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Fusing bezels


#1

Greetings; After following all the info about fusing fine silver
wire for chain links, I’m puzzled as to why fine silver bezel
doesn’t fuse. I’ve soldered 100’s of bezels successfully w/hard
solder, and fused successfully a few 18k and 22k gold bezels-why
isn’t fine silver bezel more cooperative? Thanks for the
input-Orchid is an amazing source of info-& camaraderie! Daphne


#2

Don’t know why you are having problems with this. I used to
fuse fine silver bezels all the time. The finish isn’t quite as
nice (more clean up time involved) but it does work.


#3

Hi Daphne,

Basically the reason bezels are difficult to fuse is the
difference in size of the bezel compared to the material it’s
being attached to.

Fusing requires the parts to come to the fusing temperature at
the same time. It’s very difficult to get the larger portion of
the item to fusing temperature at the same time as the much
smaller bezel. The bezel reaches fusing temps much faster & ends
up as a puddle of molten metal. This is particularly true with
fine & sterling silver.

Dave


#4

You can fuse the bezel to close it, but it"ll have to be
soldered to its base .


#5

Are they talking about fusing the seam of the bezel before
putting it on the backplate, or fusing a closed bezel onto the
backplate? The first is easy, but the other sounds impossible
unless the backplate is small and thin. – ==Pisces
@mbm


#6

Actually, you can fuse fine silver bezels to a fine silver
backing, and 22k gold bezels to a 22k gold backing. It helps to
put the piece on a beehive kiln (when using fine silver, coat the
back of piece with ochre; this is not necessary for the gold).

N. Morvillo


#7

It is possible to fuse a fine silver bezel to a fine silver
base, and the same goes for high carat gold. In fact, if you are
going to do any granulation on the piece, and want to have a
stone on it, the bezel has to be fused. The backsheet should be
fairly thin, about 26 gauge, and can later be sweat soldered on
to another backing if necessary. The smaller the bezel the
easier it is to fuse it to the backsheet. You need a lot of
patience, and a large, soft flame. Place the bezel exactly where
you want it to be, and heat the piece very slowly with the tip of
the flame only, making circles around the whole piece to bring
the temperature up. Once it is hot, then begin to gently train
the flame all around the bezel where it comes in contact with
the backsheet, inside and out, without holding it in one place
too long. When the silver begins to get shiny, focus more on
where the bezel comes in contact with the backsheet, continuing
to move the flame all around it. When using Fine Silver, don’t
forget to ochre the bottom of the backsheet, and the very top rim
of the bezel, to prevent it from becoming deformed from the
heat. Always cut the bezel a little higher than you would like,
so there is room to file it down if the flame does damage the
edge.

Hope this is clear! Sandra


#8

Sandra,

First of all, thanks for the execellent description of bezel
fusing. It’s one I’ll keep in my archives as a quick reference!

I had one question. I waas a little surprised by your comment:

   In fact, if you are going to do any granulation on the
piece, and want to have a stone on it, the bezel has to be
fused.  

I know it’s not quite in the spirit of authenticity to solder
the bezel in place when doing granulation, but one way to do it,
since the granulation process has been known to melt down a
bezel or two at the least convenient time, is to fuse a thin
ring - just big enough to fit OUSIDE of the bezel - down to the
backsheet. Then, you do all of your granulation. Finally, you
fit the bezel inside the ring, and solder it in place. Getting
the ring to fit exactly around the outside of the bezel can be
frustrating, but I’ve found it less frustrating than starting
the piece over again when the bezel collapses during
granulation. … not that that’s ever happened to ME, of course
:).

-Alan

Alan Derr
Westford, MA USA
@Alan_Derr


#9

if you’re using fine silver or 22k or certain alloys of 18k you
can fuse a bezel to a base.


#10

Could someone give one of those comprehensive replies about the
technique to fuse bezels.

I had a discussion about fusing or soldering the bezel (just the
ring) with my jewelry instructor today. He taught the class to
solder the fine silver bezel. I asked him about fusing it. He
said that he didn’t like the look of fusing because it was too
drippy looking. He invited me to keep working.

I successfully completed one setting using my fused bezel. I
did have to clean up a little. This I believe will be remedied
in the future with practice…practice…practice.

This past summer, I did watch very closely someone in a FSG
workshop fuse effortlessly or I should say expertly, bezels with
no clean up. So, I know it is done regularly.

One question I have on the close fit for the bezel ring, should
it be a simple butt joint or a bevel?

Nancy

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#11

Alan–You could do it the way you suggest. Usually I fuse the
bezel, then the outside ring etc etc. If you ochre the top rim of
the bezel, it will help keep it from melting down. Also, I make
the bezel a little higher than I will need, so I can even it out
later in the event it does get out of shape. Sandra