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Glueing cabs in bezel

I have checked the orchid files and could not find an answer to this
question. (My apologies if it has been asked before.) Occasionally, I
have a problem with my glass cabs rocking or clicking after I have
bezel set them. It drives me nuts and I’m sure my customers would not
be happy to have a piece like that so the pieces never leave my
studio. Those I have tried to rework, but every once in a while I am
not successful. I suspect part of my problem is that since I fuse all
of my cabs, the bottoms may not all be quite flat because of the
surface they are fused on (glass will find any tiny nook and cranny on
the kiln shelf). I also do not posses a grinder to remedy the
situation. I work with a high bezel and do back my stones - I do not
want to change the height of the bezel because it is integral to my
design. Would it be kosher to glue in these cabs to their setting or
is this an absolute no no? My one concern is that if the piece ever
had to be repaired, one would have a devil of a time getting it out!

Elle Waterlogged in Connecticut where the sun has shown for, at
most, 5 days this whole summer . :frowning:

Elle, if you glue a sheet of carborundum (wet & dry) paper to a piece
of float glass you’ll find that you can get a flat back to your glass
cab with very little effort. Just a drop of water and a few firm
strokes will level up the back. I suggest also that if your cabs are
rocking then you haven’t pushed the bezel firmly enough.

This is Barbara is hot hot San Antonio, I have been setting some
beautiful Diacroic glass cabs is sterling. I have found it necessary
to open the back, or cut out the back to keep the rocking down to a
minimum. Also, my bezel’s are thick and I use a wire ( or thinner
bezel wire) inside, this forms a step bezel.

You can fry eggs on concrete down here. No relief in site.

If your bezel is high, one thing that might work is take some 1/16"
rubber gasket material and put some heavy duty double sided carpet
tape on either side (it has peel off paper). Cut a piece out of the
gasket with an x-acto knife the same size as your stone and tape it to
the stone and the bezel, than set as usual. I took a lesson from
Navaho ( and other southwest jewelry) and back alot of my cabs with
ground corncob (which I also use as a drying agent in my tumbler. It
is absorbent and packs down nicely to fit a stone without a flat
bottom. Wendy Newman


Perhaps you could apply a very thin layer of epoxy to the underside
of the cabs that you suspect are slightly uneven. You could support
the cab in an upside down position, say by pushing it into some
plasticene clay (what kids use). Make a short collar to fit snugly
around the cab. Mix up some quick setting epoxy, and drip a drop or
two onto the uneven surface. If you do this while the epoxy is still
quite liquid, perhaps it will level itself out. If not, you can sand
it level with wet/dry sandpaper. And I bet you could do this with a
very thin layer of epoxy, perhaps thin enough so that the cab could
still fit inside one of your standard bezels.

Christine in Littleton

Would it be kosher to glue in these cabs to their setting or
is this an absolute no no? My one concern is that if the piece ever
had to be repaired, one would have a devil of a time getting it out!

Finely sifted sawdust works wonders as a filling/backing for cabs
with uneven backs. Put a little sawdust in which will cover the bottom
of the bezel evenly. Put in your cab. While holding the top of the cab
into the bezel, tap the bezel on the top of your bench while holding
the bezel upside down. The excess falls out.

For those who have concerns about the sawdust picking up other
(smelly) things or decomposing, I think any powdered inert material,
such as plastic or glass sandblast beads, will also work. It just
needs to be fine enough to fill in the voids. A word of caution on
glass sandblast beads–they make for one slippery floor if you spill any!

Dear Elle,

The simple answer to this question is any method that works for you
and makes your specific application and your life easier is perfectly
acceptable. If your bezels have closed backs, or enough of a rim or
ledge that the glue won’t be visible once the stone is set, you can
glue the stones and let it your adhesive set up completely, before
securing the bezels.

Some setters occasionally have to resort to this method in order to
secure a stone in the correct position during the setting process, and
then dissolve the glue after completion. But there is a disadvantage
in this instance of adding an additional step to the finishing
sequence and requiring a solvent to remove the adhesive.

Usually we try to use microcrystalline wax (also called setters wax
or sticky wax) for this purpose because it will be very easy to remove
during the final polishing or cleaning of the completed piece. There
should be a few threads on microcrystalline wax in the archives.

Michael David Sturlin,


Get some saw dust and put a little in the bezel cup before setting
with the bezel. This is how I and I think a lot of us keep the stone
from rocking back and forth in the cup. I have even used leather
shaving dust the same way. Good luck, I think this will work very
well Roxan

Consider that both wood and leather powder will eventually get wet
and rot under the stone and then the stone will be VERY loose. For
that reason I used to use cedar saw dust, it has a natural resistance
to rotting. Better than that, although it’s messy to work with,
charcoal dust is inert; it will accomplish the same thing as sawdust,
and won’t rot. A smashed barbicue brickette will supply enough powder
for many cab settings. - this is still a compromise for production

If it’s an important item, it’s still best to make a wire ledge
inside the bezel, that holds the rim of the stone and raises the
under-belly of the stone above the backing plate.

Alan Heugh