Setting Wax and Fixture

I’m looking for the right stuff to use when bezel setting stones.
I’ve seen a type of dop wax used to anchor the piece so pressure can
be put against the bezel without the piece slipping, but I haven’t
been able to find it. I have on hand a large amount of lapidary dop
wax, but I don’t know if this is the same wax that I need. I also
need to know of a source for the fixture upon which the wax is
applied, and then I assume, clamped in a vise of some sort. Can
anyone point me in the right direction? Rio has Jett Set and all the
tools that go with it, but if there is a cheaper way that is just as
effective as Jett Set, I’m all for it. Thanks in advance.

Cathy Flory

Aw c’mon, Cathy, bite the bullet and get the jett sett. You’ll be
hard pressed to find anything as effective. You’ll be glad you
did. As for the tools that Rio sells with it, I don’t see any in the
catalog you couldn’t do without or make on your own. For the type
of setting you mentioned, all you need to do is form a piece you
can grip in your bench vise, imbed the bezel in it and set the
stone. You can use the same stuff over and over so after a time it
doesn’t cost much at all. You’ll find other uses for it too.

Jerry in Kodiak

Cathy, I use dop wax all the time to fixture settings for pave or
bezels. You can use a small peice of aluminum or brass sheet with
the dop wax melted on it and that can be held in an engraving block
or vise. Just make sure you don’t overheat or let the wax boil. It
will lose its holding power. After the stone(s) are set, the wax can
be dissolved in alcohol. Good Luck! Ken Sanders

 I have on hand a large amount of lapidary dop wax, but I don't
know if this is the same wax that I need.  I also need to know of a
source for the fixture upon which the wax is 

the traditional stuff was, and for some folks still is, orange flake
shellac. cheap enough at jewelry tools places.

but for simple bezels, your lapidary dop wax should also work fine.
it’s based on shellac too, but has fillers, melts a bit lower, and
isn’t quite as hard and rigid. For bezels, it normally will be fine.

Put it on whatever you like. Normally for something to be held in
the hand, a piece of broomstick sized dowel or the like works just
fine. i’ve got an old file handle with the metal ferule removed that
comes in handy a lot, as well as several other odd scraps of wood
dowel or whatever that get used for this. All were just salvaged as
scrap wood from somewhere, save one that’s a nice handle with a wider
turned pad on the end for holding down larger items. But it’s larger
size makes it often a bit cumbersome, so it only gets used when
nothing else works. Put a wad of the wax on the end, like any other
dopstick, and imbed your item in the wax, just like dopping a stone.

If you need to clamp it in a vise or engravers ball, then a smaller
flat sided block of wood, like a scrap of two by four will work just
fine. In both cases, use enough wax so it overlaps over the corners
and edges of the wood, rather than just being stuck down to just a
flat end.



I see some agree that dop wax would do the job just fine…and I
agree with all that. Taking the piece out of the wax can sometimes
be a bit of a problem…gentle heating and a soak in alcohol is
common. Depending on what you are using as a holder (wood is best)
and what the material is you are working on (metal, stone, etc), you
can sometimes simply pop it into your freezer for a few minutes and
it will come away clean. Thats how I have been removing stones now
for the past 30 years!

Cheers from Don at The Charles Belle Studio in SOFL where simple
elegance IS fine jewelry! @coralnut2