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Soldering bezel-set cabochon ring

i’m looking for clever solutions to my problem.

i have just made my first bezel-set cabochon ring with 1/2 round
wire. every time i soldered the ring, i discovered that the oval
bezel was not straight on the wire. here’s what i did:

-filed a flat spot on the 1/2 round ring so that the solder join was
in the middle of the flat spot

-prips fluxed the 2 pieces

-sweat-soldered a small quantity of easy solder on the ring’s flat

-marked the 2 axes of the oval bezel with permanent marker and the
middle of the flat spot on the ring.

-placed the bezel on the soldering pad and held the ring in
cross-locking tweezers on third hand

-eyeballed the placement of the ring on the bezel as i lowered the
third hand down to slightly press the ring against the bezel. i then
spent a good amount of time looking at and adjusting the setup from
various vantage points-- too much time considering the results.

-slowly warmed up the third hand and pieces with the torch. i don’t
think that there was any violent movement of the pieces due to
inadequate preliminary warming. soldered the pieces.

-found that the oval bezel did not sit straight on the ring. in all
attempts the bezel is a little skewed.

-gave up trying to get it perfect.

oh, my final try did away with the sweat-soldering on the ring. i
took off the old solder on the flat spot and used a snippet of solder
on the side of the ring away from the torch.

my jewelry instructor suggested cutting “stitches” with a burin to
hold the bezel in place but said that the challenge there was getting
the stitches just right. knowing my level of skill, i won’t get them
straight and will wind up with gouges on the back of my bezel.

in case i am just not accurate in my “eyeballing,” for the next
bezel i do i will draw the outline of the ring wire on the bezel to
more precisely indicate where the ring should sit on the bezel. but
of course, the permanent marker disappears once i apply some heat, so
i won’t be able to tell whether the ring is moving as i heat it.

so, do any of you have clever solutions to my problem? one of my
books spoke of using binding wire. i tried that, but i just couldn’t
see where that would work. the ring was able to move around too much
even after i bound it. perhaps if i glued the 2 pieces together and
then bound them…

i agree with you guys, i have been wondering about dave sebaste and
missing his comments on orchid. i hope he comes back to us, even
intermittently while he pursues another career.

thanks in advance,
jean adkins

Jean, If you have, or have access to, a 2003 Rio Grande tools and
equipment catalog, on page 310 there is a tool called “locking head
and shank tweezers”. These will solve your problem.

Jerry in Kodiak


Sounds like you are doing things well but be aware,…if you put
too much downward pressure with the third hand, as you heat the ring,
it will expand, as will the bezel, and as the soldering flux becomes
liquid the pieces will ‘slide’. This is especially so if you have
presoldered one side or the other as the small pool of melted solder
forms a slight bump. The movement may be nearly impercepable but
they always seem to twist and move out of alignment!

Try this…Do not presolder. Be sure to heat the pieces so the flux
bubbles and relaxes then heat till it is a glaze. Let the pieces
cool and reset where they should be. Maintain only enough pressure
with the third hand to keep them in line…don’t use any downward
pressure. Place a snippet next to the join and pull it through with
your flame.

Hope it will do the trick…this is the way I do it all the time.
Cheers from Don at The Charles Belle Studio in SOFL where the
marvelous Marlins are set to take the Series and where simple
elegance IS fine jewelry! @coralnut2

Jean, Take the binding wire and twist is double… i.e sprirally
twisted… then it does not move when you solder…Hans