How to Make a Band and Solder a Diamond Head Onto It
I was just sitting down at my bench getting ready to create a tutorial, when I got a question from a follower of the JewelryMonk blog. I hadn’t started on the current project yet, so I changed directions and decided to start a 2 day tutorial on how to make a quick band and solder a diamond head onto it and set a stone in a four prong setting. If I can create a lesson that is helping someone with a current project they are having, there is nothing more pleasing or gratifying than knowing I can help someone in a pinch.
Here are the pieces I am going to start with: I have a sterling silver shank approx 3mm wide and 1.25mm think. I also have a 2mm stone and a 2mm white gold die struck head.
I take the shank and after annealing it (see Annealing Tutorial) I round it on a Stepped Mandrel and bend the ends with a pair of Flat/Half Round Pliers to help match up the ends. I measure the shank on the mandrel, mark it with a scribe, and cut off the excess with a Saw Frame.
After I have the shank cut to the size I want, size 7 in this case, I bend the other end with the same pliers and match up the 2 ends. An Equaling Needle File is used to file the ends flush, and I bend the 2 ends past one another to put some tension in the ring so the soldering joint is closed.
Now I solder the band together. I use Handy Flux the solder joint good, use a small piece of solder, and apply the heat from my Smith Little Torch from the underside of the ring to draw the solder from the top to the bottom. Remember, solder follows heat, so if you apply the heat from the bottom of the ring, the solder will flow through the solder joint.
I clean up the solder on the inside with a #4 Crossing Needle File, and on the outside with a #4 Barrette Needle File. I use a #4 Flat Hand File on the sides of the shank, and finish it off with my #4 and #6 Sanding Stick (see Day 24)
Next, I will add the diamond head to the shank. There are a few ways to do this, one is to just solder the head right to the top of the shank, just center it and solder it. I like to set the head into the shank, so I will cut a “seat” into the shank to do this. The setting I am using is a “low base” setting, meaning it is not as tall as some settings. If it was a taller setting, I would drill a hole all the way through the shank and solder it in place but since this is a lower setting, I will only cut part way into the band. I measure the bottom of the setting, which in this case is 1.6mm. I use a 1.5mm Ball Bur to drill a pilot hole about 1/2 the way through the band. I drill this hole opposite the solder joint that was made when I soldered the shank together so the solder seam is on the very bottom of the ring. I now take a flat ended 1.6mm Cylinder Bur to flatten the bottom of the hole and widen it a bit. Do this slowly, fitting it as you go until it fits down to the bottom of the seat.
Once The diamond head fits down into the seat that is cut, I take a very small piece of solder and melt it into the seat. Next I set up the diamond head to the seat, line it up straight, and add heat from the torch. I add very little pressure with my Soldering Pick, making sure it lined up with the shank. If the head is off a little, the shank can be heated up again and the head can be adjusted with the soldering pick.
I hope this all makes sense, like I said before, I really enjoy putting a lesson together when I know someone can put it to use right away it the project they are currently working on. If you have projects you are working on and seem to be struggling a little more than you think you should, send me an email or message and I will see if I can help. Also, Feel free to share.
Stop in next time and I will set the stone in a 4 prong setting and finish polishing this project.
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