O.K. so I’m not sure about this one.
This video series is really for anyone who wants to see my thought process and particularly the soldering bit in its entirety.
So, you’re duly warned and might want to skip it if the tedium of it all will get to you…
The stone I use for this show and tell is Turquoise and is also round so the piece turns out slightly differently from the one above. You’ll get the gist however.
A 12 millimeter-ish round-ish piece of Turquoise or other stone.
A smaller 5 millimeter-ish complimentary stone.
22 gauge fine silver sheet for the base.
23 gauge fine silver sheet for the leaves.
Some 18 and 16 gauge fine silver wire.
You’ll find a list of the tools I use and their links under each video.
I don’t endorse any particular tool, nor recommend that you use them. They are just the tools I used.
I keep all of the videos here on my blog. If you click to watch one on you tube you’ll have to come back here to find the next one. I do this as sometimes I feel a little more explanation may be needed and so I write notes to accompany them. As such they aren’t really stand alone videos.
This video has a small glitch in it around the 3 min mark when somebody texted me or something. Sorry ;(
Note: It’s best to anneal any silver you intend to form first.
Now that the leaves are annealed I can actually squeeze the ends together and snip at the same time.
You don’t have to use fine silver. I prefer it as it doesn’t tarnish as sterling silver does. Bear in mind, however, that fine silver is softer that sterling so anything you want to hold its shape, like cuffs etc., will distort more easily.
I am a very visual person so I find that I’m constantly using my tweezers to move pieces around etc. Even if I’ve made a drawing I like to get an idea of how everything will look together. Sometimes you can’t get this from a drawing alone – unless you’re one of those super accurate fine jewelry making drawers, in which case you shouldn’t be watching these videos…
Cutting Shears – Rio Grande #111289
Snap on Sanding Discs and Mandrel – HERE
Here is a photo of the necklace I refer to in the video which uses the leaf stems as prongs and has the 50 plus pieces.
When I make a bezel collar I find that the combined thickness of the overlapping bezel wire gives enough extra length to ensure that the cabochon fits just right. I cut the wire a millimeter or two longer than where I mark it with the pencil just as an added precaution. Often times, however, I end up snipping it back down to the pencil line. If you are using a very thick bezel wire this will still work for you, but you will have more wire to snip away. It’s just trial and error with the type of wire you prefer to work with, but the principle is the same. It just gives you a good starting guide of where to snip and if you wrap the wire around the stone correctly you should have perfectly matching edges to solder together.
You have to make sure that the bottom of the bezel wire is flat to the block and that the sides are perpendicular and not bent inward, or outward, at any point along its circumference for your bezel join to work properly.
Bale making pliers – HERE
Note: I use fine silver bezel wire.
Narrow bezel wire – Rio Grande #101003
Medium bezel wire – Rio Grande #101051
Wide bezel wire – Rio Grande #101076
Although there are other companies that will recycle your scrap silver I send mine to riogrande.com
You can find their scrap programme at the bottom of their page under Rio Grande Services & Brands
This is a long one so if you want to watch it go get yourself a cup of coffee or a stiff drink of some sort and settle in for the ride as I will now attempt, before your very eyes, to solder all of the fiddly bits on. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t, but with practice and patience you too will be able to do this and probably better than I do…
Don’t tell anyone, but I rarely use a proper file.
It looks bright enough in the video, but it was pretty dark from my angle and I couldn’t see properly.
I had two sizes of balls. Small ones for the oval pieces and slightly larger ones for the leaves to give it more interest.
I have several pairs of tweezers handy so I can swap them out as they get hot.
Often the pieces won’t stand up on their own as the small piece of solder I’ve placed on the bottom form a slight ball. This is why I put them on individually instead of soldering them all at once. If I can get them to stand up on their own I would do it all at once. As it is I tack them into place first and then give them a good once over at the end.
You have to keep your eye on everything at once so that you can see if something is going to melt. By moving my torch in and out I can generally avoid the other pieces, but this is also why you have to make sure you give everything a good going over at the end. I generally do this by changing up my torch head to a larger one because it can cover more area at once. If I’m careful I can get all of the pieces to settle at once and not have to keep working one area at a time. Seriously, it’s just practice and knowing where the heat is.
You can do it 😉 It’s like one day you can’t do it, you can’t do it, you can’t do it and everything melts and you’re going to give up and take up crochet, then suddenly voila a shift in the fabric of time and you won’t look back.
Solder Chips – HERE
Penny Brite – HERE
It’s difficult to see anything doing anything in this one, but it is short and sweet – thankfully 🙂
It wasn’t worth it to keep re-heating and moving the pieces around to fit the stone in as it was such a small slither of silver to take off, but I think that first cut off disc was blunt and wasn’t doing anything.
The stems did fit into the leaves more easily than in my previous necklace, but it turned out that I still found it easier to tack the tip of the stem onto the leaf and then push it in to get a better fit before continuing to solder it in place. By cutting the end of the stem first rather than before soldering it I could make sure that it was be the right length to travel up along the leaf and be long enough to continue up as a prong. If I hadn’t cut it first I couldn’t be sure that each prong would be the same length.
Cut Off Disc – Rio Grande #346080
I just sand the tips of my tweezers with the sanding disc in my Foredom. Use a mask if you do this.
I know I seem to be fussy about that small piece being out of place, but I think it’s good practice to try to make things as best you can.
This video shows you just how fiddly it can all be. It was even annoying me. If you haven’t got the patience or really don’t want to make things like this you might still pick up one or two things from seeing me struggle – if it’s only to not do it this way.
Honeycomb Soldering Block – HERE
Metal Pins – HERE
The piece wasn’t entirely clean which is why the flux went a funny colour.
Cup Burs set of 12 – Rio Grande #344397
Here I use the rubber end of the hammer so that I don’t mark the silver leaves.
This video stops short as someone phones me, but it’s at the end anyway. The only thing I had left to do was to go over it all again to make sure everything was completely soldered.
I propped up the leaf at the end because if the solder melts again the leaf is still in place and won’t just drop off.
Generally annealed wire is easier to wrap, but this was still a little awkward.
Warning – the sticky wax in my link comes in a huge packet which will last you for the rest of your life if you’re just using it for this purpose. You can probably find similar products elsewhere. It won’t always get out cabochons which are really stuck in a setting so don’t rely on it unless you’re pretty confident it will work.
Sticky wax – Rio Grande #700187 – Warning. This is a lot of sticky wax. You won’t need to buy any ever again.
Black Max – Rio Grande #331053
Yellow 3m wheels – Rio Grande #332581
Very Fine Buffing Wheels – Rio Grande #330541
Bench Lathe – Rio Grande #334016
Here it is
I know it was a long one, but I hope you got something out of it – even if it’s only that you never want to make one.