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Thread: Tube-setting multiple stones

  1. #1
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    Mar 2020
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    Default Tube-setting multiple stones

    Hello!

    I'm a relative newbie and have been practising tube-setting faceted stones onto rings and earrings. I've got that nailed now (phew!) but am keen to move on to making pieces with more than one stone set in this way.

    My question: how would I solder more than one tube setting onto a piece? Would I do them one at a time using hard solder for the first, medium solder for the second, etc... Or is there a better way I'm missing?

    Thank you so much

  2. #2
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    Dec 2009
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    If it is curved as in rings, it will be best to solder one at a time, starting with the centre one and rotating to keep the base level as you go.
    You can usually start with hard for the first one, and go to easy for at lest four more, as you get further and further from the centre.
    Most of us skip medium solder, as it does not flow as well.

    If you have a flat base, then solder all at one time, Dennis.

  3. #3
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    Mar 2020
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    Thank you, that's exactly the kind of advice I was looking for. I've just about got to grips with hard solder (went through a real phase of it not flowing at all, just sitting there as a little lump!) but I haven't worked with medium or easy yet, so that's good to know.

    I'll get some easy ordered and have a play!

  4. #4
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    Jan 2020
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    Hi Helly77,
    I'd love to see how you get on. I'm new too and have just started to try this out. When I see photos of pieces that have tens of tube settings all attached to each other I can't get my head around how that's done!
    Good luck!
    Emmy

  5. #5
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    Mar 2020
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    Quote Originally Posted by Embo View Post
    Hi Helly77,
    I'd love to see how you get on. I'm new too and have just started to try this out. When I see photos of pieces that have tens of tube settings all attached to each other I can't get my head around how that's done!
    Good luck!
    Emmy
    Hello Embo! The tips worked well, I managed to create a ring with three stones.... they're a tiny bit wonky but not bad for a first attempt

    It was tricky to set the stones though as I couldn't bend the metal over very easily with the stone pusher where the tubes met... but the stones stay in and I think it looks ok!

    If anyone has any more tips, I'm going to try another one. Good luck Embo x



    Sent from my SM-G950F using Tapatalk

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
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    South Australia
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    Best advice I can give is to practice, and from the photos it looks as though you may want to spend more time on cleaning up the piece

  7. #7
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    Here is some advice, to get a cleaner effect Helly, but you have made a start and this is not meant to detract from your efforts:

    The tubes are a fraction thick. You need 0.3 or 0.4mm of metal to push over, so I think you could use one size thinner tubing.
    The stones are a little deep. The table of the stone should be level, but not below the rim of metal before setting.
    You have used rather a lot of solder. It should not creep up between the tubes. If it does, cut through with a very thin saw blade.
    The tubes are rather damaged by overheating. Use only a soft gentle flame, not a pointy fierce one.

    I don't usually put tubes close together, but here is my Toy Brick ring, to show the effect of tube setting:
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails pb6 The Ring Front.jpg  

  8. #8
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    It’s useful when soldering to place your fluxed pallion of solder inside the fluxed tubing so that you don’t get an excess. I’ve found that flux , especially borax, will even hold the tubes in place and slight alterations can be made. I then place the solder once the bubbling has stopped.If using paste then on the few occasions I’ve used it, I use a cocktail stick to place as much as I think necessary. A pallion of strip solder per setting would be more than enough to do the job

  9. #9
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    Mar 2020
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    Hello!

    Thank you all for the advice. I have to be honest, I was a bit disheartened at first (I'm very new to this!) but I've regrouped, taken it on the chin and am determined to improve my techniques! This is how we learn, right......?

    I've been working on a pendant with one tube setting and I took it apart last night and am starting again with the setting

    Dennis, can I ask your advice on soldering? I am using a big pointy flame (busted, ha!) but I found that if I don't I can't get the pallion to melt. It just sits there and eventually turns into a little black blob I'm using a Dremel torch. Any tips would be great, I'm finding soldering very hit and miss! Love the ring BTW... very cool

    Thank you!!!

    Sent from my SM-G950F using Tapatalk

  10. #10
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    Yes, what is going wrong, is that you are getting to the limit of how much heat your torch will put out, and by using a very fiecerce flame you are burning the collets.
    What you would normally do, with a bigger torch (and there are hand held bigger torches) is to close the air hole a bit to get a softer flame. Then heat the whole ring shank, before homing in on the solder. With the shank hot, the solder will flow, and not ball up.
    As Cookson are closed and these are strange times, you might have to get a second torch the same on line, and using them together, one in each hand. You will be like an old time cowboy.
    In the absence of other sources, Tesco sell Swan butane gas. Dennis.

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