This little “Bezel Pendant” project started a few days ago when I got the bright idea to show how to make a “V-Bezel” after I had the need for one. I thought I would show the process after I got a few comments and questions on application, so I said to myself, “well self, let’s just show how U would use one”. Today I will show how I finished the setting and finishing on this pendant.
For holding the setting, I mount the pendant in Dop Wax to secure it during setting. I have some dop wax pre-loaded on different sizes of wooden dowels. I “slightly” heat the surface of the wax, as well as the pendant with my Mini Torch, not too hot or it will sink too deep into the wax. Play with this a bit to get used to it and how it reacts to heat. I also pre-heat the pendant a little to help it hold. After the pendant is settled in the wax, I press or mold the inside of the wax with a metal awl to make room for the bottom of the stone.
After the piece has set into the wax and is cool enough to handle, I scribe a line with my Dividers, equal height on both the large bezel and the “V” bezel. I mark the line from the base of the setting on both, so the seats I cut will be the same height and the stone will sit level.
Now I carefully cut a “seat” into the bezel. You will want to check out the stone’s girdle and match the shape of the girdle with the cut. In this instance, the Amethyst has a very thick girdle, so I cut the stone seat with a 2.5mm Hart Bur, following the scribed line as best as possible. After the initial cut is made, I shaped the bottom of the seat with a 1.2mm Ball Bur to match the stone as best as I could.
The V-Bezel is cut a bit differently. Since the stone end that is going to be secured is pointed and therefore more fragile, you will want to drill a small hole or divot (not all the way through) into the bezel where the point will be so there is no pressure on that point of the stone. The rest of the seat can be cut with a ball bur, once again trying to match the shape of the stone’s girdle. As you are cutting the seats, you will want to constantly check the stone against the seat, to see how well they match. I hold the stone with a small piece of sticky red wax on the end of an old bur or a nail. (Click on the image to see it in more detail)
After the seats are cut, place the stone in the setting and press the bezel over the stone carefully with a Flat End Prong Pusher. Slowly push the corners first to secure the stone, then “fold” the rest of the bezel over the stone. Be careful not to add too much pressure and constantly check the stone for tightness.
Now that the stone is set secure, remove the pendant from the Dop Wax by adding as little heat as possible until the wax releases the pendant. Be especially careful with Amethyst stones, they are not fond of heat. Place the pendant in Alcohol to dissolve the wax, in an Ultrasonic Cleaner to speed up the process. Make sure the stone can tolerate the heat, alcohol, and ultrasonic waves beforehand. For a free downloadable guide for stones that can take heat, steam, and ultrasonics, CLICK HERE .
After the piece is cleaned from the wax, use rubber wheels and polishing wheels to finish the bezels. They look better the flatter you can get them. BE CAREFUL not to touch the stone with the wheels as you are finishing the bezels.
There you have it, an extended lesson on how to make a V-Bezel and how to use it in an application. I hope you enjoyed it and it has opened up some ideas for you. Feel free to comment or share.
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Thanks for coming along this journey, now go make something brilliant!
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