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Holding complex piece for setting


#1

I have this necklace I’m making as a special order. Its
configuration is nine vertical drops with from 2 to 5 hinged segments
each to have a diamond and a colored stone, in prongs. They all get
attached to a neckwire of sorts. Hinge is a tube that I will slice
open and tighten around the base of the prong of the above setting,
so hinges are basically soldered closed in place, no rivets.

My concern is how to hold this unwieldy assembly for setting, 43
stones total. I could solder everything and then set. Or I could set
stones in each drop and then solder each vertical subassembly to the
neckwire, setting the final stones in the neckwire at the top of each
vertical run.

Thoughts? Suggestions? Thanks.


#2
My concern is how to hold this unwieldy assembly for setting 

Neil, I can’t say I have a clear sense of the issue, but Jett Sett
or other thermoplastic is great for supporting irregular or unwieldy
things during setting.

Noel


#3

my recommendation would be set the stone in prong segments first-
use a protectant around the stones (like vigor’s heat shield paste)
then use whatever heat is necessary to make your assemblies. it
sounds like your hined segments are reasonably far from the joins or
you have some flexibility with spacing…, further, protect your time
and material investment by insuring the stones are not ultra-heat
sensitive…like pearls, or emeralds, or any stone that has lots of
inclusions, or internal fractures…even then you may use anything
from wadded wet newspaper, to kool jewel compound to insulate the
stones…if you were using platinum or another metal or alloy that
requires high heat, i’d have a different recommendation…If you use
tabs whenever possible to make the segments connect they are more
easily aligned within your own constraints, and allow for natural
movement on the ‘neckwire’ ( i read that you want to slice a tube then
resolder it around the neckwire) it seems to me tabs might as easily
attach the base of each prongged segment to the other pieces in each
drop…that is if my conceptualization of your piece is correct…

good luck


#4

I would solder everything, then use Jett Sett compound to hold the
assembly for stone setting.

Hope this helps.
Lyn Punkari
http://www.darkridgejewels.com


#5
I can't say I have a clear sense of the issue, but Jett Sett or
other thermoplastic is great 

Noel, The issue in my mind is…I have better pressure control with
setting pliers than a pusher so access behind the setting is a
consideration. If the 9 x 5" necklace (you might think of it as 9
dangling fingers) is secured on a flat surface I’d need a pusher,
wouldn’t I? The stones are both heat sensitive and brittle. So I have
to pick my poison so to speak.

Does Jett Sett adhere to the piece or just form around it? How do
you remove it?

Thanks for the input.

Neil


#6

Noel,

I can't say I have a clear sense of the issue, but Jett Sett or
other thermoplastic is great 

The issue in my mind is…I have better pressure control with setting
pliers than a pusher so access behind the setting is a consideration.
If the 9 x 5" necklace (you might think of it as 9 dangling fingers)
is secured on a flat surface I’d need a pusher, wouldn’t I? The
stones are both heat sensitive and brittle. So I have to pick my
poison so to speak.

Does Jett Sett adhere to the piece or just form around it? How do
you remove it?

Thanks for the input.
Neil


#7

R.E., I’m using tubes so that each knife edged flat wire link joins
to the setting above it as closely as possible. Trying to achieve a
’non-mechanical’ look, the stones will hide the hinge, since it is
mostly contained inside the setting. I’ve assembled the drops and the
idea works so far. There are settings bisected by the neckwire
mimicking the look of the drops. There’s a nice visual flow with
minimal disruption from hardware.

I’m leaning towards, as you say, setting each drop first. Oh, and the
piece has to be rhodiumed and I only have a pint. I hope I can set
and rhodium each section, then touch up rhodium after final
soldering. I’ll lose a lot of money if I screw it up so everyone’s
input is greatly appreciated.

Thanks,
Neil


#8
My concern is how to hold this unwieldy assembly for setting, 43
stones total. I could solder everything and then set. Or I could
set 

We routinely preset all sorts of things with diamonds, and solder
later. Even solder a bezel on a piece of stock, set it, unsolder it,
and solder in it’s final spot. Only you can decide if it’s right for
your application. I’m making a platinum bracelet right now with 280
stones, all to be preset, and then assembled after. You say “colored
stones”, but not what colored stones. However, you can preset
everything you can, and fiddle with the ones you can’t after. A note

  • if you use shellac or anything like shellac, you MUST MUST MUST
    remove every trace of it before soldering. If you smell the smallest
    whiff of smoke, stop immediately and clean again.

http://www.donivanandmaggiora.com


#9

Don’t rhodium if you’re going to solder on it after, it’s just a
waste of (expensive!!!) rhodium. Just do the whole piece after - do
it in sections if you need to.

http://www.donivanandmaggiora.com


#10
I have better pressure control with setting pliers than a pusher so
access behind the setting is a consideration. [snip]Does Jett Sett
adhere to the piece or just form around it? How do you remove it? 

