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Thread: Newbie! Bezels and bangles?

  1. #1
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    Default Newbie! Bezels and bangles?

    Hi all!

    I am a newbie to this forum (and jewellery making!) so apologies for any mistakes/stupid questions!


    Basically...I am just starting out with making my own jewellery and would like to know if this is possible for me to do:

    I am working in sterling silver (hoping to get gold plated, but thats another story.), however, as I live and work in an apartment I can only use handheld torches/mirco-torches and am wondering if it is at all possible for me to make a cuff/bangle with a bezel set stone attached, similar to this Monica Vinader cuff -

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Will I be able to get the cuff hot enough to attach a bezel?! are there any tips on doing this with the small butane torch? Should I buy two?
    I really want to be able to make cuffs!

    Anyway thank you in advance!

  2. #2
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    Hi, V.

    It is surprising how much heat silver disperses, so it is very unlikely that you will have success with just one torch. What is more the claimed temperature of a flame is not the same as the heat output.

    You can improve matters by :

    1. Using two small torches, but always keeping them moving, or closing the air holes a little to avoid damaging your metal with an intense sharp flame.

    2. In addition you can build a chamber with soldering bricks, to retain and reflect the heat back onto the metal.

    3. You can buy a hand held plumbers torch and give it an unauthorised modification to partially close the air holes and avoid a roaring flame.

    You will also need to devise a safe soldering hearth, maybe from a large roasting tin or old barbecue, with a shield at the back, to avoid setting your room alight.

    Welcome to the forum, Dennis.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails s Improvised chamber for conserving heat..jpg   Hand Held Torch Modified.jpg  

  3. #3
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    Hi!

    Thanks for your reply, Dennis!

    I've spent weeks sketching out designs that i'm now just desperate to create so I'm hoping I can resolve this and get something to work! I think my best bet would be to get two torches - I've had my eye on the Nimrod PT 500 Pro Torch which I've seen on this forum and seems to be a more powerful handheld torch, is this correct do you know?

    I don't think I'm brave enough to rig up a plumbers torch to be honest; but I have read that charcoal blocks are good at 'bouncing' heat back onto the metal - do you know which is better to use out of the solder or charcoal blocks?

    If I went with thinner sheet metal would this also mean I'd have better luck with it getting it to the right temperature?

    Thanks again for your help!!

  4. #4
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    No doubt Dennis will reply but the thickness of the metal isn't so much the problem as keeping it all at the same temperature at the same time which is why you need a bigger torch or two.
    Remember that the charcoal blocks may continue to burn so for safety you still need to build some sort of hearth. I've always used fire bricks, you can buy them cheaply at fireplace shops or builders merchants but mine are also in a rotating steel hearth that a friend kindly welded for me years ago

    Welcome from me too

  5. #5
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    To reply: for the metal you need at least 1.2mm thickness, or it will be flimsy in the width you show. However there is no harm in using easy solder, which requires less heat.
    I have not used the Nimrods, but you might still need two.
    I don't use charcoal as I find those grey soldering blocks suffice. Dennis.

  6. #6
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    I make my stuff in a spare bedroom, and I have a gas cylinder under my bench, mine is just a go-gaz one, so just one bottle, it lasts for ages and I havent had many problems where it wouldnt heat enough. I do use a hand held one as well if its a big cuff, one I did a while back was 2mm silver, an inch wide and I had gold bezels to solder on, then I had to use two torches. I nearly always use a charcoal block, find it solders quicker.

  7. #7
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    Not sure if I am replying correctly....but thanks for the help, it is much appreciated! I will definitely see about building some kind of hearth and will also try out using two torches....hopefully that works! thanks again!

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Patstone View Post
    I make my stuff in a spare bedroom, and I have a gas cylinder under my bench, mine is just a go-gaz one, so just one bottle, it lasts for ages and I havent had many problems where it wouldnt heat enough. I do use a hand held one as well if its a big cuff, one I did a while back was 2mm silver, an inch wide and I had gold bezels to solder on, then I had to use two torches. I nearly always use a charcoal block, find it solders quicker.
    Thanks for the reply!

    Unfortunately I can't have proper gas cylinders in my apartment (probably shouldn't really have a handheld torch....but thats for creme brle, right?! haha) Did you use two hand held torches for the big cuff? because thats bigger than I would be making so there may be some hope!

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by vinylkiwi View Post
    Thanks for the reply!

    Unfortunately I can't have proper gas cylinders in my apartment (probably shouldn't really have a handheld torch....but thats for creme brle, right?! haha) Did you use two hand held torches for the big cuff? because thats bigger than I would be making so there may be some hope!
    there are plumbers blowtorches that use the disposable propane/butane mixes which are easily hot enough for that. My local DIY store sells the nozzles for about 16 and the canisters for about 4.

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