Kim- The easiest way to go is to buy a bezel with a step in it for
faceted stones. Or you can just get some tubing and cut a seat into
it with a setting bur. Just like prong setting you never want to cut
more than half way in the walls of the bezel. Then with a small punch
and a chasing hammer bring the walls down slowly and evenly. Only go
about 80%. Take a half onglette graver and tidy up the edge and then
hammer the wall the rest of the way down onto the top of the stone.
You can also use a bezel setting punch. We have a full set that Tim
calls his second favorite tool:-) They are a set of concave punches.
Choose the size that fits over your bezel, set the bezel on a firm
surface with the stone in place and hammer it down. It makes for a
perfectly smooth bezel every time. Again if you need to, clean up
with a graver. I then use a fine tipped highly polished pointed
burnisher to run around the inside edge of the bezel with a good
As for making paste solder…
We used to work with a very fine Cambodian goldsmith Seng Au. He
used to make his own paste solder to make 24 kt bot chains. He’d take
18 kt hard solder and mix it half and half with 24 kt gold and file
it up. He’s then take two very clean files and rub the filings
between the files til it was powder like. Then he’d run a magnet
through the powder to rid it of any iron or steel. Mixed it with
paste flux. He also had a hand made tiny little spoon that he’d apply
it with to the chin links.
Seng was one of those guys who could make beautiful things with two
pair of pliers, a couple of files and a rock. I was kidding about the
Have fun and make lots of jewelry.