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The Saga of the Enormous Bezel

My sincere thanks to all who e-mailed their suggestions, both
on-line and off.

I was trying to solder, with minimum warping, a 2"x3" bezel onto a
slightly larger backing plate of 18G sterling, and was having
buzzard luck.

Here is what worked for me-

1). “The Bigger Hammer Approach.” I had been using a #3 tip on my
Presto-lite torch. I moved up to a #6 tip.

  1. “The Smaller Nail Approach.” I used easy solder.

3). I wanted to be able to heat from beneath, with support, though,
to minimize warping, but my tripod was too small to accomodate the
piece and the cast-iron base drew off too much heat, so I took the
tripod screen and placed it on top of a couple of rocks so that it
was supported at the edges.

I tried the two torches technique using a Bernz-o-matic on top and
the Presto-lite from below, but the Presto-lite flame was apparently
snarfing up too much of the available oxygen and the Bernz-o-matic
would not stay lit. I was able, however, to get the solder flowing
with the Presto-lite alone, heating from beneath, and then just
brought the flame up to the top and flowed the solder around the
bezel. The main issue, I think, was going to the #6 tip, and then
opening up the tank valve and regulator so the flame was going full
blast and roaring loudly.

Lee Einer
Dos Manos Jewelry

Lee, Good for you!! I think you did good by staying with it. You
will probably find that after doing a few large pieces like that
first one, the process will get easier. What you did is also the way
to go for most large sweat soldering jobs as well.

Cheers from Don at The Charles Belle Studio in SOFL where I’m doing
very well after surgery on Wed and where simple elegance IS fine
jewelry! @coralnut2