Hey all I am trying to create setting beads in wax.(nice and
round) and definately uniform, does anybody have any suggestions ??
Alan, Are you talking about making bead settings in carving wax? If
so, I do this all the time for production models. I basically drill
the seats so I can rest the girdles of the melee at the surface of
the metal. Then I a jour or countersink the backs of the holes. I
cut the wax with gravers as if I were precutting beads in metal.
(See Setting of Gemstones by Walter Zeiss) Note that you are not
digging in and raising the bead because the carving wax would just
break off. You are merely cutting to create raised areas separated
by the cuts. Get rid of excess wax between the seats and along the
sides of the seats using round, onglette and flat gravers. Then cut
the bright cuts. You can also divide and cut the triangular areas at
the ends of your beaded strips.
When the graver work is done, I take an electric waxer with a thin
copper wire extension (28 gauge, maybe smaller) attached and melt
the cut beads round. Sometimes, it requires adding a little wax to
even out the beads. Be very careful when rounding tiny bumps of wax
or you will blob the beads together. If this happens, carefully
recut with a fine graver and remelt with the wire tip.
Hope this helps. If you need more clarification, contact me off
P.S. This technique of casting waxes with beads and “bright cuts” is
done to cut production time/cost by permitting less skilled setters
to set diamond melee in midrange jewelry. They don’t have to do
layout, drill, or be highly skilled with gravers.
After the casting is prefinished and prepolished, a wire brush (fine
crimped brush) is used to brush the beaded area to get rid of the
dull casting surface. (NOTE: Gravers can be used to touch up at
this time.) Hart burs are used to tuck and seat the diamond melee.
Round and flat gravers are used to nudge the beads in place and
tighten the stones. Beading tools burnish the beads down and
further tighten the stones. The “bright cuts” can be touched up
with polished gravers or with a knife edge Shofu Brownie silicone
wheel. The bead setting is polished with a soft 7/8" mounted MK
wheel brush, first with Fabulustre. (NOTE: The outer hairs on each
side of the wheel brush are burned prior to polishing to give a more
pointed edge to the brush, allowing it greater access when angling
diagonally, back and forth and between the beads and along the
bright cut areas.) Ultrasonic and steam the piece, then go back
with another MK wheel brush and polish with red rouge.