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Video:How to Make Bezel Set Cabochon Earrings

with Jeanette Caines

Interested in jewelry making and want to learn how to make bezel set cabochon earrings?See Transcript

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Transcript:How to Make Bezel Set Cabochon Earrings

Hi. I'm Jeanette Caines, an instructor here at Jewelry Arts Institute and I'm here for about.com, we're today going to learn how to do a pair of bezel set earrings.

Supplies for Making Bezel Set Cabochon Earrings

We're going to need some:
  • 15,000 spine silver
  • a pair of sterling posts
  • 2 Cabochon
  • bezel mandrel
  • a 3rd arm
  • paste flux
  • scissors
  • tweezers file
  • round nose and chain nose pliers

Instructions for Making Bezel Set Cabochon Earrings

And once I get ready to set, I'm actually going to use just a piece of two by four, double stick tape and a rock pusher. Our first step is going to be making the bezel, cut the end, nice and straight. I'm going to use a Bezel Mandrel just to start forming my circle. This is the fit really that I'm looking for it. It goes in and out easily.

Now, since this is going to be the other side of my seam, I have to pay particular attention and make sure it's nice and straight.I'm going to take the chain nose pliers and I'm going to butt the two ends together very tightly. Place it in the kiln with my seam up. I'm going to use the flame and go right around the piece and get it nice and hot – and you see how the seam starts to glow that tells me that it's hot enough to fuse. I'm going to pull back and use my feather tip, which is the end of the flame. It just disappears so there is no more seam. I have to check it and really make sure that the seam has disappeared completely.

So, I'm going to put it back on the mandrel, I'm going to roll it nice and round and make sure it fits my stone. This is the fit that you really want. I'm using this micron graded sanding paper but you can use 400 sanding paper from the hardware store just as well. Once I make sure I have both sides nice and flat then I'm going to take a little bacxk sheet, like this, I'm going to aneel it in the kiln to make sure it's nice and soft. I usually just let it rest on a steel block. I'm just going to flatten it right between my steel blocks. I'm going to use IT solder for this. That's the highest melting solder. You don't really use it with Sterling. I like to ball it up – I find the balls easier to place. But you can use the litte squares lso if you like.

Dip them inside the paste flux, put them inside the bezel right up against the edge. You can move the flame round a little bit, but keep it right up on the piece. What I'm really watching is that outside seam. The second I see the solder flow in a fill it you stop heating. Then I'm going to dunk it in the water. I'm going to throw it in the pickle for a couple of minutes, now that I've soldered it'll clean it off. Just have to double check and make sure the solder has flowed everywhere completely and there aren't any spaces. We're going to trim the excess away. The important thing with the scissors when you're cutting is to keep the scissors parallel with the side of the Bezel. You don't wan to angle them in and really kind of end up cutting them into your back sheet or cutting your seam open. When she files she's going to let the file really ride right along the side of the bezel. You want to use your sand paper the same way you use your file. We're also going to sand the bottom.

I'm going to cut a very small piece of medium solder. Just going to dip it in a little bit of paste flux, put my post in the 3rd arm so I can keep my heat low and while I'm soldering I'm just going to keep my finger on top of the third arm so that when the solder flows I can apply just a very slight amount of pressure.

And that's it. That's all it takes. When you set cabochon normally what you want is about one of the stone in the bezel and you want two thirds of it out. You want to hold the rock pusher at at least a 45 degree angle to really press the bezel up against the stone. You know you're finished when you've got two things. When you have no space showing between the stone and the bezel and no wiggle what so ever if you use your finger and try to move the stone around.

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