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Setting fully drilled beads


#1

Hello,

I was wondering if anyone might be able to help… What is the method
for setting fully drilled beads? The type I am asking a bout is the
setting where it looks like there is a small round silver or go ld
ball on top, then the fully drilled bead, then the base. Is is
soldered? Riveted? Thanks and kind regards,

M. Kim


#2
.. What is the method for setting fully drilled beads? The type I
am asking a bout is the setting where it looks like there is a
small round silver or go ld ball on top 

sometimes you can extend the wire on which the bead sits up a bit
above the bead, and carefully so as not to hit the bead with the
flame, heat the wire from the side with a small, hot, sharp flame.
Done right, the wire end balls up quickly enough so it does so right
out the bottom of the flame, almost up to the bead. But the catch is
that “almost”. It’s pretty hard to get it tight to the bead without
damaging the bead or pearl unless the material can take at least
some heat. Sometimes, if you use a wire smaller in diameter than the
hole in the bead, the balled up end can be pushed down, so it buckles
inside the bead to then look tight. Other times, you feed a balled up
wire through the bead and into a hole in the mounting, and do
whatever you need to do to secure the wire on the inside of the
mounting. But the most common method I’ve seen is somewhat of a fake.
The bead is normally glued to a wire, threaded or textures as usual
to give the glue something to grip, that extends half way through the
bead. So it’s fixed just like a half drilled bead/pearl. Then another
short piece of wire with one end balled up, is glued into the top
hole of the bead or pearl. The exact method you use depends a lot on
the type of material the bead is made of, and as well, the design
you’re making. If it’s something where the bead can be loose on the
wire, with a little slack so the balled up end doesn’t need to be
tight to the bead, then you can simply ball up the wire with the bead
in place. For pearls or heat sensitive things, you can make a pair of
thin tweezers that clamp around the wire to shield the pearl and heat
sink the wire a little, but often even that isn’t needed. (It depends
too, on what metal. Silver, being highly heat conductive, is harder
to do this with.)

Peter


#3

Depends whether bead can withstand fire or not. If it is corundum
let’s say, ball a piece of wire and solder it from behind. Emerald
would require cutting a thread and screwing it down. Threaded end can
be riveted slightly, or for fine pieces a counter screw is used.

Leonid Surpin
www.studioarete.com


#4

mr. rowe outlines a couple good prospects. it really would depend on
the materials you want to use. i’m not fond of adhesives, but
sometimes one must.

depending on the hole diameter, you might solder tubes to the base
and fit the beads over them, then make the ball ends [at the end of
wire] with a diameter of wire that fills the tube tightly…a
friction fitting. care must be taken to not split a single bead…[i could see this expanded by extending the tube a bit beyond the stone bead, placing a tiny metal bead[the diameter of which is slightly larger than the drilled hole] inside it, and pushing the tube around
the metal bead, like a tiny bezel setting.

maybe even using coloured metals…] maybe the reverse of something
like that, where the opposite end is upset/swaged on the underneath
of the setting.

another method especially with a thicker post, is to split it, and
then place the bead on. with proper measuring, the ball ended 'plug’
has a corresponding v shaped taper, that when pushed into the bead
on post, it spreads the split post, forcing it apart and against the
walls of the drilled bead. another friction style process…i might
use a little glue.

this process is used, on a larger scale for furniture making.

yk/mmv

hope this helps…


#5
sometimes you can extend the wire on which the bead sits up a bit
above the bead, and carefully so as not to hit the bead with the
flame, heat the wire from the side with a small, hot, sharp flame.
Done right, the wire end balls up quickly enough so 

Peter, I have tried many times to do this, but I can’t get the wire
that extends through the bead to ball up. It seems to have too much
of a heat sink. I’ve assumed that my flame just wasn’t hot enough. I
use an acetylene/air torch. Would you please let me know what type
of flame you use. I’m not sure if my flame isn’t hot enough, or if my
technique is wrong.

Thanks.


#6
I have tried many times to do this, but I can't get the wire that
extends through the bead to ball up. It seems to have too much of a
heat sink. I've assumed that my flame just wasn't hot enough. I use
an acetylene/air torch. Would you please let me know what type of
flame you use. 

Your problem is that torch. You need one with an oxygen line as
well. The acetylene/air torches are wonderful for general
silversmithing in part because the spread the heat out so well over
larger areas, and since silver needs this overall heating for good
soldering, they’re great. But when you need hot pinpoint intense
heat, then you need a torch with oxygen too. I use propane and oxygen
in either a little torch or a meco midget. Either one works, as
would other fuel/oxygen torches such as hokes, or others. Natural gas
or acetylene or hydrogen fueled torches would also work. The
hydrogen/oxgyen torches, including “water” torches would work
especially well because their flames are especially narrow, and with
the water torches, the vapor fluxing unit also would help cleaning
balling up the wire.

With your torch, though, balling up a wire next to a heat sensative
bead or pearl is likely not going to work too well, as you’ve found.
Instead, look at the suggestions Leonid gave. The thought of a couple
I’d forgotten about, like threading the wire, threading a hole in the
base, and riviting over the end of the wire after screwing it on.
That would not come loose, and because you ball up the wire before
it’s anywhere near the bead, your torch will work just fine. Also has
the advantage that you can try several times if you decide you don’t
like the shape or size of the ball the first time, which is hard to
do if you’re balling up a wire end as the last step, when the wire is
already affixed to the piece. If you’re not equipped to thread the
wire and the hole, riviting the end can work too, though sometimes
that can be slightly difficult to hold in place to do, since the
other side of the rivet is your bead, not something you can easily
support on a solid surface without damaging it. Instead, if you can
get to it with a pair of small round nose pliers, wind the end of the
wire extending through the hole into a small coil. You can simply
keep winding up the wire till it pulls tight on the other side. If
the wire is strong enough, ie not dead soft and a heavy enough guage,
this may be quite secure enough all by itself. If you’re not sure,
add a drop of super glue to the coil and where it contacts the metal
around the hole. Don’t overdo this, as you don’t want it flowing
through to the front. I’ve seen antique pieces where much the same
was done, except not bothering with the coil, just pulling the wire
tight and then bending it over. The a small bit of soft solder
(lead/tin in those days, nowadays use TIX. looks better, melts even
lower, and stronger) to hold that bent over wire in place. I don’t
ordinarily recommend the use of these solders simply because these
days, we don’t often need them, and they do present problems if you
ever have to work on the piece again. Plus they’re not at all as
strong as a proper silver solder. But this type of use is a
reasonable place to use it, especially if the spot you’ll be putting
the soft solder on is hidden in back. You don’t even need a torch.
You can do it with an electronics type soldering iron (the larger
capacity ones, not the very tiny circuit board types, since even
with soft solder, you have to contend with the heat sinking ability
of the silver.)

cheers
Peter Rowe


#7

Possibly someone just threaded a balled headpin through the bead and
attached the long end of the headpin to the base using some
heat-free method. What does the base look like? Is is a bezel cup? Is
it a wire-wrap piece?

Lorraine