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Tools to assist bezel setting


#1

As a jewelrymaker for three decades . my hands are not what they
used to be … with carpal tunnel and arthritis …pushing
bezels to set cabs is a challenge to say the least. Does anyone
know of any tools or even machine-assisted methods that might
get the job done with less actual “push” from my hands.

thanks

Cathleen


#2

Dear Cathleen, try a hammer handpiece. I set 1.5 mm diameter and
up, cabs and faceted, from opals to diamonds. Badeco makes a
good piece. Get the feel for it before you try tiny or soft
stones.

                                                    Bill Navran

#3

Hi: try an impact hammer handpiece, you can adjut the stroke and
as long as you work it around, it takes less time but I always
finish with a hand burnisher. I have a pfengst and l belive
foredom makes one also, I also use the gravermax to do
bezels…Either will suffice…God Bless…John Henry,
Ringman


#4

Hi Cathleen

I have recently been using a foredom #15 handpiece also known as
a hammer handpiece for tube and bezel set stones. You can
adjust the intensity of the blows for working on various
thickness of metal. You do have to use a lot of finese when
working around softer stones though. I love the device and it
would certainly help take some stress off of your hands.

Good luck,

jim


#5

Dear Cathleen,

I usually don’t push bezels over the stones with a pusher. My
teacher, Marcia Lewis, taught me how to use thick bezels. I
file the upper portion at an angle, then I lightly tap it over
using a punch and a chasing hammer. It helps if you first
texture the punch by striking it against an old file that has
been reserved for steel. I’ve used this method with thin bezel
wire and it works well for that too.

Best Wishes,

Pauline


#6

Hey, don’t dispair, there is a simple solution to the your
problem. It is a technique that involves a tapping punch (a tool
that you can easily make at your workbench) with a chasing
hammer. Look up a video tape supplied by your favorite jewelery
tool supplier by Robert R. Wooding entitled: Channel Setting
Diamonds. Some reference to the procedure is also discussed in a
book by the same author entitled: Diamond Setting: The
Professional Approach.


#7

Cathleen, Try a Hammer handpiece for your Foredom motor and flex
shaft. It has a 1/32" stroke with adjustable impact. It is
available with a number of tips for setting and texturing. Cost
is less than $90. I have been using one for years and find it an
invaluable tool. Joel


#8

Cathleen, Foredom makes a hammer hand piece for attachment to the
flex shaft. I have not pushed a bezel in years, I hammer them.
Try a small amount of play-doe to hold the stone in place till
the bezel starts to tighten then steam it out and finish the
tightening. works great. Frank


#9

Hi Cathleen, Rio Grande offers a Foredom hammer handpiece that I
use for the same reasons, and while somewhat noisy, it does save
on the hands. A friend said that the higher end handpieces were
quieter (I have the basic unit) and had better fine adjustments
than does mine. We should have a thread on finger joint saving
tools for those arthritic flare-ups! Regards, Susan.


#10

Hi Cathleen,

You might try a hammer handpiece on a flexshaft. The hammer
(actually more of a punch sized part, 2-3 mm diam) can be used to
move metal. In most hammer handpieces the hammer part is
changeable & different sizes & shapes of tools can be used for
different applications. A hammer handpiece turns the rotary
motion of the flexshaft into a reciprocating motion for the tool.
The stroke is quite short & the force is usually adjustable.

Dave


#11

Three ideas for helping old hands in bezel setting - cheapest
is to use a bezel roller, requires less strength than either a
bezel pusher or burnisher. Second is a set of dies (from Frei and
Burel) for round stones that are concave and come down over the
stone and bezel and with a bit of a downward push and twist bring
the bezel right in. However if the stone is high dome or not
perfectly round, not a good solution. The expensive, easy to use
solution is the GRS Graver Meister or Gravermax - a pneumatic
hammer that is a dream to use


#12

Hi Cathleen, I saw a gadget the other day which looked splendid
for your purpose: it was a stainless steel bolt which had been
turned down to fit a Foredom handpiece on the stem end, the
corners had been ground off the hex-head and polished smooth. The
overall aspect was a balanced but lumpy one. The same day I saw
the ad for it (don’t remember, but think Lapidary Journal) one
of my jeweler customers showed me one he had just made himself.
His worked wonderfully, and left a great burnished surface. For my
arthritis I take chondroitin sulfate and glucosamine sulfate,
and have gotten lots less swelling and much greater range of
motion.

