Soldering a Thin Piece to a Thick Piece

Over the years I have heard many jewelers express their concerns and struggles of trying to solder a thin loop or earring post to a thicker piece. They either melt the smaller piece, or the solder joint is not very clean or strong.  I am soon going to release a video series on soldering and metal fabrication, and I thought I would share a quick little video that will not be part of the series, but part of one of the promo video teachings. Since most of you reading this have subscribed to JewelryMonk.com I thought I would share it with the JewelryMonk Community.  If you haven’t subscribed to this community, I would do that now, so you don’t miss out on any up coming goodness!

Here is a link to the video:     https://youtu.be/T6tdvFdaNaU

ALSO, Make sure to subscribe to the JewelryMonk YouTube Channel, so you don’t miss out on any of the FREE content there as well.

Keep on the lookout, Because in the NEXT couple weeks, I will be releasing a new Fabricating/Soldering video series that is to date over 35 videos in all. This is going to be VERY EXCITING!

As always, Thanks for being a part of this JewelryMonk Community. The best thing you can do for me is spread the word!

Now, Go Make Something Shiny!

Doug

Together, We can Make the BEST Jewelry of YOUR LIFE!

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Wax Carving to Finished Jewelry Video Series

A to Z Design to Finished Jewelry Video Course



The A to Z Design to Finished Jewelry Course is a video series that takes you through creation a piece of jewelry, from concept and drawing, all the way to the completed piece of reproducible jewelry. The videos cover, in real time, all the processes from transferring your design onto a wax blank, preparing and carving the wax. Casting that wax into silver, and cleaning up the silver into a model that will be molded. Injecting wax into the mold and casting those waxes into silver. Preparing those castings with tumbling media and polishing the castings. Finally, the piece will be set with a pear shaped stone in a prong/bezel setting, and the piece of jewelry will be final polished and cleaned, ready to ship.

New Direction in the JewelryMonk Journey

Some dreams are just that, dreams. 

I have had a dream for many years about starting a studio/training center in my area, but it never really got further than that, a far off dream.  Most of you know I have been making jewelry for others for over 30 years, and after a bout with illness, decided life is just too short to have regrets, so quit my job to work for myself as a jewelry teacher and consultant. (I am all better now BTW)  It has been going well, and I really enjoy it, have been doing a lot of traveling, which I enjoy, but it is not in the direction of that long-held dream.

I started doing something this year which changed all that. It is something I have heard about, and thought it sounded good, but never really tried….. all-in anyway, and that is goal-setting.  I have had goals in my mind, I have had goals in my plans, but they always got put aside for the next “shiny” or important thing that came across my bench.

Well, I did something drastic this year, I made a list of goals, 5 Year – 1 Year – 1 Month – 1 Week – 1 Day, and I wrote them down.  You are thinking “big deal, what will writing down goals going to do?”  I didn’t just write them down, but I visit and read them every day, and fine tune them, and ponder on them, DAILY.  You wouldn’t think that would be such a game changer, but you know what, It Is….. For me anyway.  I started accomplishing my daily goals, and my weekly goals which was a big boost in my confidence.  Then started thinking “I wonder, just wonder, what it would take to get to my BIG long-off goals?  Well, I did a little checking, did a lot of praying, and before I knew it, I am ready to sign a lease on a downtown building on my Life-Long Goal of starting my own Studio/Training Center!

So that is where I have been lately, and that is where I am going in the future. I will still be here at JewelryMonk.com Educating, Encouraging, and Equipping y’all more and more. I will get back to podcasting at The JewelryMonk Podcast, but I will be doing it all from The New JewelryMonk Studio and Training Center. I will also be starting specialized training classes next year, and be putting together some very cool Vacation/Training packages.

    I also have a new comprehensive video series coming out soon focused on metal fabrication and soldering.  Stay tuned, this one is very cool.

 

So, there are some new things coming soon at JewelryMonk.com and I am excited and scared….. but more excited than anything.  So thanks for coming along this journey with me, and stay tuned, I ain’t going anywhere, well except downtown.

Take Care. Now, Go Make Something Shiny!

