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Lapidary / Gemstone Community Forum
December 13, 2018, 04:03:59 am
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Gap in bezel/back solder question

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Author Topic: Gap in bezel/back solder question  (Read 51 times)
SSA
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« on: November 29, 2018, 02:53:25 pm »

Gaps happen from time to time, with me anyway - usually with bigger cab.  Anyway, I usually just clean it up and refire the whole bezel/back to fix the problem.  Is this the "right" way to do things?

I'm pretty much self-taught on everything so not sure I'm always doing the "right" or "best" thing.

Thanks,
Robert
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Robert

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« Reply #1 on: November 29, 2018, 04:02:30 pm »

Anyway, I usually just clean it up and refire the whole bezel/back to fix the problem.  Is this the "right" way to do things?



 book11   As long as it works !
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Debbie K
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« Reply #2 on: November 29, 2018, 04:21:28 pm »

I posted this on a Facebook forum earlier this week:

 I will share with you guys the best soldering tip I have every gotten regarding soldering bezels and gallery wire down to flat sheet.

Go to a ceramic supply store and buy several fire bricks. Don't go to Home Depot or Lowe's or Do-It center; the fire bricks they sell are for fireplaces and are dense and hard. You want the light-weight, foamy type.

Go to WalMart or your local dollar store and buy straight pins. Just regular sewing straight pins; nothing special.

Clip the heads off quite a few of the pins. Bend the top to 1/5 of the pins at a right angle. It will look like an L.

Put your trimmed sheet (close to the shape of your bezel) down on the firebrick and flux and place your bezel in position. Take a small pair of pliers and push the straight pin down in the firebrick with the angle part of it pressing down on your bezel. Do the same thing on the other side. Do it a turn around. Fill in the blank areas until you see that the bezel is in contact with the sheet all the way around.

At this point, place your solder pallions around your bezel and even inside around the bezel. Use a small flame if you can and heat the sheet metal inside the bezel until your solder flows.

Yes, it takes a lot more time. But if you have a difficult or large piece, or warped sheet or bezel, this eliminates almost all of your failure. I got tired of having to try to push things down while they are hot, squashing bezels, etc., and have found this method really does save me a lot of time since I don't have to re-do them.

Debbie
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« Reply #3 on: November 29, 2018, 04:48:55 pm »

Thanks Debbie, I'll give that a try.  I've seen that done but never "knew" of anyone that had tried it.

My best soldering tip is flux in alcohol but that's an old one and I'm sure everyone knows that one.
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Robert
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« Reply #4 on: November 29, 2018, 05:13:07 pm »

This technique is particularly good for larger pieces where it's easy for the sheet or bezel to not be perfectly flat. For some reason, you're much less likely to solder the pins to the piece than you are binding wire. I recently did this with a larger piece that was for an arrowhead that had the sheet domed to accommodate the contour of the arrowhead. I doubt that I could have gotten it done any other way.

Speaking of binding wire; stainless doesn't solder to your pieces the way the iron binding wire does. Costs a bit more but worth it in time when clipping/filing/cussing when the worst happens with the iron stuff.

Debbie
 
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« Reply #5 on: December 02, 2018, 12:24:04 pm »

Thanks. I will try it. I just killed the top of a bezel pushing it down while hot ( dunno) so I'm thinking of whether to start over or just cut out a small piece there and a couple of other places and call it part of the design. I'm annoyed because this particular piece keeps giving me trouble.
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