I’m building a Sterling silver cuff bracelet and I’d like to 4 bezel-set stones mounted very close together. Obviously, I need to complete all soldering before actually setting the stones, but because the settings will be so close together it will be impossible to set and burnish them properly. I’ve certainly seen settings like this before. If you have any tips for me I’d really appreciate it!
Hi @rickmalm! Welcome to the community!
I make my own pin burnishers from large sewing needles. Do you think something like that would work? Let us know and if not, we will figure out another solution.
Have a great day!
I love that design! I have done this type of close settings on bangles and used thrumming to polish in the tight spots. Using a pin burnisher worked for me. If the bezel is super heavy, I would set the piece in thermoplastic and set away. Now I want to go make these earrings! Do you know who the jeweler is? I’d love to give them credit.
The jeweler is Jennifer Nielsen in Maine.
My last question: Can you suggest a method of actually connecting the bezels together prior to setting the stones like she does?
If you are setting in heavy bezels, you will be working mostly inside the bezel. For thin bezels, 28 gauge, I fix the problem when soldering. I separate the bezels on the back plate with a 24 or 26 gauge wire. It pretty much disappears in the solder filets and keeps the bezels from soldering to each other. In the example of earrings, you can slightly move them at an angle to almost touch after setting.
I’m not sure if this is what you meant by moving them, but I’m imagining arching the backplate slightly so the bezels just barely don’t touch, setting them all, then flexing the backplate forward a little so they touch. Seems like this could provide a little more working room and a good close look in the end. Now I’m tempted to dig through my stones for some likely candidates and try it for myself!
When fabricating pieces that have crowns and bezels close together before soldering I always slightly pre bend the the bezels or prongs away from each other where they may touch each other.
Thanks for a great idea!
What is thrumming?
Thrumming is polishing with string, or thread, or a thin ribbon, to reach into small spaces. It is the most efficient way to polish the interior of small settings.
This video from Van Cleef & Arpels shows a polisher thrumming a piece.
You can paint on some whiteout on the top edges of the bezels before soldering the bottoms of the bezel together. That will keep the solder from flowing all the way up. Then you will have room to burnish the bezels around the stones.