I’d have thought if you could get at the settings in a way that
allows you to use setting pliers, you wouldn’t need to secure it…
Yes, I guess if you put it in Jett Sett, you would use a pusher.

The Jett Sett does not adhere, it just conforms and hardens. You
remove it by re-warming, to a bit less than boiling. If, however,
you set the piece into the Jett Sett so all is supported, but the
Jett Sett is not wrapped around the piece, you could just lift it
out without re-heating. The Jett Sett doesn’t need to be attached to
the piece. It’s chief charm is that it will conform so that when
hard it will give even support, preventing distortion or bending
when force is applied to set the stones.

Noel


#11

There are dozens of thermoplastics suitable for holding objects out
there. Most items sold specifically for “jewelers” are usually 4
times the price of the same product sold to other industries. Some of
the higher priced ones include Jett Set and ThermoLoc.

Quite a few of the plastics manufacturing companies will sell small
quantities or “sampler” packages including grain, sheet, and rod or
bar stock.

I still use quite a bit of shellac, dopping wax, stone setters
cement, hot glue, and even pitch when it looks like the job could be
done using the characteristics of “old fashioned” materials… don’t
totally ignore them just because of the marketing done on new fangled
materials. Some of these are stickier which can be a good thing, and
some do leave residue - but knowing how, you can remove the residue
very simply.

One piece of advice - NEVER use open flames (torches) to soften any
of them. Always use a heat gun or heat lamp - or in some cases hot
water. The GRS product can be warmed in a microwave…

Brian P. Marshall
Stockton Jewelry Arts School
Stockton, CA USA
209-477-0550
www.jewelryartschool.com


#12
Don't rhodium if you're going to solder on it after, it's just a
waste of (expensive!!!) rhodium. Just do the whole piece after - do
it in sections if you need to. 

That’s what I had in mind, sections. I’ll set each vertical finger
(which are up to 3 1/2" in length) and rhodium then solder to
neckwire and touch up. The piece is pretty big and with just a pint
of rhodium I’d be concerned about uniform coverage and deep throw,
assuming I could even immerse the entire piece at once. I’ve learned
that shallow wide vessels are not the best for plating. Even though
theoretically the current should reach everywhere, it just doesn’t.

But yes, generally I would plate last.


#13

Orchidians,

Jett Sett can be removed very quickly by doing the following:

  1. Using a small pyrex bowl, and acetone, fill the bottom 1/4 of the
    bowl with the acetone.

  2. drop in your piece.

  3. “Float” the bowl in your ultasonic & turn it on. The Jett Sett
    just explodes out of your piece. If you have a large piece you may
    need to pour out the acetone when you can’t see through it & repeat
    the process. Even on really messy pieces it only takes just a few
    minutes to completely clear the material out of your work.

Walt Teats
American Goldworks


#14

No need to put Jet Set in acetone to disove it. Just drop it in hot
water!


#15

Walt,

I once explored using acetone and ultrasonics for cleaning pitch and
polishing compound, and I learned a few things. Apparently using any
solvent in an ultrasonic either as a complete fill or in a bowl can
result in a explosion. I don’t know how likely this is, just that
for instance, in the aerospace industry they have special ultrasonic
only used for solvent and OSHA approved policies that prevent
solvents being used in a standard ultrasonic. There is also the
consideration that the ultrasonic action will accelerate the
vaporization of the solvent releasing gas into the atmosphere.
Solvent specific ultrasonics can be purchased with vapor recover
systems installed. I, for one, would be very interested if any one
else has used a solvent specific system or is considering purchasing
one. If I could do it properly and affordably I would jump on a
solvent cleaner.

Daniel Culver


#16

Hello David,

I had a pretty experimental stage with my ultrasonic cleaner. I tried
the lot. My ultrasonic is too big for rings and I use plastic
containers in a smaller bowel. I have used: sulfiric acid (even
straight), acetone, metholated spirits, amonia and others.

I would not recommend using sulfuric acid at all. It works the best
but is very harmfull. Acetone is never needed, other solvents do well
enough. Metho’ is great, but amonia is better. I used to remove
setting wax by pouring some metho into a clip lock plastic bag and
leave it floating.

