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Idiot at the bench


#1

I took on a little job for a guy , mounting a six sided quartz crystal
stone in gold. The stone is a star of David cut, about an inch in diamter.
I figured I would make a bezel to go around the thing in 14kt gold since
thats all I have, fairly heavy, then put some prongs on the sides and a
bail at top. The Star isn’t perfectly symetrical , its a little off, each
side is slightly different. I do jewelry art as a hobby and any bench
jeweler in any mall could kick my butt easily, I’m deadly slow and every
new piece of work is an experience in correcting mistakes and learning
something new I didn’t want to. Still I love it…
Anyway, to make a long story short I rolled a piece of gold out into a
strip for the bezel, filed a groove and made my first bend. I measured the
distance to the next bend on the stone and then filed my next groove using
dividers to mark the gold. Got most of 'em right, some not, the folds
didn’t match the stone. Finally wrapped the stone in the thing and marked
where to solder the final join. Soldered it and of course the damn stone
wouldn’t fit into the thing. This happens almost everytime I try this and
something so simple looking takes me hours and hours of trying to get it
right. And of course working in 14kt (actually its probably more like 12kt
since I melt down anything I can get my hands on…) is no joy, its hard
stuff and makes silver look easy. Any tips on how to do this and not add
another 40,000 gray hairs on my head would be appreciated. …Dave Kickass
Websites for the Corporate World http://www.kickassdesign.com Crystalguy
Jewelry http://www.opendoor.com/stephensdesign/crystalguy.html Recumbent
Cyclist’s Advocacy Group
http://www.opendoor.com/stephensdesign/bent/rcag.html


#2

Dave Buddy, a suggestion,
Anneal the daylights out of it and then just bend it at each corner. Just
start the bend then remove the stone and finish the bend with a long nosed
plier, either rounded or square nosed. Hope this helps!!

Matt the Catt @ Contemporary Industrial Arts


#3

Dave you probably need to rotate the stone and try all 5 sides, it could
be you are correct and the stone does not have even sides. Charles in
Austin


#4

Dave Buddy, a suggestion,
Anneal the daylights out of it and then just bend it at each corner.
Just start the bend then remove the stone and finish the bend with a
long nosed plier, either rounded or square nosed.

Matt: maybe thats not such a bad idea…hmmm. I’m using thinner stock
this time so it might work. Still, sure would like to have nice crisp
corners, so may torture myself one more time just for the experience. Will
let you know if I suceed. Its a good thing I don’t do this for a living,
jeeeeez…Dave

Kickass Websites for the Corporate World http://www.kickassdesign.com
Crystalguy Jewelry http://www.opendoor.com/stephensdesign/crystalguy.html
Recumbent Cyclist’s Advocacy Group
http://www.opendoor.com/stephensdesign/bent/rcag.html


#5

For a sharp corner, mark the inner surface where you want the bend, then
score it with a triangular or square needle file…not too deep, but just
enough to get a sort of miter cut. It will bend sharp and easy. If you
overdo it and weaken it, a trace of solder skillfully applied will restore
the strength to the crease.


#6

You can still get nice sharp corners, just use flat long nosed -pliers. Or
put in a vise, just make sure you put something in between the jaws and
your piece, tighten it up just till it makes contact then tap it with a
soft mallet or nylon hammer!! I do it all the time. Practice helps!! Good
Luck!
Matt the Catt…


#7

Dave,
I have a formula somewhere for figuring this out I just can’t lay my
hands on it right now so I’ll go from memory. And use an arbitrary example
of a cap for a crystal that has 6 circumfrential facets that measure
4mmx4.5mmx5mmx4mmx6mmx4.5mm= 28mm total. For a bezel to fit around
something tightly.

  1. Measure each side as accuratly as possible

2)determine metal thickness. the thinner the better I’ll use 0.3mm

  1. Multiply metal thickness by 2 ( 0.3mmx2=0.6)

  2. Divide that by the number of facets (0.6 divided by 6=0.1)

  3. add that number to the length of each side.
    That gives you the total lengtyh of metal you need for a bezel with
    no seat to fit outside a crystal or any other stone. The number of sides
    on the stone is irrelevant it horks on trillians, quads, emeralds and
    uneven numbers of facets.

  4. You now have a piece of 0.3 thick metal 28.6mm long .
    Divide this piece into the length of your facets and add
    the .01mm to each side. Make thin marks at 4.1mm, from that mark 4.6mm,
    from that mark 5.1mm and so on.

  5. Itis best to mark the stone and the bezel somehow so yuo can fit it the
    same way every time.

  6. Shelac your piece to the edge of a flat piece of wood.
    A paint stirring stick works good. I have a piece I put into my engraving ball
    so my measuring sawing and filing can be extremely accurate. it measures
    about1/2 inch by 2 inches by 6 inches long. I have the shelac on the edge.

  7. Using a saw cut 1/2 way through the metal at each of the lines. this amount is
    critical.

  8. the sawcuts to the appropriate angle for the number of
    sides that you have. In this case 60 degrees Ex: 4 sides,
    360 divided by 4 = 90Degrees 6sides, 360 degrees divided
    by 6 = 60 degrees

  9. Remove the metal gently from the shelac .

  10. Fold the bezel into the shape needed . Get it as close as possible
    then solder the open seam.

  11. Adjust all angles so they match the stone
    identicaly.

  12. solder with small amounts of solder, all the five
    remaining seams.

This should fit precisly to the stone a with small amount of internal
filing to clean up the solder seams. Let me know if it does not work and
I’ll try to dig up the formula but I think that is it.

Good Luck
Ray
On the Sunny East side of the Cascades


#8

Dave,

Yes orange flake shellac will work. I use a green wax that is not as hard
as shelac but just about any thing will work you could probably superglue
it.

Ray


#9

Next time you go to fit a stone into a custom bezel, wrap the stone once
around in masking tape…fit the bezel, remove the tape and you should
be in good shape for setting.


#10

Now, this is from one idiot to another–anyhow–When I’ve had trouble like
this I measure the cicumference of the stone very carefully, add the
thickness of the bezel, cut and fit and solderr the ends together. THEN I
very slowly and carefully ease it around the irregularly shaped stone.
Works for me. I hope it will for you.

Joyce in Colorado