Greetings Lin, I’d vote for work hardening causing your difficulty in
bringing the bezel over the stone’s girdle. From your description,
the poor thing was really worked over after your last soldering and
probably needed to be anneled. It doesn’t take all that much to make
sterling “stiff” and hard to bend.
I did half of the beveling after the practice piece was fully
soldered and complete. Even though there was very little rim left on
the topmost edge at this point, I had a horrendous time bending it
over the girdle.
See if you can find the tube settings in fine silver-that would help
too. Some body out there should know if and where you can get fine
silver settings. The other possibility is that your bezel was a
little higher above the girdle than is ideal… a shade more than a
whisker is about right. When I try something new, I look for a
"coach" to show me through it - is there someone nearby who could do
that for you?
Good luck Lin, Judy
Judy M. Willingham, R.S.
221 Call Hall Kansas State Univerisity
Manhattan KS 66506
(785) 532-1213 FAX (785) 532-5681