Archive | Design

Interesting Way to Transferring Designs to Metal (CAD) Video Demonstration

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Today I will show a couple of quick ways to transfer designs from Paper to Metal or Wax, Plus a video demonstration to help as well. 

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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.  For the first step let’s look at metal fabrication. I found a design on an antique locket that I would like as an earring. If I could draw, I would but alas, I can’t draw my way out of a paper bag. I found a way to scan the design and get it on a piece of paper. In this instance I used a CAD program, but you can use the original picture, scaled to the size you want, and then I cut 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 points, just hard enough to make a mark, but not too deep.

1e Locket Earrings 01       1f Locket Earrings 02

As I was contemplating an easier way to show this process, I did a quick Periscope session and here is a quick video made from some excerpts from that Periscope.  CLICK HERE for video.

(Periscope is a free app for your computer or mobile device that allows interaction via live streaming video. Follow JewelryMonk on Periscope)

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 with a hole large enough to get a saw blade through. I usually use a 3/0 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 with small “escapement” files and sandpaper, then polish. At a later date we will get into detail on how to best file, sand, and finish pieces, but I figured we would start with an easy way to get your ideas onto metal or wax.  On this piece, I also used gravers and a Foredom to give the piece more of a rounded look, but that is what I wanted and that is the cool thing about jewelry making, it is an expression of one’s self as well as a craft.

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Finished Amethyst

Remember to wear your safety glasses!

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You can also follow on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and Periscope…. we are all over the place.

Now go make something Shiny!


How to Create a Black Background

Hey everyone, I have been working on getting my podcasts up and running again, but until then, here is a blast from the past:

Creating a Black Background or Antiqued Background

Sometimes texturing doesn’t give me the contrast I am looking for, I want something a little more “drastic”. In this case, I will add a little a little Black Background or Antiquing, so today I will demonstrate how I accomplish this.

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I have a number of 10cc Syringes that I kept when I used to have to give my dog injections. I am sure you can order these though. The first thing I do is grind off the sharp end and trim it to a point to get into small areas. I do this with a Separating Disc.

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Next I pull out the “plunger” out of the syringe and add Mineral Oil to the rubber part. This makes it easier to dispense the paint. I use Rust-Oleum High Heat Bar-B-Q Black Paint. Take off the tip, place the end of the syringe into the paint, and suck some paint into the syringe. According to how much you will be painting, you don’t need a lot of paint.

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Once you have the paint in the syringe, you will want to get rid of any air pockets and bubbles. Place the needle on the syringe, and dispense paint until the air and bubbles are gone. Do this onto a paper towel. Next apply to the piece you want to paint. Start slowly, and in larger areas, you might need to add 2 or more layers to cover good. This works much better if there is a border all the way around the area you want painted, but not absolutely necessary.

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I like to use Flat Black in most cases, but you can use a gloss finish if you like, even other colors.

As always, thanks for stopping by and If you find value in this content, or if you like to keep up to date on the goings-on here, make sure to Subscribe to this Blog Via Email (link in the upper right corner at also check out the JewelryMonk Podcast either on this website, or on iTunes.

Now, go make something Spectacular!!


How to Make Oval Bezel Earrings Part 2

How to Make Oval Bezel Earrings Part 2

On my last blog post, I started making a bezel, actually 2 of them, for a pair of oval stone earrings. The stones I am using is fairly small, 6x4mm Red Coral Oval Cabochon. I went about this a little differently than I usually do, just to show another possibility and stir up some creativity. let me explain…..

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The more common way of making a bezel is to bend the silver bezel sheet around the stone, solder the bezel closed, file the bottom of the bezel flat, then solder the bezel onto a flat sheet to make the base and clean it up. I have done it this way many times, and in fact it is a little easier, but I decided to show another technique which is a little more difficult, but I prefer to do it this way for the fact that after the piece is polished, there is less chance of seeing a solder line on the side of the bezel, and if there are any soldering pits that show up, they will show up on the back side of the piece instead of the side. So let’s get on with the process.

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When I left off last, I had just got done cutting the oval shaped pads, or silver bases, and had just started to shape the sterling bezels. I am using silver sheet that is approx 26 gauge or 0.40mm in thickness. When I shaped the bezels, I left them a little long so I can slowly trim them to shape. Here is where I take a little time to trim the excess off with a pair of Flush Cutters, shape the bezel a little more with a pair of Half Round/Flat Pliers, and a Fine Snap-On Disc. I trim a little, check the fit, sand a little, check the fit, massage the bezel a bit until it fits closely. Once it is where I like it, I make sure the joint to be soldered is flush and flat with no gaps.

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Next I solder the bezels together with Hard Silver Solder. I use Hard because once it is soldered together, I can use lower melting temperature solder later to and this solder joint won’t gets pits or open up.

