My mission for this weekend was to make two bezel settings, one for a round blue topaz which will go on a pendant and one for a square amethyst to go on a ring.
I started with the 'easy' round one, first bending up the bezel wire to the approximate diameter of the stone.
Once cut to the approximate size and shape I used my bezel mandrel to get a nice round form.
The bezel was not quite snug enough (you can see a gap at the left of the photo below), so I used my saw to carefully shave off 1-2mm at the join.
Ready to solder I used flambe (a mix of borax, boracic and methylated spirits) which gives the bezel the crusty white appearance and then some flux at the join. These will help keep away fire scale meaning less filing later.
Once soldered and into the pickel I began the square setting. To get nice crisp corners it is necessary to score the inner corner. This is done by first creating a shallow cut with the saw, then using a square needle file to make a 45 degree channel.
All bent into shape and soldered the square bezel was ready to go into the pickel for cleaning.
Back to the round bezel it was time to make the inner sleeve which the stone will sit on. The process is pretty much as per the outer sleeve, once it fit snugly I soldered it in.
The square bezel now clean from being pickeled can now have a light file.
At the moment it is a little tight for the stone to 'drop in', but I will use a burr later to help it in.
The square bezel is going onto a knife edged ring which I made earlier. I filed a groove so the bezel could drop down onto the ring for soldering.
Happy with todays progress, and developing a headache, it was time to call it a day. With any luck I may be able to complete both pieces, we'll see.....