as I was setting two pieces of turquoise, two of my balls poped
off.one on each, fell off. what is a good way to protect the turquoise and the rest of the setting in the turquoise to Solder on these tiny .2 silver balls on the outside of the setting.
I’m afraid you’re going to need to take the turquoise out. It just can’t handle the heat. I now give a little test to all my soldered balls to prevent having to do that as it has happened to me as well.
I would remove the stone…Rob
You can not heat this piece with stone in place. Here’s a work-around.
Solder a post on the balls that popped off. Drill holes where they belong. Treat the ball and post as the top of a rivet. Cut off the post on the back leaving just the thickness of the post. Then spread the post out on the back of the piece. Burnish in place. If rivets aren’t in your skill set, make the post of a small bit of tubing. It’s easier to spread out than a solid piece of metal.
I owned an Indian jewelry store for years and had to see for myself if there was any way of soldering on a piece without pulling the stone. I tried submerging just the stone in water. I tried available commercial products. Nothing worked. Admittedly, I used an air/acetylene torch and always wondered if oxy/acetylene might have done the job without destroying the stone but never tried it. The result was that I always pulled the stone for a repair; as long as you are careful, you can pull it without breaking it. As to my own work, I had the same problem of balls and other parts falling off until I came to really understand how to solder and solved the problem. Until you are confident in pulling turquoise stones–which you can only learn by doing it–I must say that Judy H’s ingenious solution sounds like just the thing.
The tip by judyh would also work well when using a laser.
Usually it is pretty easy to remove a turquios set that way, so that makes the most sense to me.
If you haven’t created one yet, it’s easy to make a bezel opener from a hacksaw blade and a grinding wheel.
Slowly, with water to cool the blade, form, shape, thin out the tip of the blade until it’s easy to slide between the stone and the bezel. Always lever the bezel against your finger or something besides the stone so you don’t crack it. And work slowly.
I pull stones all the time with two of these tools and it’s cake.
agree with everyone… all good ideas… turquoise can’t be exposed to heat. only an arc or laser weld would do it… if you don’t have one, you either have to pull the stone or go the ingenious route of doing a rivet…
Could you please post a quick pic of the tool you made? Many thanks!
Please do… I have three new pawn navajo necklaces with red stones in them… one has turquoise and re red stones… I doubt that the red stones are coral or carnelian… if they are plastic simulations, I’d like to dig them out and replace them with turquoise…if they are real stones, they would be worth a lot… A picture of your homemake tool would be greatly appreciated.
I bought all three at a yard sale for $1000… was in Albuquerque a week ago and 50 year old new pawn squash blossom necklaces price out at $3000 to $4000 each.
Here ya go! Hope the pic is clear.
I just use an exacto knife when I need to, which isn’t very often…Rob
how do you use them to dig a stone out of a bezel without damaging either?
thanks, very effective, stronger than an exacto knife blade…will keep it in mind
I probably pull 2 to 4 stones every day I’m at the bench and I couldn’t do it without those. I like to have a few different profiles for different types of bezels.
I learned about that tool from a 3rd generation Mexican silversmith.
Wonderful tip! Thanks for sharing.