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Preventing scratches when setting stones


#1

When I set stones in bezels I often end up making a scratch or two on
the silver which has been so nicely polished. The other day I decided
to surround my bezel pusher with cereal box cardboard and tape it
tightly. It did help, but I still got some tiny scratches. Would
some of you pros tell us how you avoid scratching the metal during
this process so I don’t have to go back to the buffer? Thanks - It
would be much appreciated.

Sue Danehy
Now in beautiful VA.


#2

I have spent some time polishing the jaws of some of my pliers. This
way if I do tighten a stone after polishing it will not leave a
scratch on the prong, but maybe . Actually if you look very close when
you use your pliers it is often not scratches but an impresion of the
dents or scratches on the jaws of your pliers. Be Careful!!! This
will also makes the tool slip off the prong very easily. I realize the
original messeage was not about pliers but this idea applies to many
tools. This is also the principale behind polishing your gravers.

JA Certified Senior Bench Jeweler- Don Fernandes


#3

I use a nylon rod for setting bezel. You can shape it to any shape
with a sander. You can mount it into a tool (or file) handle. Then
polish it with tripoli and or zam. I use a rounded end with a flat
front. On the round edge I grind a flat area to ride around on the
base. If you can’t get nylon rod, a tooth brush handle with the head
removed works well. If the piece gets scrathed or rough, just
re-sand and polish. Another way is to use .999 silver instead of
sterling for the bezel. It is much easier to shape. Steve Ramsdell=

When I set stones in bezels I often end up making a scratch or two on
the silver which has been so nicely polished. The other day I
decided to surround my bezel pusher with cereal box cardboard and
tape it tightly. It did help, but I still got some tiny scratche=
s.
Would some of you pros tell us how you avoid scratching the metal
during this process so I don’t have to go back to the buffer? Th=
anks

  • It would be much appreciated. Sue Danehy

#4

Sue; I use a tool made up of a 22X8mm cab of Hematite with a collar
around it, mounted on a long handle for polishing around my bezel
cups. It will never scratch the stone, in fact it will actually
remove some very small scratches from silver. I have used it for
almost 11 years now and wouldn’t be without it. Best wishes,
John Barton


#5

Sue, I don’t see how it is possible to set a stone without putting at
least a few scratches in the bezel. You could burnish them out of
course. But wouldn’t it be easier just to do your final polish
after setting the stones? That’s what I’ve always done.

Beth


#6

Hey Mike and Sue Danehy, got some help for you on silver scratches.
When I have to tighten stones AFTER polishing, such as on Platinum,
I USE A SOFT COPPER PUSHER, do all the necessary tightening, THEN I
USE A PINK PUMICE WHEEL. why? it has a grit number of only 1000, It
really cleans as it polishes! I even do some intricate pink wheel
polishing before the ring polisher tackles my work. It gives him an
overall help where he can’t get to certain areas with his big "chunky"
wheels. So I suggest you both try this new soft abrasive wheel, its in
the Rio Grande Tool Book page 348, catalogue year 2000,(second last,
from the bottom) #332-669 or # 332-657. wheel your work, then just
steam it after. NO POLISHING AT ALL !!! trust me! Gerry, the
cyber-setter, who lives in Toronto, Canada,eh?..:>) rain & cold!
www.gemzdiamondsetting.com


#7

I use fairly heavy masking tape and avoid pushers with points and
sharp corners. David Valentine


#8

Buffing is always the final step in making jewels. I don’t think you
can possibly avoid going back to the buffing machine after setting
stones unless you use an alternative polishing method like burnishing
the metal. Even then I still feel you have to buff the piece
afterwards.

Daniel R. Spirer, G.G.
Spirer Somes Jewelers
1794 Massachusetts Ave
Cambridge, MA 02140
617-491-6000
@spirersomes
www.spirersomes.com


#9

Hi Folks Something I picked up from here that no one has mentioned is
to use the plastic coating for plier and tool handles and dip your
setting tools into it the finish provides some grip so the tool won’t
slip and no scratches on the softest bezels ( I set with 22k and 999
silver and never leave a mark) HTH Ron


#10

A handy tip I learnt a few years ago works most of the time in
prevention of scratches.Just roll out a thin piece of metal and cut a
hole the size of you bezel,put masking tape on the underneath ,put
over the bezel an you should be all set,(or ready to set)!


#11

Hi, all Jumping in with one more method that hasn’t been mentioned–I
have a bezel rocker/pusher made from the hickory handle of a defunct
hammer. It was a small hammer, and I’ve shaped the end into
more-or-less the same rectangular shape as a bezel rocker, with a
slight curve. Being very hard wood, it has held up great, and does a
wonderful job. It will not scratch the metal, or, when I slip, the
stone, plus it is not as slippery as metal or hematite.

Noel


#12
 put masking tape on the underneath ,put over the bezel an you
should be all set,(or ready to set)! 

Barb, please forgive me I am sometimes slow to learn. Please expand
the technique described above. What kind of metal is rolled out? Is
the bezel burnished through the thin metal? I am intrigued and
looking forward to your response.:slight_smile: Thank you, Sharon


#13

Hi Sue, nothing worse than having to go back to the buffing machine.
I do something similar to what you do and it helps alot. I bought
some of that fake chamois- you can find it in K-mart auto departments
or at Walmart. It is sort of a spongy material and I cut out a hole
for the bezel and place it directly on the piece. It then protects
the rest of the piece from accidenta slips. Leather chamois would
work too but is much more expensive. Hope this tip helps. GRACE in Cleveland


#14

Hi Sharon,sorry for being vague,I also dont know what you are trying
to set,so this may not be applicable.OK.Roll out a very thin piece of
silver and cut out a hole the same size of your bezel,place it over
the bezel so it comes up through it.The thin piece should protect the
surrounding metal should you slip.Put masking tape on the underneath
of the thin piece,the side which will be in contact with the
surrounding metal,so it won’t scratch.This is to prevent scratching
not to burnish over existing scratches.You set the stone while this
thin sheet is in place.If you have any further questions you can call
me at 508 825 9791.Hope I have helped. Barbara


#15

If I had a nickel for every time I slipped off a bezel and nicked a
shiny patch into a perfect patina, I could have bought a hammer
handpiece a really, really long time ago. I haven’t had to clean up
a nick since I got one. AND I can set stones all day without fear
of the painful “claw” hand. And it’s much faster, especially on
stiff metal. True, I need to polish the bezels after setting, but
it’s a small price to pay.

A friend encouraged me to try hers (thank you, Jamie), and I am so
glad that she did. I would never have dreamed it could make such a
big difference. Anyone out there cutting shields to put over their
bezels - save those nickels for a hammer handpiece. -Dana Carlson