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3556  Custom Designed Jewelry / Members Personal Jewelry Design Experiences / Tutorials / Guides / Re: JennJenn...... Your Earrings ! on: January 03, 2009, 08:52:59 am
I use sheet solder and cut very small pallions with hand shears. I prefer the sheet solder because the pallions lie flat o the sheet being soldered. This allows the heat to transfer to the solder at a lower temperature. Wire solder has a much smaller contact surface, so you have to heat everything much hotter to get the heat to transfer to the solder.
I use medium solder for everything contrary to Mr. Don Norris' approach. The thing that he doesn't take into consideration is that every time you heat the solder the more volatile components of the solder alloy (namely, zinc) boils off. This means the act of melting the solder automatically raises its melting point to that of hard solder.
Bob
3557  Custom Designed Jewelry / Members Personal Jewelry Design Experiences / Tutorials / Guides / Re: Creative Bezel Wire Trick on: January 03, 2009, 08:28:13 am
I keep all of my saw "dust"  and filings as well as any scrap pieces generated and melt them down for castings. Nothing goes to waste!
Bob
3558  Lapidary Shop / Moderator, Catmandewe ( Tony ) / Discs, Wheels, Belts, Pads, and Polishing / Re: Diamond Disk on: January 02, 2009, 11:08:05 pm
I'm a bit confused. Are you looking for a disk for a flat lap or a wheel for a cabbing machine?
You can get 8" 80 grit Chinese wheels from jadecarver for about $85. I use them on my cabbing machine.
Bob
3559  Custom Designed Jewelry / Members Personal Jewelry Design Experiences / Tutorials / Guides / Re: Creative Bezel Wire Trick on: January 02, 2009, 10:23:32 pm
Taogem,
I'm not aware of any step bezel stock that has a flat backing. It would be rather difficult to have much of a step and still be able to bend it around the cab. I have found that most step bezels have a rather thick upper part and at times it becomes somewhat difficult to get it to bend over the cab.
Cutting out the backing isn't terribly difficult to do.
Bob
3560  Custom Designed Jewelry / Members Personal Jewelry Design Experiences / Tutorials / Guides / Re: Creative Bezel Wire Trick on: January 02, 2009, 06:17:25 pm
Travelerga,
Generally on a plain bezel strip I put the seam on one of the longer  sides. On this Carnelian pendant, I put it at the center top because it helped me when I matched the scalloped pattern. On the larger pendant it is on the bottom right where the scalloped pattern has a very slight difference. I couldn't get an exact pattern match due to the length of the bezel strip.
On this pendant because the bottom tip of the stone isn't real sharp, I put the seam at the top center.

On this pendant the stone has a sharp point at the bottom, so I tapered the ends of the bezel strip where they met and applied the solder on the outside of the bezel strip so that the solder wouldn't bridge the gap and cause a real lump that wouldn't press over the stone.

I hope this answers your question,
Bob
3561  Custom Designed Jewelry / Members Personal Jewelry Design Experiences / Tutorials / Guides / Re: Creative Bezel Wire Trick on: January 02, 2009, 05:51:24 pm
This is a picture of the complete pendants that includes the filigree top parts. The "green" part is textured and polished silver. I didn't want to get a bright reflection off the polished surface so I angled the light away from it. Perhaps if I used a light tent I could get the look "right".

Here is a photo of the backs. Neither stone has a backing. When I made these, I cut out the back and left only a small step to hold the stone.

Bob
3562  Custom Designed Jewelry / Members Personal Jewelry Design Experiences / Tutorials / Guides / Creative Bezel Wire Trick on: January 02, 2009, 12:07:24 pm
Here is a trick I have my students do for a creative twist on decorative bezels. Go to a local crafts store and get a pair of decorative cut scissors. They are about $2.50 each, they are plastic with metal inserts for the cutting surfaces and they come in a variety of patterns. The one that I used for this example is a scalloped pattern. One side of the cut is a rounded scallop, the other is a pointed pattern. I use a wide bezel wire (3/16") and cut it down the middle.

Here is an example of a jewelry piece with the rounded half of the bezel strip.

Here is an example with the pointy half of the bezel strip.

