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[How to use] BezelBlock & Stake


Using bezel blocks to form settings is a great way to save time and
work accurately. FYI, a bezel block is a two part tool with a series
of female dies cut through a thick steel plate and a tapered punch to
match. In a nutshell, to make a conical round bezel for instance,
start with a soldered straight-walled cylinder (or tapered cylinder)
of metal with an outside diameter that matches the diameter half way
down the inside of the steel conical die. Anneal the cylinder of
precious metal and then place it in the die and press or hammer it
down, as the bottom of the setting is compressed. Then take it out
and anneal it. Now place the metal into the die and use the punch
that corresponds to the die to form it the rest of the way. With the
punch inside the setting, hit it to force it down and open the top of
the bezel to match the die. At this point the bezel should be tapered
and close to the correct shape. Anneal and repeat the step of forcing
the punch into the bezel while it is still in the die. Cut the
setting down to the desired height.

For more on this process see my book, (Professional
Goldsmithing, pages 136) in which a tapered bezel is formed, with the
starting point being a tapered blank rather than cylindrical. Either
works, but by starting with a tapered cylindrical piece of metal the
material is stressed less and moves more quickly. Other shapes are
treated pretty much the same way. Emerald shaped tapered bezels are
more difficult because of the corners. This process is completely
captured on video, (Revere on Goldsmithing video #8: Emerald
Solitaire Ring) where I make an emerald shaped conical 18k gold bezel
and then cut it apart to make a gallery type setting with prongs on
the corners.

I hope that this helps, Thomas. Let me know if you have any
questions. Alan

Revere Academy of Jewelry Arts
760 Market Street
Suite 900
San Francisco, CA 94102
tel: 415-391-4179
fax: 415-391-7570