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The Pinfold's Patent Ring Sizing Machine: A Blast from the Past with Relevance Today

The Pinfold's Patent Ring Sizing Machine: A Blast from the Past with Relevance Today

A Glimpse into the Evolution of Ring Sizing

From ancient civilizations to the modern era, the art and science of ring sizing have witnessed remarkable changes. Techniques have evolved, and tools have been innovated to achieve precision and perfection.

The Pinfold's Patent Ring Sizing Machine: A Timeless Marvel

In the vast landscape of ring sizing tools, the Pinfold's Patent ring sizing machine stands as a testament to timeless craftsmanship and ingenuity. As an antique, it not only carries historical significance but also showcases a unique approach to ring resizing, differentiating itself from its modern counterparts.

Original eBay listing showcasing Pinfold's Patent ring sizer for sale

Historical Significance of the Pinfold's Patent Machine

The Pinfold's Patent machine is more than just an antique; it's a relic that carries with it the essence of a bygone era. Its inception marked a pivotal moment in jewelry history.

Excitedly holding the packaged Pinfold's Patent ring sizer upon arrival

Origins and Revolutionary Impact

Delving into its roots, this machine emerged during a time when the jewelry industry was ripe for innovation. It wasn't just another tool; it was a groundbreaking advancement that reshaped the art of ring resizing.

The initial unboxing moment of the Pinfold's ring sizing machine.

Transforming the Jewelry Industry

Before the Pinfold's Patent machine, traditional ring resizing methods had their limitations. With this machine's introduction, artisans could achieve greater precision, efficiency, and consistency, marking a significant departure from earlier techniques. It wasn't just about resizing rings; it was about redefining the industry's standards.

Continued unboxing revealing the parts of the ring sizer

Pinfold's Unique Features

While many tools and machines have been developed over the years for jewelry crafting, the Pinfold's Patent ring sizing machine stands out for its distinctive features and functionality.

Detailed view of the intricately designed brass disc of the Pinfold's sizer

The Ingenious Design

At the heart of its uniqueness lies its design. Crafted meticulously, the Pinfold's Patent machine combines both aesthetic appeal and functional prowess, making it a standout tool in the jewelry world.

Close-up of the multiple brass dies that come with the Pinfold's machine

Tapered Dies: An Edge Over Modern Sizers

One of its most notable features is the use of tapered dies. Unlike the sectional stretching of many modern ring sizers, Pinfold's tapered dies offer an even stretch, ensuring accuracy and consistency. This method not only provides a superior finish but also mitigates the risks of uneven expansion or distortion.

Demonstration of fitting the brass dies onto the machine's die holder

Versatility in Ring Sizing

Another remarkable trait of the Pinfold's machine is its ability to cater to a broad spectrum of ring sizes. While many contemporary ring sizers limit their range, Pinfold's Patent stretches beyond, accommodating everything from the tiniest bands to larger sizes, emphasizing its adaptability and range in the world of jewelry resizing.

First comprehensive look at the fully unboxed Pinfold's Patent ring sizer

Practical Demonstration & Results

Understanding the Pinfold's Patent ring sizing machine isn’t just about its history or design. Seeing it in action provides a real sense of its capabilities and nuances. Let’s delve into a practical demonstration of its usage and the outcomes achieved.

Step-by-Step Process

Using the Pinfold's machine involves a specific sequence to ensure optimal resizing:

  1. Position the ring on the machine, ensuring it is seated properly.
  2. Select the appropriate tapered die based on the desired size change.
  3. For enlarging, force the small end of the tapered die through the ring, ensuring the ring’s inside diameter aligns with the thicker end of the die.
  4. To reduce size, utilize the thicker end of the taper, compressing the ring for a slight size reduction.

Results Achieved

During our demonstration, we began with a ring size of h and a half. Utilizing the machine's capabilities, we successfully resized the ring up to a size J. Subsequently, through the reduction method, the ring was brought down to a size I, showcasing the machine's precision and versatility in both enlargement and reduction processes.

Inspecting the components and craftsmanship of the Pinfold's ring sizer.

Challenges & Idiosyncrasies

Antique tools, while steeped in history and rich in design, are not without their unique set of challenges. The Pinfold's Patent ring sizing machine, despite its innovative design for its time, has certain idiosyncrasies and limitations that users may encounter.

Admiring the design and features of the Pinfold's sizer.

Technical Glitches

Our demonstration highlighted a few glitches, such as:

  • The occasional sticking of the dies, which, while manageable, did pose temporary hurdles.
  • Concerns with the machine's ram possibly being bent, affecting the circlip's function and overall alignment.
  • The potential need for metal filing due to number stamping, suggesting possible alterations or replacements over the years.

Nature of Antique Tools

Working with antique tools like the Pinfold's machine requires patience and adaptability. It's essential to appreciate:

  • The innate character and charm of vintage equipment, which may come with wear, tear, and peculiarities from decades of use.
  • The nuances and irregularities that might be mistaken for damages but could be inherent features or results of past casting techniques.
  • The added layer of skill needed not just in the craft itself but also in managing and maintaining the tool, ensuring optimal function despite its age.

While antique tools present certain challenges, understanding and adapting to these idiosyncrasies can make for a rewarding experience, blending history, craftsmanship, and ingenuity.