I would not recommend using a whole tank of anything but water and
solvent.

Phillip


#17

Safety regulations do not allow open containers of solvent to just
be sitting out much less placed in an ultrasonic cleaner. There are a
large number of fires that are attributable to open or unsafe
containers of solvent. The ultrasonic vaporizes the solvents faster
than just having an open tank of solvent. The heat from the
transducer and ultrasonic energy are the main contributors to this.
When you combine that with the non explosion proof, not
intrinsically safe electrical circuits in the standard ultrasonic you
have all the elements for a fire or explosion. This is not to say
that it will happen every time but it has in the past and is a likely
scenario. In some industries (semiconductor mfg.) it really is
imperative to get the cleaning that a solvent filled ultrasonic
provides so they are willing to pay for a vapor condenser and
explosion proof electronics but as you have found it is very
expensive. I would suggest that if you really feel that solvents are
the answer to your cleaning problems that you just soak the items in
a solvent for a period of time in a safety tank followed by an
immersion in an aqueous degreasing cleaner in the ultrasonic. This
will generally remove even stubborn things like pitch in a much less
dangerous fashion and at a much more affordable price. Also look into
the safety solvents used for industrial parts cleaning they are much
less likely to cause a fire than acetone, alcohols or mineral
spirits.

James Binnion
@James_Binnion
James Binnion Metal Arts


360-756-6550


#18

Neil,

This may be a little tardy…been working, not reading lately.

Jett Sett adheres to the metal when warm and soft. Magically, it
continues to adhere and give great support when cool with the piece
in place. It is easily removed when softened w/ the warm water and
subsequent cooling. Work quickly and carefully. The small amount that
may adhere to the metal when the piece is removed from the clump of
Jett Sett while soft is easily peeled off with finger nail, bamboo
chop stick, or smooth plastic/silicon scraper.

You won’t believe how much easier life is with Jett Sett. And I
haven’t really tried experimenting with it for other purposes yet.
Kathy Palochak talks about using it to make dies for the hydraulic
press! It’s TOUGH! I think it can be impressed (but not while too
soft, because the stuff moves while setting slightly) carved,
drilled, burred, sanded. It would take experimentation to get it
workable.

Back to work,
Kay Taylor


#19

Brian,

Which thermoplastics have you used, and where did you get them? The
project my group is working on is a rapid prototyper that will build
up objects out of thermoplastic. It’s basically a three-axis
positioner with a glue gun, and most of it will be made of
thermoplastic. (Not the stepper motors, not the glue gun tip, but
most everything else.) We’re going to be putting down a 0.5 mm
filament, so it won’t immediately be applicable to jewelry until we
figure out how to make a smaller nozzle tip.

Right now we’re using CAPA 6800 polycaprolactone, which we’re
getting from http://www.solvaycaprolactones.com/ (USD$4.05/lb for a
20kg bag of pellets and they don’t do small orders. They do mail out
samples but I’d rather listmembers not abuse that.) polycaprolactone
is great stuff, ‘tough as old boots’ as my project lead put it. So
far I’ve been melting it in a double boiler or by pouring boiling
water over a small lump of the stuff. polycaprolactone is used quite
a bit for arm braces by physical therapists and seems to be used for
more exotic stuff like microcapsules for drug delivery in the body;
it’s fairly benign, aside from its ferocious tendency to stick to
wooden spoons and the insides of pots.
http://reprapdoc.voodoo.co.nz/bin/view/Main/Polymorph

We’re also looking at using Polylactic acid (PLA) which is harder
but melts around 170C, and so is more difficult to work with.
http://reprapdoc.voodoo.co.nz/bin/view/Main/ThermoPlastic

I’d greatly appreciate any leads you might have to other
thermoplastics and to other suppliers.

Finally, a discreet self-plug:
http://reprapdoc.voodoo.co.nz/bin/view/Main/WebHome
http://reprap.blogspot.com/
http://reprappers.blogspot.com/
http://reprap.org/

Regards,
Sebastien Bailard
reprap.org - self-reproducing 3D printer project


#20

Continue from
https://orchid.ganoksin.com/t/holding-complex-piece-for-setting
update…

‘The hard way is the easy way’…set the thingie bare handed as it
were. Got a satisfying email from the client… My first transglobal
design job! Pardon my strutting

  Neil,

  You've done it again...I'll forward a pic when I can but it
  rests perfectly around the neck. She opened it at my favorite
  Tokyo restaurant (that cost as much as a few of those stones!)
  in the middle of our 4 hour meal. Thank you, thank you.