Bob
3563  Stone Talk / Moderator, Hummingbirdstones ( Robin ) / Share Our Finished Cabochons and General Cabbing Questions / Tutorials / Re: another first on: January 02, 2009, 11:11:22 am
A really nice pendant. Working with the gallery wire is sure a pleasure and there are quite a few different patterns. It really showed off the stone.
Great work.
Bob
3564  The Gathering / Introductions / Re: Hello From Valley Springs, California on: January 02, 2009, 11:02:23 am
Lapidarist,
Yes, I'm from THE Valley Springs that is home to the Valley Springs Pow Wow. I've been going there for more than 25 years, so I've probably seen you there at some point.
You can't believe the devious techniques I used to convince my wife that Valley Springs is THE place to retire! I hope she never finds out my true motivation! She really likes it here except there is no shopping. We moved here from the Bay Area last June when I retired so it has been somewhat of a culture shock trying to adapt to the slower pace and lack of traffic jams.
Maybe I'll see you at the Pow Wow sometime in the future.
Bob
3565  Creative Stone Works / Moderator, Michael Hoover / Carving Tips, Tricks and Pics / Re: Abrasive mini carving wheels on: January 02, 2009, 10:53:24 am
I think the Mizzy wheels come in two grits but I could be wrong about that. They do come in two widths. I use the wider ones most of the time. I sand with Cratex rubberized abrasive wheels. I like both the Mizzy wheels and the Cratex wheels because you use them dry. It is a bit dusty as you use them so be sure to use an N95 rated dust mask. I like them because in doing the work dry you can see your progress better and it definitely goes faster. Be careful about overheating the piece as you work. Stop and feel of it frequently. The steps that I take as I carve are: 1. Use lapidary grinding wheel to rough out the piece, 2. Use Mizzy wheels to define the details, 3. Use Cratex wheels to sand out the grinding marks and to continue defining the details and 4. Use wood wheels with tumbling grit or diamond paste to finish off the work.
I prefer this method because it goes faster than using diamond wheels under/with water and the Mizzy and Cratex wheels aren't terribly expensive.
I've tried the Silicone wheels for carving/metal work and they are OK (expensive, though) but I wouldn't rave over them.
If you want a "V" shaped wheel, just hold the rotating wheel against a diamond wheel dresser surface and it will quickly grind down to the shape that you want.
Bob
3566  Creative Stone Works / Moderator, Michael Hoover / Carving Tips, Tricks and Pics / Jasper Snail on: January 01, 2009, 11:10:23 pm
Here is a photo of a snail that I carved a few years ago. I did the roughing out on my cabbing diamond grinding wheel and the finish work with a Foredom flex shaft unit using Mizzy grinding wheels and small sanding drums.

I used a local snail from the yard as a model. (Actually multiple snails because the piece was done over a period of a few days).

At one time the snail was getting kinda amorous.
 
Bob
3567  Lapidary Shop / Moderator, Catmandewe ( Tony ) / Discs, Wheels, Belts, Pads, and Polishing / Re: Sanding grit question. on: January 01, 2009, 02:57:01 pm
When I learned to cab many years ago it was on Silicon Carbide grinding and sanding wheels. It was before expando drums were available, so the sanding activities were really lumpy on the split belt units. Currently I use an 8" diamond grinding wheel and a 3" by 8" expando drum with Silicon Carbide belts of many different grits from 60 grit to 600 grit.  I rarely ever wear out a belt, in fact I savor the well worn belts for their flexibility on the Expando drum. It really helps in getting the flat spots out. My grinding wheel is a somewhat worn 80 grit diamond wheel. My steps are grind, sand with a worn 100 grit, worn 220 grit, worn 400 grit and finally a slight touch on the worn 600 grit belt. from there I go to the carpet covered polishing wheel with Cerium Oxide.
I have tried the Titan, Genie, Pixie, Nova wheels and resin belts and I have also taught using a combination of diamond machines, flat laps, Silicon carbide machines and such. My preference for overall speed of cabbing, final quality of results and expense of consumable materials (resin belts, diamond powders, Nova wheels and Silicon Carbide belts) is the diamond grinding wheel and Silicon Carbide/Expando combination. Because I can get many years of hard use out of a $3.45 Silicon Carbide belt I see no reason to change.
Bob
3568  The Gathering / Introductions / Re: Hello From Valley Springs, California on: January 01, 2009, 02:17:39 pm
Ron,
Yes, I take the full blame and dubious responsibility of being the same ole Bob. I am eagerly looking forward to seeing all the wonderful things that people on this forum have created and learning all that I can from these wonderful people.
I'm happy to meet at least one of the previous members of Shain's old forum. I'm also curious as to what happened to some of those members.
Bob
3569  Lapidary Shop / Moderator, Catmandewe ( Tony ) / Miscellaneous Shop Talk / Re: Cap polishing on: January 01, 2009, 10:25:20 am
I use a 12" carpet covered wheel with Cerium Oxide that rotates at about 350 rpm. The design is very similar to the Richardson's Ranch unit except they have leather on the wheel. This has been my standard unit for many years now.
Bob
3570  Stone Talk / Moderator, Hummingbirdstones ( Robin ) / Rough on the bench and slabs off the saw (general minerals board) / Re: Finished This One Last Night on: January 01, 2009, 10:10:47 am
Taogem,
It is rather easy to polish flat slabs, geode halves and flat cabs on this type of unit. When I saw the picture I said to myself...   its just like my home made unit!
To sand the flat surfaces you just move the piece front to back in a smooth movement. This is how I do the backs of my very large (up to 7" across) cabs.  My unit doesn't have as much clearance around the sanding drum as his picture shows. If I ever rebuild mine I will open it up more. Here is a picture of my work horse unit. I do 95% of my cabbing on it. I made it about 30 years ago.


Bob
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