In my last post I went public about some things that needed attending to. In particular, two bezel set pieces that needed more finishing work. So at last Tuesday’s evening class, I introduced myself to the flex shaft and some polishing bits. I was pretty much playing around with some of the cones and wheels to see what effect they had on the silver. The bezel edges also got a bit more attention with the burnisher to see if they would sit flatter against the coral and glass cabochons. Much better, I think.
I was trying to achieve more of a ‘mirror shine’ on the bezel backs…Take a close look at the one on the right. When I went was photo editing, imagine my surprise to see the edge of my camera and two of my fingers reflected in the silver! Now that’s a shine!
Now to that pesky prong setting from the last post…also worked like crazy in class to get the joins soldered. That’s 12 joins on the piece. And desperately trying not to melt the ones I’d finished while soldering others. Thought I had it once. But when I went to set the stone, one of the prongs popped off…so back to pickling, soldering, pickling, cleaning and polishing all over again. But, necessary.
The good news is that I got lots and lots of practice with pick soldering…I used to set the tiny pallions of solder on the join before using the torch. Pick solder has you heat the pallion until it balls up. Then scoop it up on the tip of your pick…then you go in with the torch to heat up your bezel. When the metal’s all warmed up, then you set the solder down on the join. What I liked about this method is you didn’t accidentally ‘blow’ the solder bit off its join while you were heating up the piece.
I decided this necklace needed some largish sterling silver links wrapped around some colorful Tibetan beads.
Here’s the youtube video from Beaducation that demonstrates freeform prong setting and pick soldering.
I’ll definitely give this another try !