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Bezel blocks


#1

I am no expert, but I think that what Rick is talking about is
what I call a collet block (sometimes called a setting block) and
set of punches. One first makes a thin tube (soldered, of
course) of height the same thickness as the block, and outside
diameter the same as the narrowest diameter of the tapered hole.
One inserts the tube into the appropriate hole and carefully
taps the correct punch into the tube so it fits the hole nicely.
And voila! One has a conical setting for round stones. One can
file away parts of the top of the cone leaving claws, if one
wishes. I have to admit that I couldn’t afford one of these
sets - they COST! so I made mine from a small piece of 3/8" flat
steel, and the punches of 1/4" round steel which I put in an
electric drill and ‘turned’ with a file and grades of abrasive
paper. For the holes I made a sort of drill something like a
conical countersink tapered to the proper angle from silver
steel. This when hardened and properly tempered sufficed to cut
the tapers in previously drilled holes. Remarkably enough, the
gadget reallyworks. (all one word “as seen on TV”!) I like making
tools. And a Happy New Year to all lour readers.

    /\
   / /    John Burgess,    J.O.A.T; M.O.N.
  / /
 / //\    johnb@ts.co.nz    (Jack-of-all-trades; master of none)
/ / \ \

/ (___)
(_________)


#2

Sounds like the commercial blocks- over the years I’ve collected
about ten of them, they are very useful for jewelry
modelmaking.They can speed up making bezels for emerald cut or
pear shapes quite a bit.The trillion block is a new addition to
my collection. I give myself a tool budget each year for new
items- I am investigating both a CNC milling (a Sherline based
mill) and a forming press. Any feedback and experiences you can
share would be appreciated. Most of my production pieces are
currently cast, though one of my studio mates and I recently
produced a group of etched pieces for a wholesale client using a
commercial etching company in Providence. She is an enamelist and
is designing some items to take advantage of this process (in
fine silver).

Rick Hamilton


#3

Sounds like the commercial blocks- over the years I’ve collected
about ten of them, they are very useful for jewelry
modelmaking.They can speed up making bezels for emerald cut or
pear shapes quite a bit.The trillion block is a new addition to
my collection

Hi Rick H.

Can you tell me which Frei & Borel stocks this item? The store
here in L.A. doesn’t always have the same items other F & B
branches do. Is it a catalog stock # to your knowledge?

While we’re on the subject of making special settings, J. & R.
Mfg. in Salt Lake City used to offer what they called the
"Crowning Glory": a soldering fixture and jig for fabricating 4
and 6-prong heads up to 16 mm. diameter for round, oval and – I
think – emerald cut faceted stones from 19-gauge wire. When I
saw the ad I didn’t need one; now that I need one I don’t see the
ad. Does anyone have a source for something similar? Or a set
of old J & R jigs for sale? Maybe John down in New Zealand can
bang a few out in his shop since he likes to make tools.

Regards and Happy New Year to all,

Rick Martin
MARTIN DESIGNS


#4

On 01-Jan-97, Richard O. Martin wrote aboutRe: Bezel blocks:

ROM> While we’re on the subject of making special settings, J. & R.
ROM> Mfg. in Salt Lake City used to offer what they called the
ROM> “Crowning Glory”: a soldering fixture and jig for fabricating 4
ROM> and 6-prong heads up to 16 mm. diameter for round, oval and – I
ROM> think – emerald cut faceted stones from 19-gauge wire. When I
ROM> saw the ad I didn’t need one; now that I need one I don’t see the
ROM> ad. Does anyone have a source for something similar? Or a set
ROM> of old J & R jigs for sale? Maybe John down in New Zealand can
ROM> bang a few out in his shop since he likes to make tools.

Sorry Rick, I’m not that good - I have never really mastered
the art of making really good wire/claw settings: when I have yet
another go at them I mostly make items for my sterling scrap box
before I get anything I can honestly use and be proud of. I still
have an awful lot to learn! And always will.

