I bought a Foredom hammer handpiece to supplement my jewelry tools. As ordered, the handpiece comes with one standard anvil point and I have read up on shaping anvil points for use. However, the youtube videos I have viewed on closing bezels with the handpiece ( the first use I’ll have for it ) all seem to recommend using a “bezel rocker” anvil attachment for closing bezels around fairly large stones. The standard anvil point seems to be used for tube setting stones of about 6mm and smaller. I guess that the rectangular point could be used for stones around 10x14 and the bezel rocker anvil for cabs larger than that. Before I plunked down the cash for the bezel rocker anvil, I wanted to get some wise council here. I thought about getting some 1/8-48 screws and tapping holes in some small pieces of steel to make custom anvil points, but when the real things are available for $!5 to $25, I’m not sure it would be worth my time when I could be spending it learning to channel set, etc. with the new toy. TIA, royjohn
I have a foredom hammer piece with the points that you describe and have used them to roll bezels. Maybe it’s me, but even with a lot of modification to the shape, they do more damage to the metal and sometimes the stone that I am setting than they are worth. Currently I secure the piece in thermo plastic holding it loosely in a small machine vise. Once the plastic is set, I tighten the vise. I then use brass rod pushers with the ends forged to a shape that fits the curve of the bezel and carefully push the bezel tapping the other end of the pusher with a light hammer. You can carefully work your way around rolling the bezel until the stone is set. There is still damage to be cleaned up with a small file, pumice or abrasive wheel or graver, but for me, a lot less than if I used the hammer piece. I usually do some of the cleanup just prior to the final round of pushing. My bezels are up to 1.5mm thick. I just use a hand burnisher for thin bezels. I do use the hammer tool and different points to add texture to my work and to move prongs. Good luck…Rob
Thanks, Rob…so do you actually use a bezel pusher that has a concave rather than convex shape to it, curved to fit the shape of the bezel? I wonder if such would work better in the hammer handpiece. I suspected what you said, that the typical small anvil point would produce something like the old Arts and Crafts silverware hammered finish. Anyone else have any advice? royjohn
It is concave. Brass is harder than silver, so you have to expect some damage. I need to try a copper pusher sometime, but it may get pushed rather than the silver depending on how hardened the copper is. This is an old discussion and you should be able to find a lot of other voices besides mine in the archives regarding this topic. Good luck…Rob
Actually, I looked in the archive and didn’t see an answer to my specific question. Lots on types of handpieces and even a little on shaping the points or making DIY ones, but I didn’t see anything on the actual shapes of pushers. Thanks for your help, Rob. Other than your thoughts, the silence is deafening…but I know lots of folks must be using hammer handpieces to close bezels…
I’ve written an essay on ‘metal-pushers’. Go to my blog from the link at the end of this email. Most of your enquires will be answered in this recent essay.
Please go to:
I’m Gerry, On my iPhone!
Go to my blog for “July 6 & 9th” and you will see two essays I’ve written just on ‘metal pushers’. Learn & have fun!
Please go to:
I’m Gerry, On my iPhone!
Search on “Bezel setting soft stones”. There is a lot of conversation about setting with pushers and how to clean up any damage done in bezel setting a stone, especially soft stones. I learned a lot from it…Rob
I found with the Foredom points that I need to be very careful to round off any hard edges and polish everything to a mirror finish or else I get a lot of denting from the point. Also, if you work the point too hard, you will remove the tempering and the point face deforms alot easier, requiring more clean up and polishing to your work and the point.
The other problem I have with the hammer handpiece is that you need to apply pressure to the tip to get the hammering action. So I am pushing down with the handpiece on the work, forcing the point into the metal to get it to start hammering.
Since I bought an airgraver from Steve Lindsay, I use that now to do my bezel hammering since I can control the oscillation with a foot pedal without pushing the tool against the work. Now I have an additional dimension of control when I require gentle versus heavy hammering.
Steve’s equipment is very nice. Do you use is to engrave as well or just hammer?
I also use the airgraver to bright cut and do some bead/pave work.
My engraving is still in the beginners stages and I have a way to go before I am comfortable to use it for a customer piece.