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Slow climber

Hi! A do it yourselfer who took a few classes and invested in a proper setup. Look to learning skills rarely found on YouTube. Currently trying hand at bezel set cabachons with hand tooled stories graved into silver ( that suit bezel). I don’t want to graver it. Any other ways make fluid lines in silver?

Acid etching comes to mind as especially suited to your purpose because of the fine detail you can get. Other thoughts come to mind also. Stamping, using hand letter stamps. Carving with a small size bur in your flex shift (or Dremel tool) needs little new tool investment. All of these have their pros and cons, but all are likely easier to learn than hand engraving with gravers.

Thank you. I was looking for carving with a bur. Could you recommend a bur for that? I’m a nieve draftsman, which is perfect for the stories to be told. (Think blue opal moon, mountains, a dog wandering near a river). Those “marks” will come thru on the patina but I need them to be clear but not too thick.


You might want to check out the Jewellry Training Solutions website, and take some classed by Peter Keep…excellent! I highly recommend.

he is simple, straightforward, and indicates measurements, etc.

he often shows multiple options to get to the same end result, using the most basic tools, as well as more advanced tools…

you can purchase individual videos, and series (higher but reasonable cost/ lifetime access) or monthly, annual access

i just signed up for a month of pro plus (all levels/ videos) for $59 AU, which is about $42 USD, so that i could focus on the many videos in the stone setting series…

ive been bezel setting for a long time. Im also a hand engraver. I have done work with burrs. I have not acid etched.
trying to make even a tiny burr run straight or curved line would be like herding cats. burrs have a way of “jumping the ditch” so to speak.
How much extra metal do you want for illustration outside the bezel? you can PM me for extra info or help if I can.

I’ve hammered in steel wire (binding wire) by masking taping it to the metal and hammering the wire with a steel hammer. If I want to place small pieces accurately like a curve on a ‘P’ where you have already hammered in a straight line for the ‘P’, I put double sided onto the metal and glue the curve in steel wire in place. This method gives a good line but you cannot use the wire repeatedly. I’ve found this gives a good line.

Creating the patterns with Chasing Tools will perhaps be the simplest to learn, It’s creative, and lines are inherently smooth.
For the stated purpose a few Liners will do. You can make the tools yourself or buy ready made. Perhaps buy a few basic one, and make additional ones or modify the ones you bough as you go along.
will be easier to work on the bezel sheet before bending. But it is also perfectly possible to work directly on the already shaped bezel.


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I very much second the JTS website and Peter’s projects!! I have done dozens of them and learned so much about the basics of component construction, drilling, filing, soldering, stone setting, etc.

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Using burs has been suggested in this discussion. It has also been suggested that a bur will head off on its own unless you have a lot of control over it. This is mainly a function of rotational speed. Drawing with a bur is a lot easier if you have a high speed hand piece to drive it. I have a Nakamura air turbine hand piece that is supposed to be able to spin at 300,000 rpm under no load. It will only take 1/16" burs. This is basically a dental drill. I use it to remove metal and create a stippled surface between engraved lines. I buy them from Lasco. I have practiced creating artful lines with it and the ball bur seems to be the best for this. There are a lot of high speed electric hand pieces to choose from too. Since my engraver is driven by compressed air, I decided to buy the air turbine. Air turbines are also cheaper if you already have an air compressor. They are noisy, so look at California Air Tools for an affordable yet quiet one. If I wanted to apply artful lines to a bezel after the piece was made, I would engrave them. There are lots of ways to add these lines to the bezel material before you make the bezel. You might be challenged to have the pattern repeat through the solder joint unless you are very accurate in laying them out. Keep in mind too that the process of moving metal over the stone will distort the bezel, so you want to take this into account when you layout your design. Good luck…Rob

Thank you both!

Interesting! Thank you!

Thank you!

Have you mastered heavy bezel setting with a hammer and punch? That would likely be the technique needed to set a cabochon in a patterned/carved/etched bezel. Regular bezel wire would be much too thin. You will probably want something at least 1.25mm thickness (probably more) to put the design on the side. Here is a Steve Howard video that shows the technique I am referring to. Hammer And Punch Stone Setting - YouTube

If you would like the design to be on a flat surround, here is another video showing gypsy setting on a large disc: Making A Contemporary Design Ring - YouTube

And there is a technique for making a pattern which I don’t think has been mentioned yet–file carving. While it is usually found on a ring or bangle, it could be adapted to a heavy bezel. Check out this Melissa Muir video: Project 8 - Carved Ring - Revere Professional Jewelry Making Series- Tool Time Tuesday - YouTube