Fred, let me take a shot at answering this as, like you, I’m a metal
artisan and don’t claim to be a real jeweler.
1 Correct solution? No, no, no. Try not to mix Sparex with anything
else lest you end up burnt, blinded and unable to breath. Use copper
tongs because steel will make copper precipitate back on your object.
Remember to get an MSDS if you buy any chemicals. Note I’m not an
expert on chemicals but I’ve been burnt in the shop before and once
had a chemical splash get past my safety glasses (for fifteen exciting
minutes with my eyes under water getting it out). Here is a list of
safety sites Charles Lewton-Brain posted a few years ago:
2 What is it and where is it? A page describing it and a few listing
it for sale to follow. I can’t vouch for any of them as I buy mine
from RioGrande. http://www.riogrande.com/ But they show some of the
range of prices and availability.
3 Setting stones? My sympathies. Best take a class, as this is
difficult for the inexperianced. Bezels aren’t for a hammer anyway. I
use a polished steel burnisher for mine but there are several
techniques the jewelers use.