Doug

4 Prong Setting Tutorial

How to Set a Round Stone in a 4 Prong Setting

I wanted to demonstrate how to set the 2mm stone in a 4 prong setting. In past blog entries I have set stones in shared prong settings, flush settings or gypsy settings, channel settings, bezel settings, and “V” prong settings, but I have never showed how to set the most common of all settings, the basic 4 prong setting in a die struck setting, so kick back, grab a cup of coffee, and enjoy.

Prong Setting Header

I do a little prep work to the head before I begin setting the stone. When I soldered the head into place, there is a little fire scale to the inside of the head. I pre-polished the shank and the outside of the prongs with a 3M Brushes and a Brass Brush in my Foredom. I like to clean up and polish the inside of the setting before the stone is set, for once the stone is set, it is difficult if not impossible to shine the inside of the setting. To polish the inside of the setting, I use a small piece of cotton wrapped around a 0.7mm Tapered Cylinder Bur. A small ball bur will also work. I like to use Natural Cotton, which I usually get out of an aspirin bottle, as opposed to synthetic cotton because it seems to me that the natural cotton holds onto the polishing compound better, but either will work. I spin the cotton onto the bur into a cone shape and add Red Rouge to the “bullet” shaped cotton. I insert this into the inside of the setting and polish.

Prong Setting (1) Prong Setting (2)

Prong Setting (3) Prong Setting (4)

Prong Setting (5) Prong Setting (6)

After the inside is polished, it is time to notch or cut the seats into the prongs. As a rule of thumb, I like to cut the seat about 1/3 the way down the prong, from the top, and cut about 1/3 the way into the prongs. Here, I use a sharp set of dividers to mark the inside of the prong at the same level. I scribe a line as a guide to start cutting. In this instance, the stone I am setting is 2mm, I am using a 1.5mm Hart Setting Bur. The girdle (or side) of this stone is a little thicker than normal, so I cut the seat at an angle to match the stone. When setting stones, always try to match the shape of the girdle with the shape of the cut into the prong.

Prong Setting (7) Prong Setting (8)

Prong Setting (9) Prong Setting (10)

Prong Setting (12) Prong Setting (11)

Next, after you have cut the seats into the prongs, place the stone into the setting and visually check to make sure each prong matches the stone shape and make sure the stone is level. If it is not, adjust the cuts in the prongs at a bit and check again until you are satisfied. Once you are happy with the way the stone sits in the prongs, gently close the prongs with a pair of Needle Nose Pliers to hold the stone in place. Again, check the stone to make sure it is sitting the way you want it to. After you have the prongs closed onto the stone, it is time to tighten the stone. Using the same pliers, gently pull the top of the prong over the stone by placing the pliers at an angle, using the prong on the opposite side to support the pliers and pull the top of the prong down onto the stone. Do this to all 4 prongs, making sure the prongs are “square” or evenly spaced from one another. Check to make sure the stone is tight by grabbing the stone with your Tweezers and seeing if the stone spins.

Prong Setting (13) Prong Setting (14)

Prong Setting (15) Prong Setting (16)

Prong Setting (22)

Once the stone is set and tightened, I like to file the prongs down just a bit to make sure the prongs are even and all the same height. I use a #4 Barrette Needle File to do this. Next I use a small 1.0mm Cup Bur to round and finish the top of the prongs. The prongs measure about 0.6mm in thickness and a 1.0mm cup bur seems to be about the right size. You want to use a cup bur that just fits over the whole prong and does not “ride” on the stone. Make sure you only use this just enough to round the prong and not reduce the size of the prong too much. You want some prong on top of the stone so it won’t wear down too quickly.

Prong Setting (17) Prong Setting (18)

Prong Setting (19) Prong Setting (21)

Prong Setting (20)

Lastly, after the stone is tightened, and the tops of the prongs are finished to your liking, it is time to polish the tops of the prongs. I like to use a Medium Hard Felt Wheel with Red Rouge on it. Again, you do not want to get carried away and polish off the tops of the prongs, but just enough to give them a good shine.

Prong Setting (23) Prong Setting (24)

Prong Setting (25)

I know this stone setting is rather small at 2mm, but the same process will work for any size stones. If you are new to setting stones, I would suggest starting with larger stones to get used to the process.

