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Cutting down bezel wire

How to cut down a piece of bezel wire that is 5 mm to 4 mm in width and have it cut evenly.

Thanks,

Emily MacDonald

Welcome Emily!
I have to do this a lot. If your piece has a straight side, set your dividers to 4mm, using the straight side, scribe a line to the other side and file to line or saw outside of line and then file to line. If your piece doesn’t have a straight side, file one side to be straight and check for straightness by putting it against the safe edge (no teeth) of a file and examining for gaps.
If you have a straight end, you could use a square and scribe a line and file to this line, but this may be problematic with such a small piece.

Hopefully others have an easier method for doing this, I would love to know!

Depending on the application, it might be easier to first make the bezel and solder it on the back plate (if using one), then scribe a line to desired height and file to line.

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Thanks Dan. My problem is with getting it straight; if it is not straight, as you know, the gemstone won’t sit/fit properly. I tried using my mitre jig, but it was hard to set it straight in there as well so that I knew it was straight, if you know what I mean. Maybe there is no other way to do it except hope you file straight!

Emily

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I frequently have to shape the top edge of the bezel due to the stone’s irregulare top surface. I solder the bezel to the back plate, use a sharpie or a stylus to follow the stone, then grind and file as needed. It is time consuming so if there is an easier way I would love to know.

Noralie

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The suggestions that others have offered all work well. You might also consider making the bezel out of 5 mm wire, scribing a line at 4mm and then carefully filling, sanding or even grinding down to the 4 mm line. Regardless of how you get it to 4 mm, leave it a little fat because you will remove more material when you polish. I use old playing cards as shims to raise one side of a piece relative to another to get them even or to scribe an accurate line. If you need 4 mm because that is the correct height for the stone, consider adding a thin 1 mm shim under the stone made from the same metal as the rest of the piece. This will allow you to use the 5 mm wire. Good luck…Rob

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Many of my stones are irregular in shape and height, so I use a fine tip black permanent marker held at a slight angle on the stone edge on the inside of the finished bezel/base. I do use the sturdier sterling strip for the bezel, not fine silver.

Allowing 1mm above the stone, run the marker all the way around inside and trim with blue-handled shears. Filing takes care of the rest, and little to no distortion so far.

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Thank you for your suggestions. Much appreciated. I am not sure I could draw a line on the inside of the finished bezel as the stone fits snugly in there, if I am reading you right. I did find a way to shorten the width of the bezel wire by using my calipers to mark 1 mm along the long edge of the bezel wire and outlined it with a fine red sharpie. Then I put my mitre jig in my vise, set my bezel wire in the jig and filed it down to the one mm. It seems to have worked!

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Nice!! In the end, its just about getting it done :slight_smile:

I can think of two methods to do this…solder the bezel on the flat and then sand the bezel by using small circular motions on a piece of sandpaper flat on a piece of glass or other flat surface (anvil or stamping block). Or put the stone in the bezel and put a piece of cardboard over the stone (to prevent sanding the top of the stone) and then sand it on the sandpaper on flat as before. Just make a line on the bezel with a divider as described earlier and watch to make sure your pressure is even and you are sanding the whole bezel evenly. -royjohn

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Some good hints here. Thank you.

Emily

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Maybe make a tape bezel, mark and cut out. Use as outline to cut. Leave a margin of error if needed.

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I have found that this can be done by marking the material to remove then clamp it between the leaves of a brass or steel hinge. Clamp it so the “ cut line” is just showing between the leaves of the hinge then file or saw along the edge of the hinge.
Toy can clamp the hinge with a vise, ViceGrip pliers, C-clamp, or any other method you find confident.
You can often find single hinges at used furniture stores, flea markets, Habitat store etc.
Hope this helps

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Nice idea, I like!

Cool idea! Thanks…Rob

If it isn’t soldered down, I use scissors. The bezel wire is so soft and thin it cuts like butter. I use dividers to mark and follow the line. I use the factory edge to solder down as it is a little flatter.

Hi there,

I have a silver chain which was looking like it had a bit of copper shining through. I put it in my Tumbler but it didn’t make any difference. I tried putting it in pickle to no avail. Then I Googled it, and the suggestion was to add a bit of H2O2 so I did that it turned completely coppery! Any suggestions to return it to it’s former glory?

Emily MacDonald

Regarding the discolored chain, I had the same problem. Looked up sterling silver chains in the Rio catalog since that’s where I got my chains. There is a disclaimer on each page of sterling silver chains saying that they are plated, and if you lose the plating there is no way to fix the chain other than a new plating. Not sure where that leaves us.

Noralie