That is a great question. It’s it a bit hard to answer because there are so many options. I can share what I do and the tools I use.
Here are my steps:
– punch coin with my auto punch. Generally 9/16″ hole for a half dollar. Depends on ring size.
– deburr hole with deburring tool
– steel starter cone to start the fold in a 1.1 x 1.2 @ 17 degree die in a 1 ton arbor press
– anneal using an acetylene torch in a brick annealing station. Take to a dull red in a dark room
– quench in cool water
– finish folding in the 1.2 17 degree die using my plastic folding mandrel in a 1 ton arbor press
– stretch out 3 sizes past my target size on my Durston ring stretcher/reducer using a paper towel to protect the detail
– (I may use my Swede dies at this point depending on ring size and overall look of the ring at this point)
– Reduce the reed side in my durston about 2 sizes 17 degree die (whatever size die that fits. Depends on ring size I have a saying with my tools, “If it fits, It’ll work”
– deburr inside of reed
– reduce reed side to target size in 25 degree die (whatever die size that fits, depends on ring size)
– reduce cut side to match symmetrical to the reed side. I may use a 17 o 25 degree die, depends how it looks.
– File sharp edges and buff the file marks out. Final fit and finish
– remove fire scale using Sally’s Miracle Buffing blocks.
– clean with acetone
– patina in black max
– polish patina with white side of Sally’s block
– remove patina from high points with grey side of Sally’s buffing block
– Polish ring with white side again
– apply renaissance wax on out side of ring, Very very small amount of wax.
The Auto starter kit is a great way to get started but you can “upgrade” later with 25 degree dies, the Swede kit and more 17 die sizes. The Master Gamut Kit has everything I sell for coin rings. The bigger the kit the bigger the savings. I use most everything in the Gamut kit but I have found myself getting away from the small coin rings like dimes. Not worth the time and difficulty of making them. Some people love them though. It is nice having the smaller tools just in case.
I hope this helps. The upgrades kind of are necessary unless you get everything at once but that is a big commitment. I myself did upgrades through my discovery of doing this craft. I sold my older tools too get/invent newer ones.