Creating a clean seamless bezel is all about the details... I'm excited to take you along with me as we create the silver bezel for this piece of Royston turquoise. Here I will provide a few of the tips and tricks that I use in order to ensure that the seam is solid and the design looks clean upon finishing.
Decide which bezel wire are you were going to use to set your stone, the bezel wire should not be taller than the stone, however it should be tall enough to hit where the cabochon starts to round on the edge in order to keep the stone secure. Depending on your design you may want to use thicker bezel wire, however for the majority of the stones I set, I prefer these two options (one taller, one thinner) and am able to modify them as needed for the height of the stones I work with!
Wrap the bezel wire tightly around the stone and clip the wire off with enough overlap of the two ends to ensure that we modify the length as needed in order to create the seamless finish we're looking for!
Begin using your flush wire cutters (I love this pair!) to snip off little bits by little bit until your two ends are just barely overlapping. Pay attention to the angle you are cutting your adjustments off the end of the wire ( they need to line up and match one another )
Using flush cutters often leaves a little edge - in order for the seam to be seamless, we need as much of the bezel wire as possible to touch the other edge of the bezel wire. This means, creating a seam that is filed completely clean and matches the angle of the wire it is butting up to! Use a sanding disc, a file, or a piece of sand paper in the joint and create a perfectly flush seam! Step 5.Place the piece of hard solder under the joint of the bezel where you want the solder to flow. Spray or wipe down your piece of bezel wire with a flux of some sort - I really like using Rhonda's Purple Flux in a watercolor pen , it allows me to pick up and coat my piece of solder while placing it in the space you want it (be sure not to touch hot metal with the watercolor pen as they are all plastic/synthetic fibersStep 6.
Let's make that solder flow - float the flame around the entire piece, evenly heating and never concentrating the heat in one place for too long. Once the piece is getting warmed up focus your flame on the piece of solder and float your flame in and out - once the solder flows it will appear a brighter color than the silver wire where it is joining the two ends.
If your solder is a big glob ➡️ you may have used too much.
If your solder isn't fully melted ➡️ the entire piece of silver may not have been warm enough when the solder was hot or you pulled the flame out too early
If your bezel wall is a little deformed ➡️ the silver got too hot and melted a little
Soldering is truly a "practice makes perfect" type of thing, as annoying as that is - but that doesn't mean you can't set yourself up for success by having someone in your corner to ask questions to :)
If you're struggling with a project or getting frustrated getting a perfect solder seam - I'd love to help you! If you are interested in one on one support to troubleshoot your project together - let's schedule time to do that!