First let me say that I’m not jeweler but only a bobbiest for about
If your finished piece entails many soldered joints soldered the
bezel wire with hard solder (high temp), it will give you a little
leeway when soldering the bezel wire to the 26 guage sheet with a
lower temp solder.
There are many,many ways to solder bezel cups and as far as I’m
concerned there’s no right or wrong way to do it. The way that you
find that best suits you is the way to do it, as long as you have a
good end result.
I always make my backs bigger then the cup,about 1/32", 1/16" or
so. This makes it much easier to keep the bezel wire on the back
If the back plate is not flat I anneal it and hit it with a rawhide
hammer on a polished steel plate to get it flat as possible.I find
that hitting the plate and leaving the hammer down on it,rather then
giving it a “sharp” blow does better in flattening the
plate,sort of like swatting a fly,leaving the fly swatter on
the fly and not just retrieving it immediately.
Once I get the plate as flat as possible I check the bezel wire to
make sure it fits to the plate with NO air gaps.If the bezel wire is
distorted I fit it to the cab carefully and sand it with 400 or 600
emery held flat on a perfectly flat steel plate.
The bezel wire may have very fine burs on it but I don’t remove them
as this surface will be the bottom of my bezel cup and will be
cleaned up after Isolder everything together.
I flux everything with Handy Past Flux and set the bezel wire onto
the back plate.
Now this is where I differ from everything I’ve read, seen and
I don’t cut solder pallions, nor do I cut any other pieces of
solder, to put inside of the bezel cup.
I heat the pieces from above,mostly from the sides of the plate
and then slightly from the inside of the bezel cup just to get the
flux to a clear state and stop “bubbling” and for the bezel wire to
stop moving around.
If the bezel wire has moved I use my solder pick to put it where I
want it to stay while keeping the entire piece warm enough to do so.
When I am satisfied with that I use coiled solder on the inside edge
of the bezel cup and hit the inside at maybe 3-4 places while the
solder flows around the entire solder joint.
If for any reason I see a gap between the bezel cup and the back
plate I I push the bezel cup down to the plate using VERY slight
pressure,and get the torch out of there fast.
I pickle the whole thing and then sand the outer part of the plate
with a rough 3/4" round sanding disk, to as close as I dare to the
bezel wire, using my Foredom flex shaft.
I do the final sanding right up to the back plate with a fine disk. I
now use a 1" muslin buff and Zam to get rid of any sanding marks.
What I like about the method is that I don’t care if there’s a
little too much solder inside of the bezel cup.If the cab doesn’t
fit properly I just hit the bottom edges with a 600 grit Nova wheel
to give the edges a little more “chamfer”.
I also don’t have to try to place tiny solder pallions where I want
them and then try to keep them there before and after heating the
Again,I don’t know if this is proper jewelery technique but I’m
self taught and find it the best way for ME to do it.
I invite ANY comments,good or bad,I have BIG shoulders and will
learn from all of you.
I hope this might help a little anyway!