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Pendant Project Part 3

Pendant Project Part 3

Part 3 of the V-Bezel pendant. Today we will finish soldering the pendant I started a couple of days ago, and I have a couple of clean-up tips for you before I get it ready to set the stone.

First I take the setting base and scribe a center line in the back of the half round bezel with Steel Dividers. This is just a location line so I know where to solder the bail. I picked a bail in the last post that had a diamond setting on it, but decided to cut it off because of strength and aesthetic issues. I used Handy Flux, Medium Solder, and my Mini Torch to solder the bail on. I hold the bail with Soldering Spring Tweezers and secure it with a Third Hand Tweezers.

Pendant 1 Pendant 2

After I solder the bail onto the setting, I clean the back with a Snap on Sanding Disc, make it flush, and add a Sterling Stamp.

Pendant 3 Pendant 4 Pendant 5

I next clean up the edges, making them sharp and crisp. I used a Barrette File, then I wrapped a piece of 600 grit sand paper around the same file and take out the file scratches. I also used a Knife Edge Silicone Wheel and  JoolTool 3M Bristle Brushes. These little babies work amazing for taking out scratches.

Pendant 9 Pendant 10 Pendant 8

Pendant 11 Pendant 12

Now if you have ever wondered how to polish inside places like the inside of a bail, here is a neat trick to get into those hard to get into spots. Get yourself some cotton string, (in different thicknesses) and rub polishing compound on it, now run the string through the bail and tie the other end to your bench. Rub back and forth and it will polish nicely. I use Graystar Compound first, then Red Rouge.

Pendant 6 Pendant 7

I also polish the tip of a burnishing tool on a piece of paper rubbed with Yellow Rouge and use it to polish the inside of the setting, if the setting base is polished, this will help the stone reflect more brilliantly.

Pendant 13 Pendant 14

Now the pendant is ready to set and polish. Stay Tuned.

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Pendant 15

Now go make something Spectacular!

Doug

Pendant Project Part 2

Pendant Project Part 2


Ok, ok, After the V-Bezel illustration from a few days ago, I had quite a few comments about how I would use the bezels and a good application for V-Bezels. Well, you ask, you get.

Over the next few days I will make a pendant and set a stone using the now “semi-famous” V-Bezel. I found a stone that I have had in my drawer for a while looking for a use for it, well now I have found a purpose for it, so let’s get going.

First, I find a piece of flat silver for the pendant base. In this instance, I use a piece that is 1.25mm thick. I place the stone I am using top down on the silver, (I slightly dull the surface of the silver with a piece of used 1200 grit sandpaper so it will show the tracing better) and hold it in place with a small piece of sticky wax, something that will hold it firm. Once the stone is held down, I use a scribe to trace a light line around the stone. I pull the stone off of the silver and use my Saw Frame with a Saw Blade to cut along the outside of the line. I hold the silver with a pair of Smooth Jawed Parallel Pliers. I file the outside up to the scribed line.

Photo 1 Photo 2

Photo 3 Photo 4

Once I have the base cut out, I scribe an offset line inside, approx. 1.5 mm thick, then I drill a hole in the center of the base and load it on my Saw Frame. I cut along the inside up to the line, as close as possible. I use a Barrette Needle File and a Half-Round Escapement File to clean the inside and make it smooth and crisp.

Photo 5 Photo 6

Photo 7 Photo 8

Now I have the base cleaned up, I roll a piece of silver approx. 4mm wide and 0.8mm thick with my Rolling Mill to use as a bezel for the back of the stone. After I roll it to the desired thickness, I anneal it and form it to match the shape of the back of the setting. (If you are unfamiliar with the annealing process, see THIS BLOG ENTRY) I now solder the bezel to the back of the base that I made. You can see I place the solder in between the bezel and the frame on my Soldering Block. I solder using my Smith Mini Torch with a fairly small flame from the #5 torch tip. (I have drilled out my tip, so it is a little larger than a #5, but a #5 is a good tip) I am using Oxygen (approx. 30 psi) and Propane (approx. 10 psi) as gas for my torch. (to see how I set up my torch and to safely check for leaks, See THIS Blog Post)

Photo 10

Photo 11 Photo 12

Next, I take the V-Bezel that I made last time, and saw off about 4.5mm of it to use as a bezel setting for the point of the stone. I solder it to the point of the setting base while holding it with my Soldering Spring Tweezers with heat protective handles.

