be shown from start to finish in consecutive issues of Professional Jeweler, starting with carving the wax.

Lenkeit starts with a wax tube. He prefers the purple color of the wax for ease in visualizing the detail that he carves. After filing and truing the end square, he marks the overall width of the ring on the blank.
Using a #8 sawblade, Lenkeit cuts the wax tube the width of the ring. After cutting it, he will true it using a file to make it square on each side.
The finger hole is opened up using a Matt™ ring size wax reamer.
Lenkeit verifies the size of the ring with an accurate mandrel. He takes into consideration shrinkage that will occur in casting.
Lenkeit measures the thickness of both sides of the blank and determines the center of the finger hole.
Next he marks the centerline on both sides of the wax blank. This will be the point of measurement for all future guidelines.
In this step, Lenkeit marks the overall width of the top of the ring on the wax blank.
After scribing the lower shank outline with dividers, Lenkeit scribes the upper profile freehand.
He cuts just outside the scribed line with a #8 saw blade.
Next, he uses the Foredom® Allset™ milling assembly and a large cylindrical rotary file to true the sides up to the scribe line.
He then rescribes the centerline around the partially formed ring blank.
Using a coarse vulcanite wax file, he tapers the shank.
Lenkeit ensures the taper is even by measuring from the centerline to both sides.
Lenkeit selects a ball bur and forms the concave sides of the ring.
The next step is the layout and formation of the top section.
Using dental tools, Lenkeit shapes the inside to conform to the outside profile. He’s left a small “bridge” of material at the top to strengthen the wax ring during this and subsequent operations.
Lenkeit prefers Wax Kleen™ to polish the surfaces of the wax model.
Lenkeit uses a soft cotton fabric cloth and Wax Kleen to polish the wax. His goal is a wax that’s free of all tool marks, dents and irregularities.
Lenkeit polishes all surfaces, removes the stabilizer support bridge and cleans the attachment areas.
The finished wax is ready for sprueing.
Lenkeit sprues the ring at the thickest portion of the wax model. He prefers the indirect attachment of the sprue to the base for platinum casting.
The ring was cast using an alloy of 95% platinum and 5% ruthenium. Lenkeit has removed the ring from the sprue and button and is ready to finish it.

See the next step in the manufacturing of this platinum custom ring in next month’s issue of professional jeweler.

Lenkeit Manufacturing performs custom design and manufacturing exclusively for retailers. For more information about the featured process, call Wayne Lenkeit at (909) 303-3660.

© 2002 Jewelers of America

Mark B. Mann, Director of Trade Programs, Jewelers of America

Technical contributions and the overall process demonstrated by Wayne Lenkeit, JA® Certified Master Bench Jeweler,™ Lenkeit Manufacturing, Temecula, CA

Copyright © 2002 by Bond Communications