July to September Project
Bench work goes slowly in the summer. Some days, the grass wants cutting. Some days, the garden needs weeding. Some days, the shop is just too hot. Between such interruptions and its fussy nature, this project was started in July and finished on September 2.
In July, I started on this and did get one pair made with Kyanite stones. These — the prototype — are mine. They are a bit tricky to make as you must get a solid join where the bezel-setting meets the wire circle. After wearing mine a few times, I decided it would be worth the time investment to make a pair or two for DixSterling's etsy shop.
Preparing the Bezels
Here are the parts: 8 mm cabochon sunstones, silver square wire circles, backings for the stones and bezel wire (here being marked for size).
I wound the wire circles on a one-inch mandrel and soldered them shut, then used a file to flatten a spot to attach the bezels mounts.
Tools of the Trade
To make bezels, I wrap the stones, mark the length, cut the bezel wire and solder it closed. By that time, it is bent off round and is sometimes a hair too tight. Both problems are easily solved with a steel bezel mandrel and a rawhide mallet. It takes only a few taps (flipping the bezel to keep in even despite the mandrel's taper) to round and stretch the bezel until it fits. This is much better than if I have made the bezel a bit too big and that requires removing a small — usually very small — section and re-soldering.
I love these 3M radial polishing wheels for my rotary tool. They come in many grits and the finger like parts get into most spaces — even tight ones like where these bezels meet the circles.
Now at DixSterling on etsy.