I am a self taught intermediate weekend jeweler while still working. I have a question about small bezels near other embellishments. I have a hard time knowing the best tools to use when there is limited space to push the bezel over the stone (3 or 4mm stones). Any suggestions, as I am a perfectionist and I want my stones to look their best. Thanks for any tips.
Here are three sets to look into. Basically you place the working end of the tool over your tube setting and press down while rotating the handle on a canted angle in a circle.
These tools can fit into very tight spaces, need only a little clearance. Pick the set that will work with the largest setting you plan to use.
Polish the interior of the tools before using them so they burnish your metal nicely.
Assuming that they are round, the previous post works. If they aren’t round, then you are looking at bezel rollers, pushers. punches etc. There is a lot in the archives about how to bezel set. Take a look and then ask a question…Rob
Thank you for the comments and supply sites. I do have a bezel set and yes I was asking about round stones. I have used the bezel set with some success and other times it doesn’t seem to work well. I try various sizes to make sure I am not using one that is too small for the bezel. I have also watched videos and I have seen some tap on the punch while others just rotate and push down. Any thoughts on the best method?
Thank you again for your reply. This site is very helpful.
I have round setters that I have both purchased and made. My bezels tend to be fairly heavy, so I do a lot of tapping with a small hammer. The thing to be careful about, other than tapping too hard, is to make sure that the inside concave surface of the setter rests on the outside edge of the bezel and doesn’t make contact with the stone at any time. You can put some sharpie or correction fluid on the stone and then gently rub the setting tool and see if it rubs off the sharpie or fluid. You can remove them both with a bit of alcohol. You also need to make sure that the bezel is well supported. I usually embed the piece in thermal setting plastic and then secure the whole thing in an engravers ball (vise). If you don’t have a heavy vise, go to a store like Lowes, HD etc. and look for a small (4") machinist vise. Irwin makes them. They aren’t very expensive and you will find all kinds of ways to use it. Good luck…Rob
I just purchased thermo setting material! I have looked at the engraver balls because they look very stable and easy to use although spendy. I will keep at it. Most of the time mine have worked well, but my last one was not working well and I just am not sure why. Do you ever recommend using the flex shaft hammer hand piece on something that small 3-4 mm round bezel settings?
I almost never use my flex shaft hammer for anything other than texturing. My bezels are typically very heavy ( 1 - 1.5 mm thick) and I use small brass and steel punches and a hammer to move the bezel wall. I make the punches myself out of brass and steel rod shaping the ends in different ways to fit the shape of the bezel wall. Yes, engraving balls are expensive. Buy the Irwin vise for now and then, when you have either bought just about everything you want or decide to learn to engrave, then buy the ball…Rob
I have found these sets to be helpful for tight spaces:
I’ve never tried the bezel punch setters. I’m very intrigued by them, but always hear mixed reviews, so I’ve stuck with regular burnishers and pushers.
It is a leap of faith to take a hammer and punch to that small bit of metal next to an expensive stone. I did a lot of practice and am now fairly comfortable with the process. Traditional stone setters will tell you that this is a common practice. My biggest challenge has been setting soft stones. Since there are dings and dents to be cleaned up, you need to figure out how to do this without damaging the soft stone. It takes practice…Rob
Good to know about the hammer. I have played with it and it does interesting textures. I will just keep practicing on my bezels and take a look at the Irwin vise.