JS. Following is a repeat of an item I sent to Orchid last in March.
Maybe it will help you achieve smoother bezels. Also note, I often
use an equaling file and thin the top 1/3 of the bezel to smooth it
and reduce the amount of metal that has to be seated to the stone.
This often takes out any bumps that might otherwise occur. Cheers,
" I normally will use a two step operation in closing a bezel. The
first is to form the lower portion of the bezel wall to the curvature
of the stone…whether it is a sharp high or long low angle. The
second is to seat the lip of the bezel against the stone.
I normally hold my rocker or roller, as you prefer, parallel to the
base. In rare instances I might use it perpendicular to the base
while going around a particularly difficult corner.
To do this, one must create a fair amount of pressure on the metal
and yet have total control over the bezel roller so it does not
either slip up and over the stone, possibly damaging the surface, or
down along the outside bezel wall and possibley damage the bezel and
any lip or embellishment below the stone.
I grip the roller as one would an ice pick or a knife in a ‘downward
stabbing’ angle. Assuming one is right handed, hold the tool in
your right hand while securing the stone with your left. You might
also use some mechanical means to secure the stone or place it on a
piece of rubberized material to keep it from slipping, brace it
against your bench front if your pin is lower than the surface, etc,
etc. Approach the bezel at an angle that will, in your estimation,
bring the lower bezel wall in against the stone. Sometimes this will
be a very short distance, sometimes it will require significant
movement. Rock the head of the tool with your wrist as you work
around the stone…always beginning with the ends of the stone or
the corners if there are any. Rock it the length of the roller
head, move to the next segment and rock it again, pressing in with
the wrist movement as you move you elbow outward to attain a lever
like action. (Note: move your elbow out if you are moving forward
around the stone. If you are rocking backward, start with your elbow
out and move it in towards your body). By controlling the length of
the movement with your wrist and limiting it to the length of the
roller head, the chances of it slipping are dimished and, in any
event, it should not move more than a few mm.
After making a complete circuit, change position so the roller head
is pointing nearly perpendicular (this depends somewhat on the angle
of the stone’s shoulder). Now, holding the tool in the same fashion
and again, using your wrist, hold your elbow steady, place the EDGE
of the head closest to the stone onto the bezel’s top lip, direct the
pressure downward and again, roll it forward or backward so the lip
will seat against the stone. It will take some practice but you
should follow the shape of the stone/bezel while rolling forward or
backward without slipping off. If done correctly, the lip will
smoothly and firmly seat to the stone. I hope this is clear…??
I find it fairly easy to roll bezels as heavy as 16 ga in this
fashion. Going to 14 ga as suggested in one response might be a bit
difficult though and hammering might be in order. On the other hand,
by thinning the top portion of the bezel, there is no reason the
roller cannot be used as well."
Cheers, Don at The Charles Belle Studio in SOFL where simple
elegance IS fine jewelry! @coralnut1