Day 19 Setting a Bezel Stone

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.

Just as I have used before, 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. After the pendant is settled in the wax, I press or mold the inside of the wax 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, 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.

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. 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. 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.

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

Doug

Day 18 Pendant Clean up (Metal Prep)

Pendant 15

Hi again, for those of you who are new, Welcome to the JewelryMonk site. This is a new site and my goal is to kick it off with 90 days in a row of tips and tricks. So far, this is day 18. ( I will quit counting down when I reach that goal. So let’s get after it!

Part 2 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 yesterday 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.

Pendant 15

Now go make something wonderful!

Doug

Day 17 V-Bezel Pendant

Bezel Header

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

Over the next 2-3 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.

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Once I have the base cut out, I scribe a line inside approx 1.5 mm thick, 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.

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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 Day 9’s 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 Blog Post Day 5)

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Next, I take the V-Bezel that I made in Day 16’s Blog entry 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.

Now go make Something Beautiful!

Doug

Day 16 V-Bezel Making

Bezel5 Ad

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, see Day 9 of this blog.

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.

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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

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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

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Now trim off the amount you want and solder to your stone seat or pad. Set stones and enjoy!
Have a wonderful day!
Doug

Day 15 Silver Tarnish Remover

Silver Tarnish Remover

 Rings 01

Happy Father’s Day!!

Today being Father’s Day and me being a father, I am going to not spend so much time in front of my computer or my bench today, So allow me to give a quick tip, to “Phone one in” so to say.

If you work in Sterling Silver, and have any pieces around that have been sitting for a while, you probably notice they get tarnished and dark, well here is a way to remove the tarnish without taking a polishing wheel or polishing cloth to them.

Take an Aluminum pie pan, add hot water, approximately 2 cups hot water or enough to fill pie the pan. Add 1 tablespoon salt and 1 tablespoon Water Softener Powder, You can use Baking Soda as well. (to use a larger aluminum pan, increase the salt, water softener/baking soda, and hot water accordingly) Place pieces (touching) in the water and watch the magic happen.
Be careful with antiqued pieces and pieces with stones! This should only be used with just metal pieces.
Dry off and enjoy!

Thanks again for following along on this journey of mine, I hope you are having as much fun as I

Doug