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Rub over or bezel setting

Hi Colin,

I started this thread and have had lots of replies, some advocating
the use of bezel punches and some warning against their use.
Personally, I am interested to try them. The pieces I made were made
of tube settings soldered together but at a jaunty angle as it were.
The result is not straight but “higgledy, piggledy”. As such the only
piece I was able to put in my vice was the ring as I could clamp the
shank in nice and tightly and I used a prong pusher and hammer to set
the stones. My control wasn’t too bad as I did it very gradually,
working opposite sides with gentle taps and this process worked a
treat and left no tool marks. However, the other pieces I couldn’t
put in the vice due to the nature of how they were soldered so I had
more difficulty. I ended up using pliers in the end and then
attempting to burnish out any kinks. I think the bezel punches you
describe would have solved all the problems I encountered.

Thanks for your advice.

Helen

Brian,

I'd suggest using fine silver for the bezels - 0.5mm - which would
be easier to push over (and would kink less), 

Good point and worth trying I think.

hammer-set with a small polished punch to upset the top of the
bezel edge 

I managed to do this on the ring which I was able to clamp in the
vice. It worked a treat but I couldn’t get the other pieces in the
vice as I was worried that if they were in tight enough, the solder
joints may give (I may at this point be inundated with comments
about my soldering not being up to much! But hey I am a beginner and
I’ve only had one joint break and that was when the piece was hot).

small cross-pein punch to make little marks on the top edge, which
might be left there. 

We were after a more sleek, modern look so wanted it smooth.

From your description it seemed as though you didn't solder the
bearers in place. Are they just sitting there in the 'pots' as you
called the bezels? That's not good for stability of the stone as you
set it. 

Again, good point but the cubic zirconia were such a snug fit that
they weren’t going anywhere. The bearers I made provided a level
platform for the stones so I saw no point to soldering them in place
with the backs being closed. The rhodolite garnets, however, had a
little more room than they should have had so maybe soldering the
bearers into the bezels may have helped.

Thanks for your input on my problem, all advice is greatly
appreciated.

Helen

In my opinion it’s far safer than the traditional methods of using
burnishers to rub over the bezel unless the bezel is really thin.
With a punch you have excellent control of both the amount of force
and exactly where the force is being directed.You also have a very
good view of whats happening while its happening.

Its important to hold the punch a fraction of a mm off the surface of
the bezel as you work.

I might have missed something in this thread as to what kind of punch
was initially mentioned. I do not know if a description was used. I
assumed it was a stone burnisher punch. There are two different types
of punches for setting gemstones

a square piece of steel with a slanted end that is polished, hit with
a hammer, used to set any shape of bezel set gemstone. Then there is
a
stone burnisher punch which is round and the center has a cone shaped
depression in the end used to set round faceted and cabochon
gemstones in gold or sterling tube settings. that comes with a handle
that I have tried to use to press and burnish the edge of the bezel.
Did not work, and. I use a hammer, works best if you swivel the punch
at a slight angle around the top while tapping not too hard or not to
light. I use a bezel roller to finish getting the metal completely
against the stone. Description above is for the square steel punch.

Richard Hart

Hi Colin

I've been setting rubovers with punches for 25 years and have
taught countless students the same technique. 

Which type of punch are you advocating? The inverted-dome type that
works on all the bezel at once, or another punch type with which you
hammer or ‘upset’ the bezel at points on the bezel until gradually
the whole bezel is pushed over.

Brian
Auckland NEW ZEALAND

hammer-set with a small polished punch to upset the top of the
bezel edge I managed to do this on the ring which I was able to
clamp in the vice. It worked a treat but I couldn't get the other
pieces in the vice 

Yes, I read your other posting where you referred to 'jaunty’
angles. Sounds like a mission to hammer-set those.

However I wonder about dreaming up another way to secure the
workpiece when setting those beasties. How about there was a way to
support the bottom of the piece right under the bezel you’re working
on?

Like (herein follows some speculative thinking) say you made a hole
in the silver base inside the bezel and made a specially-shaped steel
rod to clamp in a vice. The steel rod might have a reduced diameter
for a short mm or so to locate into the hole in the silver base and
also might have a stepped ‘landing’ which provides support right
under the bezel. The steel could be quite quickly made out of
annealed tool steel by putting it in a drill and spinning it while
filing/sanding/polishing. Harden/temper then polish.

I haven’t tried this method exactly but have often used a variation,
a flat round punch put inside a bezel to support it while stamping
identification lettering on the base.

as I was worried that if they were in tight enough, the solder
joints may give (I may at this point be inundated with comments
about my soldering not being up to much! 

Thicker (fine sil) bezel walls are easier to align properly and
therefore to solder well.

Brian

B r i a n A d a m a n d R u t h B a i r d
J e w e l l e r y
Auckland New Zealand
www.adam.co.nz
www.ruthbaird.com

Brian,

Like (herein follows some speculative thinking) say you made a
hole in the silver base inside the bezel and made a
specially-shaped steel rod to clamp in a vice. The steel rod might
have a reduced diameter for a short mm or so to locate into the hole
in the silver base and also might have a stepped 'landing' which
provides support right under the bezel. The steel could be quite
quickly made out of annealed tool steel by putting it in a drill
and spinning it while filing/sanding/polishing. Harden/temper then
polish. 

This sounds interesting and worth a try. A friend of mine was round
the other day and is not a maker of jewellery and she suggested
something similar, ie. soldering some sort of rod onto the bottom,
clamp that in the vice, set the stones and then remove the rod. I’ll
re-read your suggestion later to get my head around it and try it
next time I attempt something similar.

Thicker (fine sil) bezel walls are easier to align properly and
therefore to solder well. 

Again a good suggestion and one I hadn’t thought of. I may well
remake the pendant as I was not entirely happy with that, although
my daughter loved it. Here is a picture of my daughter on prom night
wearing the set (pendant, earrings and ring) I made for her. Don’t
look too closely or you’ll see mistakes!

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