Archive | Polishing

JewelryMonk Design Contest #2 is in the Books

Have you ever had a great idea and thought “This will be cool, I can have this knocked out in a few weeks?”  Yeah, that was my idea BACK IN MARCH!  Well, with 2 month long trips out of the country and a LOT of video coverage, the 2nd JewelryMonk Design Contest piece is in the mail and off to Jen Popolis, the winner of the contest.

It is FINALLY going out in the mail today. (she is so patient) I am still editing the video series, but it should be done within the month. This project was all done by metal fabrication and soldering with sterling silver sheet and wire. Then I made a model, a mold, and cast the piece in sterling silver, set the 6x6mm Citrine, and polished it. Jen won her design as a finished piece of jewelry, and she gets the model and mold to do whatever she wishes with, as well as a video series that covers the whole process.

When I am done editing the videos, I will make them available to everyone! There will be about 15 videos covering every step I did from sketch to finished piece, as well as a bonus video to go along with each lesson. So actually over 30 videos that will cover this whole process in HD. Like I said, I get excited doing this.
So, stay tuned here at www.JewelryMonk.com, or better yet, subscribe by clicking -> HERE <- and never miss out on any JewelryMonk goodness.

Here is a quick little video Montage of some of the fun I had:

I have so much fun doing these contests, so stay tuned for the next JewelryMonk Design Contest.

As always, thanks for following me along on this JewelryMonk journey I am on. I try to stay focused, but there are so many facets of jewelry making, it’s like a cornucopia of goodness, and I can get sidetracked. Between this page, the JewelryMonk Podcast, the FaceBook page, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat……. I can sometimes lose focus, but I will be here throwing out stuff for anyone to pick up…… Like Johnny Appleseed of jewelry. haha

Take care,

Now, Go Make Something Shiny!

Doug

2

Pendant Project Part 4, The Finale

Pendant Project Part 4, The Finale!

Header Setting

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.

Setting 01 Setting 02 Setting 03

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.

Setting 04 Setting 05

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.

Setting 08 Setting 07

Setting 05 Setting 06

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)

Setting 09 Setting 10

Setting 11

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.

Setting 12 Setting 13 Setting 14

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.

Setting 15 Setting 16 Setting 17

Finally finish polishing the pendant on a polishing wheel with Red Rouge. Clean with an Ultrasonic Cleaner and a Steam Cleaning Machine.

Setting 19 Setting 21

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.

By the way, if there are things you would like to see on JewelryMonk, let me know, and make sure to Subscribe, so you never miss any JewelryMonk Goodness.

Thanks for coming along this journey, now go make something brilliant!

Doug

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.

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

Pendant 15

Now go make something Spectacular!

Doug

How to Deal With Pits and Porosity

Tool Modification and How to Deal With Pits and Porosity

 

Ready for another quick lesson? Today I get to address one of my favorite-est (not a word) subjects in the world….. Tool Modification. I mentioned before that I seldom throw away tools, bits, burs, etc. I am always trying to find a way to modify them into new uses. For one reason, I can make tools for the exact job I am doing, and 2, it is a free way of expanding my tool arsenal. (you should see my garage…..)

Bits1

Here is a quick way to make a tool that works wonders cleaning those hard to get into areas. If you have a small used up bur, snap/break off the end and grind of sand with a sanding disc with between 3 and 6 different angles or “facets”.

Bit4 Bit3

These edges when spun in a Foredom work as a powerful burnisher that will grind and smooth rough areas that ordinary tools and burs can’t reach.

Detailing

If you work with casted or soldered pieces, then you are no stranger to pits and porosity. This little tool also takes care of some of the small pits and porosity, where trying to polish these away usually just reveals more pits and porosity. Use this little rotary burnisher to rough up and “smear” the metal over the bad areas, then when you sand and polish, unless the porosity is extreme, you should be able to remove or repair these areas. Click on the image to expand it.

Porosity1 Porosity2

Burnished2 Burnished1

I have a huge selection of burs, burnishers, grinders, texture-makers, and pit-beaters to select from that I have made over the years, and I am constantly experimenting with new shapes and styles.

Tools Reused

Now, put on that creative cap and make some fun tools to experiment and play with.

Doug

How to Make an End Sanding Bur

Y’all know I like to make and modify tools whenever possible, so here is a quick one for you.Have you ever been working on a piece of jewelry, and needed a tool that just wasn’t in your tool arsenal? This is the story of just about every tool I have made or modified. Allow me to share a tool that I make that is worth its weight in candy bars, or something good like that.

If you have ever used an End Brush, or used one up, do not throw them away when you are done with them. These can be modified into great end sanding tools. First, I mount the used up end brush into my Foredom and turn it slowly while I saw into it with a Saw Frame. I use a 3/0 Saw Blade to do this. I cut almost all the way through, then I just snap it off with my fingers. Now I have a flat ended mandrel.

Tool Making End Sander (1) Tool Making End Sander (2)

Tool Making End Sander (3) Tool Making End Sander (4)

After I cut the end off, I take a small ball bur and add a little “texture” to the end of the mandrel. I used a 0.8mm Ball Bur in this instance. I cut a small piece of Sandpaper, a little larger than the end of the mandrel. I add a drop of Super Glue to the mandrel and apply the sandpaper to the mandrel, grit facing out. The texture that was added is to hold onto the glue better.

Tool Making End Sander (5) Tool Making End Sander (6)

After the sandpaper is glued to the mandrel, and the glue has dried, I trim the excess off with a pair of Semi-Flush Side Cutters, then file the edge flush. I use an old #4 Flat Hand File to do this.

Tool Making End Sander (7)

I have a number of these end sanders around with different grits of sandpaper, from 320 to 600. They get inside of areas and sand flat areas, they work quick, and it the sandpaper loses it’s cut, just take the old paper off (I use a Surgical Blade) and add another piece of sandpaper.

Tool Making End Sander (8) Tool Making End Sander (9)

Again, this is a great tool to have around and definitely worth its weight in candy.

Now, enjoy this little gem and go out and see if you can make a kid smile today!

Doug