Photo 13 Photo 14

Can you see it starting to take shape yet? A little more massaging and it will come alive….. I found a bail that I have been itchin’ to use as well, seems like the perfect project for it.

Photo 15 Photo 16

Stay Tuned and I will finish cleaning it up and set the stone in the next days.

By the way, make sure you subscribe if you haven’t, so you don’t miss ANY JewelryMonk Goodness.

Now go make Something Surprising!

Doug

Pendant Project Part 1

Pendant Project

OK, if you have a little time, stick with me, over the next week or so I am going to take you on a journey, and at the end, we will end up in Cool-Pendant-Ville. But first, I am going to show you how to make just a small part of it, So pack your bags and let’s go!

If you are making jewelry long enough, eventually you are going to come across a project with a stone with a sharp corner, either a marquise, pear, or square shaped stone. Today I will demonstrate how I go about making a v-bezel for setting stones.
First, I find either a scrap piece of sheet silver or cut a piece off of some stock. I roll it down in my Rolling Mill to about 0.5mm and then anneal it. If you are unfamiliar with annealing, search “Anneal” on this blog, or CLICK HERE.

Bezel1 Bezel2

I then file a flat edge on one side of the silver and scribe a line approx 2.5mm away from the edge. (longer or shorter if you want longer or shorter bezels.) Once you have a line scribed, use a Square Graver or a Flat Graver at a 45 degree angle to cut a grove into the silver about 2/3 the way through the sheet. After the groove is cut, I run a Square Escapement File along the groove to make it uniform and straight.

Bezel3 Bezel4

Bezel5 Bezel6

Hold the silver sheet with a pair of Smooth Jaw Parallel Pliers with the grove even with the edge of the pliers and use a Square Prong Pusher to fold the sheet to a 45 degree (or square) angle. I also tap the silver with my Rawhide Mallet or a Plastic Head Jewelers Hammer to make sure it is seated against the other side.

Bezel7 Bezel8

Bezel9 Bezel10

Next I fluxed the solder joint with Handy Flux and add 3 pieces of small solder, spaced evenly, to the inside of the bezel. Do not use too much solder, you can always add more, but it is a pain if there is too much. I solder from the back side of the bezel with my Smith Mini Torch, to make sure the solder penetrates the solder joint.

Bezel11 Bezel12

Bezel13

Now measure the finished side and scribe a line along the other side the same width, and cut with your Jeweler Saw Frame. (I use a 3/0 Saw Blade) Again, you can trim the sides either longer or shorter, and use thicker or thinner silver, depending on the application you are using.

Bezel14 Bezel15

Bezel16

Now trim off the amount you want and solder to your stone seat or pad.

OR…. Stay tuned and see what I will do with this……
Now, go make something AMAZING!
Doug

Talking about Design Help Tools Today

Designs and Inspiration can come from many, many places.

1a Locket 01

This post is from a tutorial I did a number of years ago. I was contacted by a friend who had a friend (likely story…. friend of a friend) who had a 1800’s locket handed down from their great grandmother, and they wanted the design re-created into a set of earrings. (actually 2 different sets) This process I show though, can be used for just about anything you want to trace and re-create.

I guess the first subject to talk about at this point is starting the design. The great thing about designing jewelry is that you have a blank page, if you are making jewelry for yourself, there is no right or wrong design, it is an expression of yourself, and the only limitations are your skills, and that is what we are here to do, hone our skills. If you are making jewelry for others or for the market, then you have to take their likes and desires into consideration.

