Stone Setting Headache
I am wondering if you have any tips on bezel setting a stone. I have set a number of stones, usually quite big irregularly shaped cabochons, with no problem. The last few days have been giving me quite the headache. I am trying to set irregularly shaped quite small sleeping beauty turquoise cabochons . I have quite accurately shaped the bezel strip (I think - the stone fits in the bezel strip before it is soldered on the base), but when it comes to setting the stone in the setting after it is soldered to the base, it will not fit at all. The stone ends up chipped. Any tips for setting cabochons in a bezel setting when it's a tight squeeze? Your help is much appreciated.
Lots of things come to mind, so I can only brainstorm this one.
1.I find it very handy to have a mini light box to work on for tricky bezels, so that I can be more accurate. It needs only to be a cheap LED battery operated cupboard light from a hardware shop. You will need to dim it with strips of white tape and put it in a small, flat topped plastic box as your work surface.
2.Cut your bezel from fine silver sheet at least 0.4mm thick to avoid distortion when you solder it onto your base and put it on a wire mesh so that you can heat from below.
3.When trying it in, lay dental floss across the setting first, so that you can yank it out if it jams.
4. If in spite of all this it is too tight, de-burr the inside with the blade of a craft knife, or burnish it out gently with a burnisher.
My mini-light box below is more elaborate than really needed, but is in regular use. Dennis.
Last edited by Dennis; 25-05-2012 at 10:11 PM.
Hi Dennis Many thanks for your reply. I use the 0.3 bezel strip that cooksons sell. Could it be that the bezel strip is too thin?
I already have a light box that might come in handy. I've got one more turquoise stone left - I'll let you know the results! Many thanks, Anne
Another thing that works is to modify the stone - a sapphire nail file will take off some of the material. I'd prefer to get a closer fit from the bezel, but sometimes it is less hassle to go for the stone.
I have to admit I have had very similar experiences using this material. I put it down to it being so soft, I was deforming it my self. I see that that may not be the case. I need to try heating from underneath
Hi Peter That idea is really interesting. Many Thanks, Anne
I know Julian, I have never worked with a stone that is that soft before.
I have also experienced this problem with slightly irregular stones. I now mark the stone and/or bezel so that it goes in the way it was measured. It's very easy to put it in the wrong way round and then of course the little devil doesn't fit properly and deforms the bezel!
Easing the bezel over the stone and then easing the stone into the bezel repeatedly and alternately also helps to avoid conical distortion ( before you solder to your backplate of course)
Hi Kwant and Theresa, Thanks for your advice, i'll give it a try, Anne