I hope this helps to explain and simplify the basic 4 prong setting. Mastering this process will go a long way in stepping up your stone setting program and help you to design more pieces with stones, opening up a whole new world and making you more confident in all types of setting.

Thank you as always for stopping by and following along on this journey. I hope you are experimenting with some of the techniques I share. Be sure to sign up to get these tips emailed to you, or send in comments or questions either by commenting here, emailing me at doug@jewelrymonk.com or send me a voicemail. I read and check them all.

Now, get out there and Dazzle the World!

Doug

”The soothing tongue is a tree of life, but a perverse tongue crushes the spirit.”

How to Bezel Set a Square Stone

Quick Story….. then a tip.

I have always had goals….. In my head. I work towards them, I get new goals, I change my goals, I accomplish some goals, but to be honest, I forget most of them, because I am off running after other shiny goals. I tried something new in the past couple of months, I WROTE DOWN some goals. Long term (Someday), Short Terms (5 and 1 Year), Monthly, Weekly, Daily……. Then, I review it, EVERY DAY. (takes 2 minutes)Ya know what…… These Goals are slowly, and not so slowly becoming reality. I am getting ready to “Kick-Off” something New and Exciting at JewelryMonk.com, that I always had as a goal…. a someday goal…. a dream really more than a goal, that I have had for years and years. But you know what? Just by writing it down and reviewing it every day, It is FAST becoming REALITY.I am still going to hold “This Cat” in the bag so to say, for a little bit, but Stay Tuned here and see What is Coming Next. I really am so excited I can hardly sit here and type.

Now, on with the tip:


How to Bezel Set a Square Stone

 

Today I will demonstrate how I set a square shaped stone in a bezel. It is a little harder that you would think and special attention must be taken when laying out your design, and if the stone has too much room between the edge of the stone and the bezel, the corners will give you “fits”.

First, I am not a HUGE fan of Magnetic Tumbler, but I did tumble this piece in a Magnetic Tumbler to polish underneath the stone and in the hard to get to places, then I place the stone into the setting. I hold the ring in a Ring Clamp and squeeze the bezels together just a bit to hold the stone in place. (which I forgot to take a picture of) Then I place the ring on my Ring Mandrel to support the ring as I press the bezels into the stone, starting at the corners. The corners are the most important part, because if you don’t get the corners tight, there will be a gap.  Start tightening the corners, then work towards the center of the bezel.

Tumbler2  Bezel Setting Rec (1)

Bezel Setting Rec (2)

Bezel Setting Rec (3)   Bezel Setting Rec (4)

Next, after the bezel walls are pushed over the stone to hold the stone firmly in place, I tap lightly on the top of the bezel to force the top of the bezel walls tight around the stone. I use my Chasing Hammer and an old bur to do this, but you can use a Hammer Hand Piece to do this as well. I have cut down the bur to a flat surface with just the slightest dap to it. I also sand the end with 600 Grit Sandpaper to give it a little “grip” and so it won’t slip off the bezel as easy. Be careful not to touch the stone, especially soft stones.

Bezel Setting Rec (5a)   Bezel Setting Rec (5)

Bezel Setting Rec (6)    Bezel Setting Rec (7)

 After the stone is tight and the top of the bezel wall is uniformly up to the stone, take a Snap on Sanding Disc and clean the scratches up. If the scratches are deeper, use a #4 Barrette Needle File first. After the sanding, I use a Knife Edge Rubber Wheel to dress it up and take out the scratches from the sanding.

Bezel Setting Rec (8)   Bezel Setting Rec (9)

Bezel Setting Rec (10)   Bezel Setting Rec (11)

Lastly, I take the piece to the polishing machine and final polish it with Red Rouge.

Bezel Setting Rec (13)   Bezel Setting Rec (14)

There you have it, a tight stone, and I now have a finished piece. The grid work under the stone isn’t really necessary under a cab stone where no light can get through, it just adds a nice touch, but if you have a faceted stone, the extra light it allows will really make it “Pop”.

Bonus: If you want a FREE VIDEO on how to tighten a Bezel Set Stone:

CLICK HERE

As Always, Thanks again for stopping by. If you don’t want to miss out on any FREE CONTENT coming up, Make sure to SUBSCRIBE, like so many others have done, if you haven’t already.

Now, go make someone’s day brilliant!

Doug