Hello J.S. Ellington, Re your question:
I would like to hear what some of you use as backing to put
behind cabochons to make them sit proud in the bezel.
Discussion in the past on Orchid has included all kinds of materials
from fine sawdust (called stone leveling dust) to a coil of wire.
I've repaired several pieces where the stone had loosened because
the sawdust had deteriorated, so I don't like that. My two
favorite methods aRe: For small cabs, I now save the silver
particles generated when sawing and pack that "silver dust" into the
bezel just as one would use the sawdust. It won't deteriorate. (I
have also used moistened asbestos, but now want to avoid that
unnecessary exposure.) For larger cabs, I use a loosely coiled wire
of the proper gauge to raise the stone. If it proves too high, I
flatten the coil a bit. The tension of the coil keeps it in the
base of the bezel and the stone rests on the coil. Hope this helps,
Judy in Kansas
Judy M. Willingham, R.S.
Biological and Agricultural Engineering
237 Seaton Hall
Kansas State University
Manhattan KS 66506