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Annealing bezel just before setting

I have seen many posts about annealing bezel wire, but still
wondering about annealing after the bezel is soldered in place, i.e.
just before setting. I am using 18K gold bezel on SS backing. I,
like some others, tend to find even 18K gold a bit springy even after
annealing. In this case the stone is a smallish, thinish opal, I
want to make sure the bezel is fullyannealed right before setting the
stone. I’m just worried about heating toannealing temp. Do I risk
degrading the bezel soldering in this process?. Should I use 18K
hard solder for the bezel?

Todd Welti

yes i think you stand the chance of degrading the 18k gold bezel, a
chance i don’t like to take, but i think you have to do what you
know you are comfortable with, aloha, angi in hana

Todd- Solder the 18 kt bezel closed with 18 kt hard solder. Then
duck down to 18 easy to solder it to the silver. Once the bezel is
soldered is should be fully annealed from the soldering heat. On a
small thin opal I’d used 20kt myself.

Have fun and make lots of jewelry.

Jo Haemer

Hello Todd,

The act of soldering also anneals the metal. Since you are soldering
the bezel into place, unless you do something afterward to work
harden the bezel, there is no need to re-heat for annealing.

Since you are setting a thinnish opal, I see nothing wrong with
using some sort of cushion under the opal. If the opal is not opaque,
I usually cut out a bit of stiff black plastic to fit under the
stone. Black also enhances the fire. of course in time, the silver
would patina - creating a blackish background behind the opal.

Judy in Kansas, who just saw a hawk with feathers in mixed colors.
Maybe a juvenile?

Todd; Once the bezel is annealed you don’t need to do it a second
time if all you have done is solder it in place on the sheet.
Definately use the 18k hard to solder your bezel together. I have
found that using silver works just fine to solder gold bezel to
silver backing is cheaper and looks as good as gold solder if your
careful with your solding. another option is to use 22k bezel. It’s
a bit more. I think I checked the other day and it was 22.00 an inch
for 1/8th 30 gauge. However once annealed it is like butter to work
with it might be a little more per bezel but for small, thin stones
the increase in cost is minimal. Dave Owen

Todd; if you’re making the bezel from a manufacturer’s extruded
bezel wire, it will definately be more “springy” like you say. Not
to pick on any manufacturers, but Hoover & Strong milled yellow gold
products usually come out a bit pinkish in color, meaning a copper
alloy tilt, and also meaning a more stiff product out of the chute
because ot it. You can make your own higher karat bezel, 20k or 22k,
mixing 24kt and pure silver to reduce karat, and after annealing
your rolled out product, it would be far more malleable to set
safely with. Furthermore, beware of some 18ktYH solders from some
manufacturers. Hoover & Strong’s 18ktYH is dang near welding level
for melting point, and with a thin lightweight bezel end, one might
prematurely melt the thinnest spots which heat fastest. Just saying
be careful, since much depends on your soldering skills and
attention to details in action.

Plumb solders are harder to flow, and some 18YE solders might be too
close a temperature range to whatever you use to solder the bezel
closed with, when it comes time to sweat the bezel to the silver
floor. THe bigger the flow point differences there are between the
solder you use on the bezel itself is, the the easier flow solder
you use to solder the diverse metals together, the larger the safety
zone you will have to successfully complete your task without the
solder on the bezel receeding away in the end. Silver solders were
mentioned and that is fine if the look doesn’t bother you. If you
prefer to see a yellow color there, there are some Extra
Easy(18KTXE) solder blends, more like what some folks might call
call, “repair solder”(not plumb). Check with your solder sources as
to choices.

Silver is the best conductor of heat of all the metals, meaning your
base will heat up in a larger area much faster with a potential to
flood in spots you don’t want, so maybe masking off those areas for
increased odds of success, is something to consider as well before
the event.

It has been said that, “the devil is in the details”, and I hope you
achieve success. Mark LaJoie