Moonstone Dangles — Gifts for June BirthdaysOnline shoppers needing June birthday gifts will be on the lookout now, so I thought a new pair of moonstone earrings might be a good thing to add to my #DixSterling etsy shop. I had a pair of tiny oval moonstone cabochons and the settings for them in my supplies, so I just had to come up with how to show them off.
Rectangular Wire — Made to MeasureI recently made a pair of dangles earrings from 3/8 inch wide rectangular wire and decided to go with that, making the dangles about 1 inch long and setting the moonstones at the bottom of the drops. Shepherd hooks work to make earrings like this swing from your ears.
The Joys of a Owning Drill PressI remember having to use my flex shaft to drill holes for ear wires but having the Dremel as part of my bench setup sure makes it much easier. I use a punch to dimple the metal where I want the holes then tape the pieces to a bit of wood to steady them for drilling (you can't just hold them down — too hot for human fingers).
Polishing — Not the Most Creative Part of the Process
I have buffs and polishing compounds that I use on the Dremel for larger pieces but for small items like these earrings, I prefer the 3M Radial Bristle Discs. I have a set, mounted on mandrels for my flex shaft standing in a piece of wood (upper right side of photo) on my bench where they are easy to grab. Speaking of tool storage, I use a 2X2 inch wood strip to hold my needle files. It is just behind the polishing discs and makes it easy to find and grab the file I need. I drew crude but useful diagrams of the file shapes beside each hole so I can ID them at a glance.
Ready to Set Stones
Once I had the bezel cups soldered on and had finished polishing the pieces, I was ready to set the cabochons.
I use the tip of the steel burnisher to push the serrated edge of the bezel cups on to the stones. I also use the smooth face of the burnisher to bring up a bright shine on the edges of the silver dangles (almost impossible to do that narrow strip with the polishing discs).