        /\
       / /    John Burgess, 
      / /
     / //\    johnb@ts.co.nz
    / / \ \
   / (___) \
  (_________)

#5

Can you tell me which Frei & Borel stocks this item? The store
here in L.A. doesn’t always have the same items other F & B
branches do. Is it a catalog stock # to your knowledge?

While we’re on the subject of making special settings, J. & R.
Mfg. in Salt Lake City used to offer what they called the
"Crowning Glory": a soldering fixture and jig for fabricating 4
and 6-prong heads up to 16 mm. diameter for round, oval and – I
think – emerald cut faceted stones from 19-gauge wire. When I
saw the ad I didn’t need one; now that I need one I don’t see the
ad. Does anyone have a source for something similar? Or a set
of old J & R jigs for sale? Maybe John down in New Zealand can
bang a few out in his shop since he likes to make tools.

Frei and Borel’s web site has quite a selection (more than I
have) of bezel blocks and you can reach them through
http://www.bonnydoonengineering.com links list.

I think I know the tool to are refering to- a carbon looking
stick with grooves- somewhere I have one- probably in the
basement of my studio in an unmarked box… I used it a few
times. I have the one for round settings, 19 g seems a little
flimsy for larger settings.


#6

(Snip) the

“Crowning Glory”: a soldering fixture and jig for fabricating 4
and 6-prong heads up to 16 mm. diameter for round, oval and – I
think – emerald cut faceted stones from 19-gauge wire.

I think I know the tool to are refering to- a carbon looking
stick with grooves- somewhere I have one- probably in the
basement of my studio in an unmarked box… I used it a few
times. I have the one for round settings, 19 g seems a little
flimsy for larger settings.

That may be it – I’ve only seen photos in their ad. It
appeared to have shaped jigs that fit on one end. I’m guessing
here, but it looked like the prong ends of the wire were fitted
between the jig and the body of the device after being bent to
shape on the jig, and then were tightened into soldering position
by closing a wingnut on the opposite end. I agree 19 ga. is
pretty wimpy for big heads but adequate for average requirements.

Thanks for the F & B address.

Rick Martin


#7

Sorry Rick, I’m not that good - I have never really mastered
the art of making really good wire/claw settings: when I have yet
another go at them I mostly make items for my sterling scrap box
before I get anything I can honestly use and be proud of. I still
have an awful lot to learn! And always will.

John:

I have the same problem – lots of wire blobs in the scrap, with
eventual successes (I’m very persistent!) Still, a jig for
those odd-sized stones would be ever so handy. As for the
learning part, it’s an endless but fascinating process. As they
say, the harder we work, the luckier we get!

Rick Martin


#8

That may be it – I’ve only seen photos in their ad. It
appeared to have shaped jigs that fit on one end. I’m guessing
here, but it looked like the prong ends of the wire were fitted
between the jig and the body of the device after being bent to
shape on the jig, and then were tightened into soldering position
by closing a wingnut on the opposite end. I agree 19 ga. is
pretty wimpy for big heads but adequate for average requirements.

Sounds similar, this one was (I think) made by a jeweler in Salt
Lake City about 16 years ago- Roy Goodell? So maybe not
identical- iron binding wire was part of the process and
soldering in the galleries afterwards- seemed like a lot of work
to go through to save a couple $ over the cast from metal mold
stuff from Stuller or Hoover $ Strong.

Bezel blocks are of course a different matter IMHO.


#9

Sorry Rick, I’m not that good - I have never really mastered
the art of making really good wire/claw settings: when I have yet
another go at them I mostly make items for my sterling scrap box
before I get anything I can honestly use and be proud of. I still
have an awful lot to learn! And always will.

I try to instill in my apprentices and occasional student to
look, look, look at what they are doing. I’ve met a couple of
truely great jewelers over the years- people who can do anything
(intaglio crests in platinum springs to mind) it is quite
humbling.

Keep working and extending your range- my protogee Ken
Pillsworth and I were looking at some of his early pieces (3-4
years ago) and what he is getting regognition for now, and his
work has grown alot. Even in the past few months. And I can tell
you getting him interested (he was doing finishing) was a tough
sell… Now I have someone to pay a share of the studio rent, but
will have to train a new worker :slight_smile: