# Creating a cone

hello, i’m looking for guidance on creating a cone that i can solder
to a ring and set a stone in. what is the easiest and most effective
method?

Isn’t sitting down and figuring out the answer to conundrums like
this part of the magic and wonder of being a jeweler? Do you really
want someone else’s way of doing it? Wouldn’t it be better to have

If I was faced with this thought, I would draw it out first in my
sketchbook, then figure out how big I wanted it to be and then make
a model out of paper. Play around with it for a while, then go from
it was my first reaction when I read your post. This is also how my
mentor taught me to figure out the answers to my jewelry problems,
and it always lead to some wonderful new discoveries.

Good luck…
Jessi Frenkel

Can you be more specific about cone size ?

Leonid Surpin.

I seem to remember Tim McCreight’s book, The Complete Metalsmith, has
formulas for various things in the back of the book, including how to
make a cone. Maybe someone can confirm.

1 Like

I’m going to have to disagree with Jessi. I was hoping someone would
offer some helpful insights on this.

I have tried many times to make a cone. There is some geometry in
the lay-out. I now have patterns that yield the correct size and
proportion between my narrow and wide part. But it took some
figuring and help getting patterns in a workshop.

I have struggled with joining the sides for soldering. I have sorta
figured that out. But its not easy. Even after reading several how
to do instructions.

My problem is getting the cone all straightened out and smooth
looking after it is soldered. I have even had custom pointed
mandrels made to help in this process. But my cones are still a bit
lumpy.

My experience and experimentation has shown me cones are tricky
little devils to make. All hints, ideas, thoughts gladly accepted,
so I can experiment some more and figure it all out.

Carla

Please see following on how to make a specific sized cone. I use it
in my classes.

To make a cone, you can also scribe an arc on a sheet of metal, cut
it out and bend it into a cone. After making the cone, saw or file
away four or six 'V’s in the top to and bottom and prepare as above
when using a tube. You can also solder prongs or other embellishments
onto this very easy to make and versatile setting.

Cheers, Don.

Cones, like rectangles, triangles, etc., are geometric shapes and
have simple mathematical solutions. There is no reason to suffer
through experimentation on something like this! One of my favorite
books on jewelry making is called Contemporary Jewelry, by Philip
Morton. I got the 1976 edition a few years ago at a library sale for
\$1.

He outlines an excellent and very practical way to make cones in the
appendix of the book. I paraphrase him heRe:

Draw a life size profile elevation of the cone (ie. if the cone is
closed at the small end this “profile elevation” will look like a
triangle). Get out your dividers and set one point in the top of the
triangle (the closed end). Open the dividers until they meet the
bottom edge of the triangle. Start to scribe an arc about four times
longer than the base of the triangle (or the diameter of the opening
of the cone). Take the diameter of the cone and multiply it by 3.14.
This will give you the exact circumference of the opening of the
cone, and it is how long the arc needs to be. Step off the distance
by setting the dividers at a small dimension like 2mm along the arc.
When you get to the correct circumference, use a straight edge to
connect that point to the original point of the cone. Cut this shape
out, excluding the original profile elevation, and roll it up to get

Obviously, you have to take into account the gauge of your metal and
all of that. It’s a little different if you want a truncated cone
(like for a crown setting). You start out with a drawing of the
truncated cone, but use a straight edge to follow the walls up to
where the lines would meet. That is the point at which you set the
dividers to draw your arcs. Apart from that, the process is the
same.

Hope this makes sense! If you need drawings let me know and I’ll put
them in my blog.

Lena Marie Echelle

``````Isn't sitting down and figuring out the answer to conundrums like
this part of the magic and wonder of being a jeweler?
``````

I had a nifty little DOS program that let you plug in height and base
width and it would print out a template for you. It was stored on the
drive of the computer that just died on me last week. I may be able
to dig it out of a backup disk I have, but the computer was writing
erroneous disks and making me believe everything was hunky-dory, so
it may be unreadable. If I can resurect it, I’ll post in on
Ganoksin’s FTP site, but check, it may be there already. It was
called, naturally, “Cone”

David L. Huffman (cursing Mr. Gates on a daily basis these days)

``````I seem to remember Tim McCreight's book, The Complete Metalsmith,
has Formulas for various things in the back of the book, including
how to Make a cone. Maybe someone can confirm.
``````

Yes, it does.It’s toward the back of the book in the “Reference”
chapter under “Circle Divider”

Bobbie Horn

1 Like

Here is how you layout a compete pointed cone and a truncated cone:

http://www.anvilfire.com/21centbs/math/cones1.htm

it can be a little more roughly done without any math:

Strike a circle with the side as a radius. Roll a circle with the
diameter of the base along this semi circumference. Strike a line to
the point from the end of the marked circumference… This the way I
usually do it! To close small ones see “Form Emphasis for
Metalsmiths” by Heikki Seppa pages 39-40 and 95-96 Hekki suggest a
way
to close larger ones too You need this book anyhow!

http://www.ganoksin.com/jewelry-books/us/product/0873382129.htm

jesse

Carla

``````I have struggled with joining the sides for soldering
``````

You might try using something to hold the cone in place with a
pocket in it. Say a hole drilled in a charcoal block,etc or something
of the like. Cut a small slit where the seem is to solder it
together. The hole must be tight enough to keep the piece flush
together

``````My problem is getting the cone all straightened out and smooth
looking after it is soldered. I have even had custom pointed
mandrels made to help in this process. But my cones are still a
bit lumpy
``````

Sounds like you are going down the right path with the mandrels. You
might try burnishing the cones after you have soldered.

