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Irregular bezels


#1

G’day; Here’s a 2 cent method for producing good-fitting bezels for
irregular stones. I cut a narrow strip of masking tape then wrap it
carefully against the edges of the stone, ensuring that there are no gaps
or hollows, and overlap the two ends. Why masking tape and not a strip of
paper? Because the stickiness of the tape guarantees that perfect contact
is made all round and that the strip cannot move.

The next step is to cut the tape using a scalpel or razor-blade, unwrap it
carefully from the stone, find a clean area of the bench (!!) and stick it
down. Next I produce a strip of well-annealed metal of the required
width for the bezel, about 0.5mm thick (I prefer fine silver bezels for
use with sterling; it’s softer so it’s easier to set.) Using the piece of
tape as a measure I cut the silver bezel strip to the length of the tape
adding twice thickness of the bezel and press the metal all around the
stone. The ends will overlap very slightly, enabling one to clean them up
to fit perfectly using a handpiece and fine sanding disc, or very fine
Swiss file.

The strip can then be placed on the base of the setting and soldered in
place, pressing down gently on the bezel to perfect contact with the base
as the solder flows. The base can then be cut to size and the inside
pierced to leave a narrow ledge for the stone to rest upon if a 'backless’
setting is wanted. The top edge of the bezel may be filed at an angle to
help the setting process, and final appearance, but shouldn’t be necessary
if soft bezel strip is used.

You shouldn’t need to try the stone, but I always feel the need to! So if
your setting is to be plain backed, fasten the stone to a piece of
suitably sized wooden dowel using dop wax, sealing wax, or even flake
shellac. This enables the stone to be removed easily when it fits
perfectly. A soak in methylated spirit will dissolve the wax/shellac when
the time comes to set the stone properly. The edges of the bezel are
burnished down over the stone using the time-honoured rocker tool. An
easily set stone with no hassles always gives me a feeling of
satisfaction. Cheers,

   / \
 /  /

/ /
/ /| \ @John_Burgess2
(
____ )
At sunny (only it’s hissing down at the moment!) Nelson NZ (in
mid-winter)


#2

Another easy way to remove the stone from the bezel before setting is to
lay a piece of tooth floss across the bezel before fitting the stone in.
The floss will make removal easy and you won’t have the waxy clean-up.


#3

another easy way to remove the stone from the bezel before setting is to
lay a piece of tooth floss across the bezel before fitting the stone
in. The floss will make removal easy and you won’t have the waxy
clean-up.

Hey, good idea! I’ve always just kept a small plastic container nearby,
if the stone is stuck in the bezel, I drop the bezel (or piece) into this
plastic container and shake . . . it doesn’t take long for the stone to
fall out, and I’ve yet to experience any damage.