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Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Tutorial Update / Soldering, Part 1 - Bezel Set Ring Overview

I know I promised a long time ago to put together a soldering tutorial, but I kept getting overwhelmed by the magnitude of the task, so I've decided to break it up into smaller bits. Many of you expressed interest in just seeing a general overview of how the process works, so I've started with that and put together a short introductory section.

Next, I'm going to work on compiling various resources, pictures, written instructions, and perhaps even some video clips to provide more detailed information for those of you who are interested. I'm thinking it will go something like this...

Soldering, Part 1: Bezel Set Ring Overview (download pdf)
Soldering, Part 2: Tools & Equipment
Soldering, Part 3: Soldering Fundamentals
Soldering, Part 4: Ring Fabrication
Soldering, Part 5: Metal Finishing Techniques

16 comments:

Anonymous said...

wonder what they are thinking?...

BetteJo said...

That is an incredibly awesome tutorial - very professional too! Thanks so much!

lauren bacchus said...

this is so fabulous! thank you so much for sharing. :)

Lotta said...

That's so cool! How do you remove the exess sheet metal that sticks out around the bezel cup? With a file?

Vegan_Noodle said...

This is so cool! Maybe someday I'll try it out....

Tamara said...

Yes Lotta, with a file or a grinder. Thanks for pointing out that missing bit of information; I've added it to the tutorial text. :-)

rhienelleth said...

Tamara, this is great! I've been experimenting with some soldering and bezel setting, and one thing I really like about your process is your ring shanks. Could you share how you shape them? I'm assuming you cut a strip from sheet (it looks pretty thick), bend it around a mandrel, and then instead of completing the circle, it looks like you form kind of a horseshoe shape, then bend the two ends w/chain nose pliers perhaps? Any tricks for getting it so perfectly fit to the bezel and uniform?

Thanks again for this - learning soldering has been a frustrating but rewarding experience, so far.

Tamara said...

rhienelleth, thanks for your comments. I'll be going into more detail on fabrication techniques on subsequent tutorials, but for now I can say that yes, you can either cut your bands from sheet or buy rectangular wire already in the correct shape. And they make ring mandrels in the shape of my 'horseshoe' type rings - I use one of those to get it all perfect and symmetrical.

And I agree, learning to work with metal is both frustrating and rewarding. I haven't been doing it for too long myself, but I love it - most of the time. :-)

Anonymous said...

Hi i think your tutorial is fab. I was just wondering what gauge wire you use for the actual ring. I just don't know where to start??

Tamara said...

I usually use 28 gauge bezel wire, 26 gauge sheet metal, and 1mm thick (or more) wire for the band. Hope that helps. :-)

Irene said...

I love your work! I'm very new to jewelry making. Do you have a recommendation for a butane tourch for beginners? How about a tumbler?

Tamara said...

Irene, if you're just starting out, I would recommend just buying a cheap little $10 handheld butane torch at the hardware store. If you find that you enjoy soldering, you can always upgrade. I just had the cheap-o one for several months when I got started.

Like this - http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/displayitem.taf?Itemnumber=42099

As for tumblers, mine is a Lortone - http://www.lortone.com/tumblers.html - but to be honest, I rarely use it.

Good luck.

Tamara

Anonymous said...

Looks great! The only thing I would recommend is when you are pushing the bezel metal against the stone, use more downward (read: towards the shank) pressure. If done correctly you'll end up with a nice rounded bead along that whole top surface, as well as end up with a very tightly set stone.

Anonymous said...

love the tute, thanks for sharing!!I want to try out, but I don´t know where I can find the ring stock!can you recommend any places?

Tamara said...

I get mine from Hoover & Strong. :-)

Anonymous said...

Ever do the rest of the Soldering series you have listed under Soldering, Part 1- Bezel Set Ring Overview? If so I would love to see it...it had said you thought you would post one of them a month, yet I can't find anything after the first one done in 2008 (I think). Loved the 1st....curious about the rest.....