Day 56 How to Cut and Shape a Square Bezel

When I set a goal of blogging 90 days in a row to kick off, I forgot to take into consideration my summer schedule. This is a busy weekend for me, as usual it seems. I really enjoy the summer months, but I also have a lot slower pace in the fall and winter. Let me explain a little more about me, jewelry making is a passion of mine, but I also have a hobby that takes up my spring and summer months, dirt track auto racing, which I build and drive, so the weekends are usually a blur of dirt and speed and traveling a bit.

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Today is one of those traveling days, but I will “squeeze” in another lesson to follow up on yesterdays “Bezel” lesson.

Yesterday I left off with a bezel base, so today I will build the bezel walls. I know the shape and size of the stone and I have a base that matches, so I will measure off the base instead of the stone, just so I don’t accidently scratch the stone. First, I will file approximately a 45 degree angle on the end of the silver piece I will be using for the bezel walls. I am using again my #4 Flat Hand File. I will now use a Divider to measure the length of the stone base and scribe a line from the INSIDE of the filed edge.

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I will use a #4 Square Needle File to file on the outside of the scribed line. I first engrave along the line to make it easier to follow with the file. I am using a #42 Flat Graver to do this. Make sure to file on the outside of the line and barely leave the scribed line because this is the length of the stone. If you file directly ON the line, the bezel wall length will be too short.

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I started with the longest side of the stone, but you can start with either length first. Now I move to the next length of the stone, and since I started with the longest side, I now measure the shorter edge and scribe another line. I have also made a tool that I use that is similar to a carpenter’s square to help me find 90 degree angles. I made this years ago out of a sheet of nickel, which is not as soft as silver, but you can use silver, brass, or steel if you like. It is not necessary, but I thought I would just show you a quick tool to help. Continue with the long edge again, and mark the last edge (short side again).  Trim off the excess silver and file a 45 degree edge to match up to the first, right up to the last scribed line.

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Next, bend the bezel into place. I use a pair of Smooth Jawed Parallel Pliers so I do not mark the silver. When the piece is in shape, use a #6 Equalling Escapement File to match up the 2 edges. I also take a piece of 400 Grit Sandpaper, folded in half, to match up the edges even closer. Clean the piece of filings and dust and solder the ends together. After the first edge is soldered together, I quench it in my pickle, (Heated Sparex), clean and make sure the bezel is the shape and size I need. If it isn’t, I can adjust it a bit. if it is, I solder the other seams together.

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Here is what I have now, Come on back and we will see what we can turn these pieces and parts into tomorrow. Now I am off to the races!

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Have an Awesome Day!


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7 Responses to Day 56 How to Cut and Shape a Square Bezel

  1. LindaBoBinda's Designs July 26, 2014 at 2:24 pm #

    Hi Doug
    This is a great entry, my favorite so far I think! The link though from my email to the entry is a 404 code.

    I’m learning more about this wonderful thing with jewelry, thanks for sharing it with us so freely!

    A ton of lights went off in my head, the square bezel makes much more sense now!!

    All the best

    • JewelryMonk July 26, 2014 at 3:38 pm #

      Thank you so much Linda. I will have to check out the 404 code.

  2. Darrel July 26, 2014 at 2:59 pm #

    Great info n pic thank you much…

    • JewelryMonk July 26, 2014 at 3:38 pm #

      Thanks Darrel!

  3. Joan S July 26, 2014 at 4:11 pm #

    This fantastic & timely! I’ve done a pear setting and not quite happy with it. I’ve been afraid to move on to a square setting being unsure. I’ll have to try it now! Thanks for the posts, keep ’em coming!

    • JewelryMonk July 26, 2014 at 4:47 pm #

      Thanks Joan. Go get em.

  4. Tinman July 26, 2014 at 8:51 pm #

    It is great to see these clear, step by step instructions and with photos. These posts will be my ‘go to’ guide for years to come. Thank you for sharing!