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Repurposing a vibrator for bezel setting


#1

Hi folks,

I think I’m more productive coming up with creating homemadetools
that I amwith actually using them, but that’s besides thepoint.

I had been inactive in my jewelry hobby for two reasons: 1)health
issues in my family, and 2) no friendly place nearby whereI could
show my work.

But, now I’m starting up again and getting organized. I’ve gotsome
questions about how much force it takes to do bezel setting.
Normally, a jeweler would use a Foredom with a hammer point, but I’m
still saving up for a hammer point.

People have described the process of setting a bezel as a seriesof
rapid motions back and forth just forceful enough to slightly deform
the metal surrounding the gem.

A lot, I suppose, depends on the bezel’s thickness, metal,
stiffness, and etc, but then I got to wondering.

Now, a vibrator (the adult toy type) has to be at least
moderatelyforceful to accomplish its purpose. If I were to epoxy a
metal rodin parallel with the device’s motion, I should have
substantial forceapplied upon the face of the rod to simulate a
hammer point.

Would that be enough force to set 6 mm round cabs? Back in the saddle
again, Andrew Jonathan Fine


#2
Now, a vibrator (the adult toy type) has to be at least
moderatelyforceful to accomplish its purpose. If I were to epoxy a
metal rodin parallel with the device's motion, I should have
substantial forceapplied upon the face of the rod to simulate a
hammer point. 

I have heard of using a vibrating engraving tool (e. g Dremel, less
than $20 at the hardware store). Replace the pointed engraving tip
with a suitably shaped dowel of whatever material you like. Maybe not
as good a conversation piece as the adult toy.

Al Balmer


#3

You have to make one regardless now just so we can see it. I do not
think it has the force you need. They work with an off balanced
motor. A weak motor. Any resistance I think would stop it. You need
more of a reciprocting action. That’s what gravermax’s do and foredom
hammers. Put up a pic of this finished. I got to see this.

Honestly a hammer and punch is still about the best.


#4

Great idea for repurposing an adult toy. You win on the internet
today.

That said…

I have always just used a good chasing hammer and a polished setting
punch.

Much more control for me. But then I’m happiest with a good hammer
in my hand.

Have fun and make lots of jewelry.

Jo Haemer
timothywgreen.com


#5

Hi Andrew.

Oh my, where to begin…

Short form: you’re overthinking it. Fine silver bezels can generally
be pushed home with harsh language. No need for hammers or other
"power tools".

European types use hammers and chasing punches, largely out of
habit, or for thicker, sterling (or karat gold) bezels. They do use
heavier bezels than we tend to, and do need the extra ‘oomph’ to
drive them home, but it’s not required for the thin fine silver
bezel strip we tend to use in the states.

I did my first ?20? odd years with bezels by way of setting them
with a rocker (can be made out of scrap brass) followed up by a
burnisher and an engraver to clean the top. No power tools in sight.
I do use a hammer handpiece now that I have one, but that wasn’t why
I bought it. They make life a little easier, but they also make it
much easier to blow up a stone. I’d never recommend that someone try
to set a stone with a hammer handpiece before they knew how to do it
by hand. Doing it with a power handpiece is a production technique.
You’re not there yet.

Once you are, you’ll be able to afford the tools.

Don’t worry about it so much. A rocker and burnisher can be had for
about $15, and that’ll set you up for years. Besides, unless you’ve
suddenly found one of the old steam powered, cast iron 1870’s
vintage original vibrators, they don’t have enough power to do
anything. (to silver.) (Seriously. There were steam powered ones. For
doctor’s offices. Want even more trivia: I can’t remember what the
first home appliance to be electrified was, but the vibrator was
the second. For doctors, again.) The history channel and insomnia
are a bad combo…

Regards,
Brian


#6

Hi again Andrew:

You’re still overthinking it, and now I am too: I couldn’t stop
myself from modeling it out in my head. If you put a metal rod at
right angles to the axis of the motor (and the weight) you’ll have
problems with the gyro effect. All your force (what little there is
of it) will manifest at 90 degrees offset to the rod, so it’ll
mostly just skip sideways across your piece. No force into the
piece, it’s all sideways. (google gyro effect as applied to
helicopter rotor systems.) (I had a very odd childhood.)

The energy pulse is wrong too: sine wave, instead of a sawtooth. As
the sine ramps up, it has time to push the punch away before the
height of the sine is reached. (even assuming you can get the energy
going in the right direction.)

Nice try though. Definite points for thinking outside the cubical
containment structure.

Regards,
Brian


#7

Do not under any circumstances replace a vibrator with a hammer.
Someone had to say it. Have fun, I guess. tom


#8

That would be one way of peening.


#9

In Mexico I have seen an electric engraving tool, the kind that
whine horribly and are used to engrave identification onto household
objects, used as a stonesetting hammer. It works well though you
will need ear muffs. the point on the end is ground into a flat
ended punch. Note I personally prefer an actual punch and hammer for
setting, I think there is more control, speed and force. But I know
several setters I respect who use hammer hand pieces.

best, Charles


#10

Do not under any circumstances replace a vibrator with a hammer.

Someone had to say it. Have fun, I guess. tom snickersI soooo want
to comment on this thread, but I know better. I’ll get myself in
trouble. snickers again El


#11

A friend once showed me something called and “Electreat” that
appeared in a 1902 Sears catalog.

Esta Jo Schifter
shiftingmetal.com


#12
A friend once showed me something called and "Electreat" that
appeared in a 1902 Sears catalog. 

The Steely Dan… The myth is that the band got it’s name from a
vibrator in a vintage Sears Catalog.

Andy Cooperman


#13

Hi Brian,

You could be right. I’ve never taken a vibrator apart tosee how they
work, though I have examined a few (with switch on) to understand
how they move.

If the force was reasonably co-linear it could still be useful as a
way to get regular (hammer) strokes, but if its along angular
momentum then forget it.

On the other hand, I had also thought of finding aused barbershop
electric shaver and modifying that. I think that’s generally a back
and forth motion whichcan be exploited, and since they are plug-in,
presumablythe force is strong enough and can work with a
pedalcontrol.

Oh by the way, sewing machine control pedals work WONDERFULLY in
controlling Dremels. I think it wouldwork okay to control an
electric shaver.

Part of the idea of using power tools is not necessarypower, but
regularity. I had classes in what was knownas 6-sigma manufacturing:
reduce variability in constructionprocess and your increase the
resulting quality.

It’s one of the main reasons for automation.

Andrew