Is anyone willing to give up their secret for filing perfect edges
for joining the ends of the bezel (and other flat stock)?
When I first attended Bowman’s Trade School for jewelry repairs, we
spent the first few weeks learning to file straight. We used flat
and round brass stock, cut into 6 pieces, and then had to file both
ends of each piece so it was straight and square. Our instructor
would lay our finished pieces end to end, and push the outside ends
towards each other. If any piece buckled up or out of line, we would
go back to the bench and work on it some more. One of the tips that
worked was to file a groove into your bench pin, in such a way that
you can brace the piece you are filing against the groove, and then
file the end square. I use a small machinist’s square & scribe my
lines clearly before I cut, so I can see where I am filing to. The
last thing to watch is that you keep the file moving in a straight
line, & at the same angle to the metal, so that you keep the edge
straight, (not rounded!) My file has worn a groove perpendicular to
the groove where I lay my metal, so I have a “track” worn in the
bench pin where I file.
As for soldering tips, my favorite (new) tip is to use a small drop
of Krazy Glue to keep the bezel in place while I solder. The glue
burns off, with no ill effects, and everything stays in place! Of
course, the fit will have to be good, or your solder won’t flow
completely, and be sure to use good ventilation!
Melissa Veres, engraver & goldsmith