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Once the bezel is soldered together, I file the inside of the solder joint with a #4 Crossing Needle File, and then use a Small Split Mandrel with 600 Grit Sandpaper to clean up the scratches in my Foredom.

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I next cleaned the pieces and fitted the oval bases inside the bezels. I want a fairly tight fit and can file the edges of the oval discs if needed, but in this case, the pieces fit perfectly. I set the bases inside the bezels and leave just a little excess bezel past the bases, for clean-up, so I can file the back flush. I solder with Easy Silver Solder so I don’t “un-solder” the bezel solder joint. I solder slowly and am careful not to overheat the piece. I make sure the solder penetrates the whole edge and solders completely.

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After the pieces are soldered together, I file the excess off the back and make it flush. I also file the solder seam on the side of the bezel. I reduce the height of the bezel as well and get it prepped to set. I don’t want the bezel too high, because the higher the bezel, the more work it is to set the stone and the more of the stone it will cover.

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I will stop here and on the next post, I will solder the posts onto the piece, set the stones and polish the earrings.

Thanks as always for stopping by and if you find anything here, or anywhere on the website, feel free to share with your friends. Also make sure to subscribe to get these posts sent to your email, it’s easy and free.

Together we can train the world…..

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“Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.”

How to Make Oval Bezel Earrings

How to Make Oval Bezel Earrings


Here is a fun little project that you can make in a short time. There are times when I design and plan in advance what I am going to make, and there are other times when I look around and see what is in sight and create as I go, this is one of those instances.

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I scrounged up a couple of pieces of silver sheet, some Red Coral Oval Cabochon stones, and earring posts. Over the next couple of blog posts, I will turn these pieces and parts into a pair of oval cabochon earrings. We have covered some of these processes in past tutorials, but we will again look at some of these techniques.

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I am going to start with a silver sheet approx 0.5mm thick to use as the base. I am using a small piece of soft wax (Red Sprue Wax) to hold the stone in place onto the silver sheet so I can scribe a line around the stone. I am careful not to move the stone as I trace around the stone with a sharp tool.

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Next I will cut the shapes out of the silver. A little trick to help your cutting go easier is to lubricate the saw blade. Here I am using just a little Pro-Cut Lubricant on my finger to rub a little lubricant on the teeth of the saw blade. I am using a 4″ Saw Frame and a 3/0 Saw Blade to cut this piece. I follow the scribed line and am careful to cut just on the outside of the line.

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Once I have the stone bases cut out, I use a pair of Half Round/Flat Pliers to shape the bezels into shape. I trim the bezels a little longer than I need so I can file and fit them before assembly. I will do the final fitting and soldering on the next blog post.

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Stop by next time and I will solder the parts together and set the stones.

As always, Thank you for stopping by and helping to make the JewelryMonk community a special place. Feel free to browse some of the other tips, I have been doing this for a while now and there are over 100 posts by now. Feel free to share the site with your friends and be sure to sign up to get the posts delivered to you via email.

Now go scrounge up some pieces and make something awesome!


“You can tell who the strong people are. They are the ones building one another up rather than tearing them down.”

How to Make a Quick Bail for a Pendant

Have you ever made or found a piece of jewelry and said to yourself “self, this would make a great pendant.” Well today I will show you a quick way to make a nice bail to solder onto a piece and turn it into a pendant.

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In this instance, I am going to use a piece of silver that is about 0.9mm thick and 3.5mm wide. The plan is to wrap the silver around something round to give it shape. Here I used a Brass Rod that is 3mm in diameter, but depending on the chain you are going to use, you can make it larger or smaller. I annealed the silver first to make it more malleable, then I wrap the silver around the brass rod into a pear shape. I then trimmed off the excess with a Saw Frame and a 3/0 Saw Blade and filed the ends flat. You can also use brass, copper, gold, etc.

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After it is trimmed off I filed the inside edge with a #4 Equaling Needle File to give it more contact area when it is soldered. I then squeezed the bail together with a pair of Smooth Jawed Parallel Pliers to close it, I added Handy Flux and soldered the end with Silver Solder. I used a Mini Torch to do the soldering on propane and oxygen.

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After it is soldered, I file the edges a bit so the bail is tapered, which I just like the look better. I file the top edges a little as well to give it a softer rounded look. I used a #4 Flat Hand File to start, then moved to a #4 Barrette Needle File. I finished it off with 400 Grit and 600 Grit Sandpaper by hand. After I am happy with the look of the bail, I solder it to the piece I want and have a pendant.

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There you have it, a quick way to make and add a bail to a piece of jewelry and make a pendant.

As always, thanks for stopping by and if you find value in the info, share it with a friend. Also make sure you follow JewelryMonk on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and the podcast on iTunes.

Now, get out there and make something stunning!