Holding up a beautifully crafted ring, ready for a sizing test on the machine

Pinfold's Patent vs. Modern Ring Stretchers

The evolution of ring sizing technology has led to a plethora of modern tools available to jewelers. While the Pinfold's Patent machine holds historical significance, it's crucial to understand how it stacks up against contemporary ring stretchers in terms of functionality, precision, and convenience.

Determining the ring's size using a traditional ring stick

Comparative Analysis

Range of Sizes

Pinfold's Patent: One of its standout features is its impressive range of ring sizes, covering the full spectrum of UK sizes, something modern stretchers often fall short of.

Modern Stretchers: Modern tools generally have a limited size range, often from size H to Z, not fully encompassing the needs of all customers.

Another angle of checking the ring's initial size on a ring stick

Quality of Resizing

Pinfold's Patent: Offers an even stretch, avoiding the sectional uneven resizing seen in some modern tools. However, sizing up requires additional steps, potentially affecting the end result's symmetry and evenness.

Modern Stretchers: Equipped with state-of-the-art technology ensuring precision. Sectional tools might lead to uneven stretches, but press versions offer consistency in resizing.

Selecting the appropriate die to stretch the ring to the desired size

Time Consumption

Pinfold's Patent: While effective, the process can be time-consuming, especially when sizing up. Each adjustment may need additional steps of stretching and reducing, adding to the overall time.

Modern Stretchers: Generally more efficient and user-friendly. They streamline the resizing process, reducing the time needed to achieve the desired result.

Comparing the selected die's size against the crafted ring


While the Pinfold's Patent ring sizing machine is a marvel of its time and continues to impress with its range of sizes, modern ring stretchers bring efficiency to the table. Both tools have their pros and cons, and the choice between them depends on the specific needs of the jeweller, the ring's design, and the desired final result.

Process of stretching the ring using the Pinfold's tool in action

Maintenance & Longevity

Ensuring the longevity of the Pinfold's Patent ring sizing machine requires regular maintenance and a deep understanding of its intricacies. The machine's antique nature mandates a careful and knowledgeable approach to its upkeep.

Different angle showcasing the stretching action on the Pinfold's machine.

Preservation Tips

  • Regular Cleaning: Remove dirt, grease, and any residues from the machine parts. Gentle cleaners suitable for metals should be used to avoid corrosion or damage.
  • Periodic Lubrication: Keeping moving parts lubricated ensures smooth operation. Use light machine oil to prevent wear and tear.
  • Storage: Store the machine in a dry place, away from direct sunlight. Extreme temperatures or humidity can adversely affect its components.
Evaluating the ring's fit on the subsequent larger die

Addressing Common Issues

Due to its age, the machine might face occasional hitches, but most of these can be easily addressed with the right knowledge.

Comparing the ring against a larger die, prepping for a size reduction

Stuck Dies

Over time, dies might get stuck due to prolonged usage or lack of lubrication. In such cases:

  • Gently tap the die using a soft mallet to free it.
  • If tapping doesn't work, apply penetrating oil and let it sit for a while before attempting removal.
  • Always ensure that the machine is clean and free from obstructions before inserting or removing dies.
Executing the size reduction of the ring using the machine's press action

Potential Repairs

Given the machine's antique nature, wear and tear are inevitable. When faced with a malfunction:

  • Consult with a professional who has experience with antique machinery.
  • Avoid forceful attempts at repair, which can exacerbate the issue or cause permanent damage.
  • Keep spare parts, if available, or consider custom fabrication of replacement parts to retain the machine's authenticity.
Checking how the resized ring fits against a smaller die


With regular maintenance and a proactive approach to potential issues, the Pinfold's Patent ring sizing machine can serve faithfully for years to come. Its historical significance and unique functionality make it worth the effort of preservation.

Final size check of the resized ring using a ring stick

To Invest or Not to Invest?

The Pinfold's Patent ring sizing machine, a relic of the past, holds an undeniable allure for both jewelers and history enthusiasts. But does its charm translate into a worthwhile investment for modern craftsmen?

Posing at our workbench, proudly displaying the upright Pinfold's press

The Appeal for Modern Jewelers

In an era dominated by automated processes and digital innovations, the Pinfold's Patent machine offers a tangible link to the art's roots. It's not just a tool—it's a testament to the craftsmanship of bygone days. The tactile experience of resizing rings with this antique tool is unparalleled and offers a unique sense of satisfaction.

At the workbench, lifting and showcasing the entire Pinfold's tool

Challenges to Consider

While the machine brims with historical significance, potential users should be aware of its idiosyncrasies. Maintenance demands, availability of replacement parts, and a learning curve associated with its operation might pose challenges. Yet, for many, these are outweighed by the machine's charm and the joy of preserving a piece of history.

Engrossed in the finer details of the Pinfold's tool at the bench

Working with a Piece of History

There's an intrinsic value in connecting with the past, understanding the tools and techniques that paved the way for modern jewelry-making. Using the Pinfold's Patent machine is akin to stepping back in time, relishing the craftsmanship and dedication of artisans from a different era.

Historical image from the initial eBay listing highlighting the Pinfold's sizer

Final Verdict

Investing in the Pinfold's Patent ring sizing machine is more than just adding a tool to your workshop—it's about cherishing a piece of history. While it may not replace modern ring stretchers in terms of efficiency, it offers an unmatched experience. For those who value craftsmanship, tradition, and the unique stories embedded in antique tools, the Pinfold's Patent machine is undoubtedly a worthy investment. 

Another image from the original eBay listing emphasizing its antique appeal
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