This week we have been looking at stone setting.
The first project was to make a simple bezel setting. Bezel settings are one of the most comm0n settings, especially within contemporary jewellery as they allow you to set almost anything.
Here are a few examples of some bezel set jewellery pieces:
How to make a simple stone set silver ring:
Pick your stone (or an inclusion that isn’t necessarily a stone)
D-shaped silver wire – long enough to fit your ring size and as thick as you want it to be, i’d recommend 0.3 or 0.4mm.
Square-shaped silver wire
Flat fine silver
Various grades of emery paper and steel wool
Solder, flux, heat pliers and torch
Water bowl and fine paintbrush
Round and flat-nosed pliers
Flat stone setting tool
This is my stone. It is an 8mm quartz. Therefore all my measurements and instructions will fit in with a rounded stone.
Take a strip of silver wire. About 5mm thick (for my size of stone) or just higher than the lip of your stone.
Roll your strip through a rolling mill until it is 0.3mm thick.
Using this calculation (this calculation only works with rounded objects, for other shapes take some binding wire and wrap it around the edge of your stone/inclusion to get the measurement of your bezel) work our how long your silver strip needs to be. Saw your strip to this size.
Take your round-nosed pliers and curl your strip of silver inwards.
File the edges until they are flat and sit against each other.
Solder your strip together. As you can see this one doesn’t quite meet up at one end. This doesn’t really matter because that will be the end that I sand down. As long as one edge meets perfectly. Pickle your metal.
This image shows the filing the edges flat step with d-shaped wire. This wire will be your ring base.
You should have a bezel (bottom left), complete the same steps above with the d-shaped wire (bottom right), which should be cut large enough to fit your finger and with the square wire (top center) which should be the size of your bezel – it’s thickness as it has to go inside the bezel strip.
Once you have all three parts, form them around a ring mandrel until they are perfectly round as see below.
^ Rounded ring.
Cut a piece of sheet silver to fit the size of your bezel. Arrange as shown above and paint with flux.
Solder the three parts together.
The soldered bezel.
Roughly saw away the excess square silver (being careful not to cut into the bezel. Don’t worry if it is really roughly cut you will be sanding it down anyway).
Cut out piece.
File along the edges until you can no longer see the join.
Continue to sand down the edges on various grades of emery paper until the edges are smooth and rounded.
As you can see the bezel is too high for the stone so you will also need to sand down the top.
The bezel should be just bigger than the edges of the stone. You don’t want the stone to fall out but you also don’t want to overlap the stone with too much metal.
Now the bezel is ready to be added to the ring shank.
Before soldering you might want to flatten out the part of the ring being soldered with a file (it makes the bezel sit evenly on the shank). After filing, solder the two pieces together.
This is what it looks like before being cleaned in the pickle.
This is what it looks like after coming out of the pickle.
Using a hand-drill and some fitting burrs, clean out the inside of the ring and remove any impurities as these will offset your stone.
If your stone is clear/translucent and you haven’t cut a hole in the bottom of the bezel then you will want to polish up the inside of the bezel as the silver will then reflect light.
Polish all aspects of the ring however you want before moving onto this next step.
Place your ring into the ring clamp.
Pop your stone onto a blob of bluetack and insert it into the bezel carefully, the bluetack should help you fit it in straight but you still need to ease it in carefully because if the stone doesn’t go in straight your setting will be offset and it is very very difficult to get the stone back out at this stage.
Using your pusher tool, push in the sides of the metal without touching the stone (or it will scratch), you might need to hammer it gently if your metal is quite thick, otherwise the pressure from your hand should be enough. Start at 3 o’clock then move to 6, then 9, then 12, go back to 2, 4, 6 and 8 and finally 1, 5, 7 and 11 o’clock and continue to follow these steps until you metal is fully pushed over and straight.
Finished bezel stone set ring :)
I hope ya’ll like that little tutorial. If you have any questions feel free to drop me a comment or if you have any stone setting tips that would be great too :) You can also tweet me @ChloeHenderson9