Good luck,

Jim Small


#13

Hi Cathleen,

I would like to offer a couple of suggestions to reduce the
manual effort of bezel setting.

I use a reciprocating hammer tool, it fits on the flexshaft in
place of the handpiece. It takes a few seconds to interchange
them.

The shape and size of the hammer tip can be modified to
accomodate various bezel sizes. I have 3 different tips. After
setting with the hammer, a light clean up with an escapement
file and rubber wheel and you’re good to go.

I like the look of a nice thick walled 14 kt. bezel, so
occasionally I will cut a line inside the bezel at the level
where I want it to roll over the stone. If you look inside the
bezel with the stone in place, you can see where it needs to be.
I use a hart burr to get it started and then a ball burr to open
it up so it doesn’t crease when you shove the metal over. It
doesn’t have to be a deep cut, 1/3rd of the thickness of the
bezel is enough. The idea is to relieve some of the thickness
without sacrificing the look and wearability of a heavy bezel.
The area that is thinned is lower down the stone so it isn’t as
subject to wear.

Hope this helps!

Jesse


#14

Cathleen, I have the perfect cure for your problem… It is called
the Graver-Max… I have had one now for about 6 months and to be
totally honest with you I can’t see how I got along without it…
If you have the Gesswein tool catalog look into it… I am sure
you will find it in other tool catalogs but i deal with
Gesswein… Anyway, when you get the hang of the tool you will set
bezels, burnish setting, pave’ any kind of flat plate work, and
any other kind of setting you need with vitrually no pressure on
your hands at all… And the bright finish it puts on the inner
edge of bezels anf burnish work is unreal… The Graver-max and
its components can be slightly expensive but i am telling you if
you do as much setting as I do, it will pay for itself… If you
would like to talk to me personally I could give a better idea
of what you will need to get started and really give you a better
idea of what it is all about… If you are interested, email me
direct at … tdwgold@epix.net and I will then
give you my 800#. The Graver-Max is really a great piece of
equipment for setting, not to mention its real purpose of hand
engraving… I can’t say enough about this machine… I have been
doing all of my setting by hand for the past ten years so I know
alot of other tricks to make things easier too but this is is the
best… really… let me know… Marc Williams
http://marcco-jewelry.hypermart.net/


#15

Hi Cathleen, Try using a power hammer that fits on your
flex-shaft. Several companies make them and the local tool house
will either have or will get you one. Its much easier on the
hands. Good luck. Tom Arnold


#16

Dear Cathleen, I, too,am always concerned about repetitive use
injuries, carpal tunnel, etc. I use a Gravermax for bezel
setting, engraving and bead setting. It really reduces the stress
on the hands and wrists. It’s also a lot faster.

Donna


#17

Ms. Cathleen,

I have used the GRS System Three for years, and it is one of the
truely BEST investment in tools I have ever made. I am sure
their Gravermate and Gravermax are even better, I was looking for
strictly a setting tool, and cost was definately a factor.

Best wishes,
Mike


#18

Catlene, Try contacting GRS-Glendo Corporation in Emporia, KS
They make some of the finest tools for jewelers. I know they
can help. I personally have many of their products in my shop.
They also have a website. Don’t recall the address, but you can
search for it. They will send you a free catalog. I use the
GraverMate to help me in bezel setting and in pave(bead setting).
It does all the work for you… Email me if I can help
further…Bob–B.Staley, Goldsmiths bstaley@freewwwweb.com


#19

Cathleen,

You might try a Badeco hammer handpiece for you flex shaft, of
better yet a GRS air powered graver max. Either tool will move
material with less stress on your hands. We use the Badeco in
the shop and have had little trouble, however I did just have
mine poop out after about 12 years of daily use. I had to
replace the duplex spring a couple of times but that’s no big
deal. These Swiss hammer handpieces, as they are called, run
about $225.00. The GRS units are about a grand plus the air
compressor. But if you do this for a living it will be money
well spent. Good luck.

Mark P.
WI


#20

Cathleen,

You might try a Badeco hammer handpiece for you flex shaft, of
better yet a GRS air powered graver max. Either tool will move
material with less stress on your hands. We use the Badeco in
the shop and have had little trouble, however I did just have
mine poop out after about 12 years of daily use. I had to
replace the duplex spring a couple of times but that’s no big
deal. These Swiss hammer handpieces, as they are called, run
about $225.00. The GRS units are about a grand plus the air
compressor. But if you do this for a living it will be money
well spent. Good luck.

Mark P.
WI