It also sounds like you may be putting too much heat or too much
time at higher temps causing the metal to deform. It might serve you
better to use a lower temp solder like medium or easy.

Put two or three pieces of solder on the seam in the inside and make
sure the seam points down.

Heat and pull the solder thru the seam of the cone. Good luck and
have fun!

Daniel

Sorry all…tried to include a cone layout pic but is didn’t make
it. You can find the same layout at the lower right on page 286 of
"Complete Metalsmith" by Tim McCreight.

Creating a cone is easy, as many people have offered up formulas and
I won’t bother to repeat what I do as it is similar, depending on
how exact you want the cone to turn out.

The problem I have always had is how to join the sides neatly for
soldering, especially at the point, and then once it is soldered how
to beautifully and neatly get it back into shape. I’ve tried
different mandrels, cone shaped tools I’ve come across in hardware
stores, etc, and nothing really does a good job. I have seen many
examples of industrial looking metalwork with perfectly formed cones
and I have always wondered how they did it. If any of those artists
are lurking here, would they mind sharing their secrets?

Thanks,
Grace

Hi All;

I couldn’t resurect that file from my trashed drive but I did find
it out on the web. What’s more, it’s keeping company with a lot of
other interesting programs. If you want the cone program, it’s down
the list a bit called, naturally, “CONE.ZIP”. Here’s the web site

http://www.myvirtualnetwork.com/mklotz

Enjoy,
David L. Huffman

``````I've tried different mandrels, cone shaped tools I've come across
in hardware stores, etc, and nothing really does a good job.
``````

With some hesitation, since I do not know the size of the cone
required and technique would be different, I offer my 2 cents.

I will assume that metal is no thicker than 0.5 mm ( 24 gage ).

First let’s understand the problem. When rough cone is formed it is
very difficult to get it into correct shape because every time you
hit the metal it gets thiner and displaced metal has to go somewhere,
and that causes the form to get even more distorted. Starting with
mathematically precise shape and hoping to cajole it into the cone is
not going to work the exactly the same reason. The exact shape has
exact surface area needed to form the cone. But when we manipulate
the
metal, no matter how careful we are, the surface area gets larger,
due to stretching, and the resulting cone is misshaped. The solution
is use a work flow that would result in the required surface area of
the cone as the final outcome.

the side of the cone ( not the cone height ). Saw the disk from the
outside to the center. You must stop exactly at the center. Using
fingers start pushing sides of the cut towards each other and past
each other until the required cone with form. Anneal as many times as
required. Do not use excessive force. It is not much different than
shaping cone out of paper. It actually a good idea to practice on
paper before attempting in metal. Once you have the approximate
shape, you can start using wood or horn mallet to refine shape on a
stake. At this stage any distortion introduced by hammering will be
absorbed by the overlapping sides. When you happy with the shape,
saw through the overlap to the tip of the cone and you should have a
perfectly matched 2 sides which should give you no trouble soldering
it. After joint is soldered, the cone can be trimmed to the required
hight.

The key to the technique is to complete all the shape adjustments
before sawing through the overlap and using the thinnest blade
possible.

Leonid Surpin.

1 Like

Hi Leonid;

``````Start with the disc of the radius slightly larger to the length of
the side of the cone ( not the cone height ). Saw the disk from
the outside to the center. You must stop exactly at the center.
Using fingers start pushing sides of the cut towards each other and
past each other until the required cone with form.
``````

the best way to do it.

David L. Huffman

``````Start with the disc of the radius slightly larger to the length of
the side of the cone ( not the cone height)
``````

Could you explain this further for me. Seems to me that the length of
the cone is the same as the height. I’m mathematically challenged
:-).

Thank you!
Debbie Parent
Apparently Art

the side of the cone ( not the cone height)

``````Could you explain this further for me. Seems to me that the length
of the cone is the same as the height. I'm mathematically
challenged :-).
``````

Imagine that we cut a cone in two equal parts starting at cone vertex
and down through the base. Looking straight at that plane (
cross-section ) we would see a shape which is a triangle, where the
base of such triangle would equal to the diameter of the base of the
cone.

If we drop a normal ( perpendicular line ) from the vertex to the
base, now we created 2 right ( triangle where one corner is 90
degrees ) triangles.

The length of the side of the cone is the hypotenuse of the above
described triangle, while the height of the cone is the normal from
the vertex to the base of the cone. The length of the cone can be
calculated using Pythagorus theorem which states that C^2 = A^2 +
B^2. C is a hypotenuse of a right triangle, while A and B are sides.
Applied to the cone:

The length of the cone = Square root of [ (height of the cone
multiplied by itself ) + ( diameter of the base of the cone divided
by 2 and the result multiplied by itself ) ]

Leonid Surpin.

Debbie,

Remember Pythagorus and his theory to do with right angled
triangles? The square of the hypotenuse is the same as the sum of the
squares of the other two sides. Well Pythagorus or no Pythagorus, the
hypotenuse is always the longest side of a right angled triangle. The
length of the side of the cone is essentially the hypotenuse and the
height of the cone at right angles to the cone’s base will always be
shorter than the length of its side.

Sorry, I hope this helps.

Helen
UK

``````Could you explain this further for me. Seems to me that the length
of the cone is the same as the height. I'm mathematically
challenged
``````

Don’t know if this will clear it up - but envision the cone split up
one side and flattened out. Now you have a cone with NO Height! But,
from the center to the outer edge is the length of the “side” of the
cone. And that becomes the radius of the disc. Hopefully this will
clear up the difference between the height and the side of the cone.

K
Thank you!
Debbie Parent
Apparently Art