There are a number of ways to start to create jewelry, from finding an existing media and turning it into jewelry, to Computer Aided Design (CAD), wax carving, metal fabrication, Precious Metal Clays (PMC), etc. We have touched on many of these things in the past blog posts.

In this example,  let’s look at metal fabrication…… (my love language) I was sent this antique locket that the customer would like the design as an earring. If I could draw, I would do that, but alas, I can’t draw my way out of a paper bag. I decided to scan the design and get it on a piece of paper. In this instance I used a CAD program to trace the design, but you can use the original picture, scaled to the size you want. I then I trimmed the image and taped it to a flat sheet of sterling silver. I took a very sharp metal scribe and traced around the outside of the picture with a series of small puncture points through the paper, just hard enough to make a mark, but not too deep.

1e Locket Earrings 01  1f Locket Earrings 02

After I traced around the design completely, I removed the paper and I have an outline on the silver. (this works on wax as well) I now pierced the silver in the center of the design with a drill bit or a ball bur, large enough to get a saw blade through. I usually use a 3/0 Saw Blade, but you can use smaller if you like, I tend to break smaller ones a lot more. after I have the piece completely cut out, I smooth the edges and saw blade marks with small “escapement” needle files and sandpaper, then polish. On other posts I get into detail on how to best file, sand, and finish pieces, but I figured we would show an easy way to get your ideas onto metal or wax.  On this piece, I heated up the piece and mounted it in Green Dop Wax to secure it while I cut it with gravers and a Foredom to give the piece more of a rounded look, but that is what the customer wanted and that is the cool thing about jewelry making, it is an expression of one’s self as well as a craft.

1g Locket Earrings 03 1j Locket Earrings 08

I molded the final silver piece, cast it in gold, polished it and set stones.

Finished Amethyst

Thanks for stopping by, I could get long and lost in all the details, but I also try to balance info with content and try to keep these posts short and to the point, I know we all have busy lives and I would like to give quick tips as opposed to long lessons.

Take care, and Go Make Something Dazzling!

Doug

How to Make a Secure Pearl Post

How to Make Pearl Post That Will “Grab”

If you make jewelry long enough, you will eventually make a piece of jewelry with a pearl or a post that will hold a glued stone to it. Here is a quick way to make sure the pearl or the stone you set will be more secure.

If you have a Rolling Mill with a grove for rolling square stock, you are ahead of the game, just roll a piece of silver down to approximately  0.7mm or so. If you don’t have a mill with those rollers with it, well here is another way to go about it.

Find a piece of sheet silver approximately 0.7mm thick and file the straightest edge flat and then scribe a line the same width as the thickness.

Step1Step2Step3

Now it is time to work on and perfect your sawing skills. Use your Jewelers Saw to cut along the side the line that you scribed. Take your time and cut right on the outside of the line. The straighter the cut, the less filing you will have to do. I use a Saw Blade 3/0 to cut this. Now file the edge that you just cut off and make the piece as wide as it is thick. 0.7mm in this instance.

Step4Step5

Next it is time to anneal the small piece you just made. This piece is very small, so be careful not to overheat it in the process. Use a “bushy” flame and turn off your bench lamp. Watch the color of the silver as you  heat it, you want to aim for a dull pink color in the silver. Try to maintain this color for between 15 and 30 seconds, waving the flame (not too close) back and forth over the piece. I use a Smith Mini Torch for soldering and for annealing. Do not get it red hot!  If you do, cool your piece and start over.

Step6

Use 2 pair of pliers or a small vise and 1 pair of pliers. I prefer to use Smooth Jawed Parallel Pliers, so the silver is not marred. These are same pliers I use to hold the silver while I cut it with my saw. Now twist the silver.

Step7Step8

Next, just trim off enough to hold the pearl or stone and solder into place. I use a cup bur to finish off the end of the post, and drill a small divot, a little larger than the post, in the piece to be soldered to. The divot will give the post more contact area for the solder to attach the post to, and make a stronger solder joint. The twisted action of the post will bond the glue or epoxy to the stone much better.

Now, go make something beautiful and have a great day!

Doug