## Let's Make a Bezel!

Calculate the diameter of your stone.

One technique is to wrap a piece of painter's tape around the girdle of the stone.

Cut one edge of the tape, peel it off the stone, and place it on a flat surface. Measure the length of the tape and add 10 millimeters or so to allow for adjustments. Transfer the measurement to your bezel metal.

Measure the height of your stone using a caliper or a jeweler's scribing compass. This will help you determine the height of your bezel.

#### How Tall Should My Bezel Be?

The height of your bezel is a matter of personal preference and aesthetic, but keep the following in mind:

The bezel angle is the slope that is cut on the side of a cabochon for a short distance above the girdle. Its purpose is to allow the bezel of a mounting to be rolled or pressed down against the stone to secure it in the mount.

• The bezel should be tall enough to form a lip where the stone tapers in from the girdle or base.

• If your bezel is too short, the stone won't be secure and it may fall out.

• If the bezel height is too tall, you'll cover too much of the stone and people won't be able to appreciate the beautiful job you did cutting and polishing.

As a general rule, many artisans do 2/3 the height of the stone. If your bezel is too tall, you can always make it shorter; if it's too short, you'll need to start over again.

Using a scribe or marker, mark the desired height of your bezel onto the length of the bezel material.

Cut your bezel material, then file and square it. File the metal to square the piece.

Decide which interval you want to cut, 2mm or 3mm and ensure that the edges match.

The step spacers may be used to accommodate the width of metal in the vise. One spacer is20 gauge and the other is 16 which allows for several combinations.

BezelEase can be used to hold the metal without the step spacers, however the spacers create a convenient ledge to hold your work. You can change the height of the platform by rotating the spacers.

Place the piece of bezel material inside the BezelEase™ and level it flush to the top edge. Let it overhang the end by a few millimeters so you can easily manipulate the metal.

Turn the screw fasteners using your hand or the hex wrench. Tighten enough to securely hold your material, but do not over-tighten or you may distort the metal.

While the BezelEase™ can be handheld, many users find that securing it into a bench vise provides additional ease and stability.

Use a #2 or #3 saw blade, to make your cuts. We also recommend using beeswax, BurLife®, Boelube® or another lubricant. It makes cutting easier, improves the quality of the cuts, and extends the life of your saw.

Using the precision slots, saw cut each slot to your preferred depth. Use the same number of saw strokes to achieve even depths. Don’t be too aggressive with the saw or you will end up with two pieces of bezel!

In most cases, once you have completed the first set of cuts you will need to reposition the bezel material to make additional cuts.
Loosen the screw fasteners, slide the cut metal piece to the end of the vise and carefully line up the cuts with the slots. Tighten the metal in the vise and continue sawing until finished.

Now your top cuts are complete and it's time to do the sides. Loosen the vise, remove your bezel material.

If not already inserted, you may wish to use the step spacers to form a a ledge 2 millimeters from the top. Rotate the bezel material 90 degrees and carefully line up the slots. Tighten the screw fasteners.

TIP: Some users find that it helps to place the saw into the slots to help line up the metal. The more precisely you line up the previous cuts to the calibrated slots, the better your finished bezel will look. Take your time!

Remember to lubricate your saw blade. Cut the next slots slots using the minimal number of saw strokes.
Two or three strokes is usually enough to get the side slot cut. You may want more, depending on the desired effect…but be careful!

Proceed slowly until you learn how to gauge the depths you want to cut. After each series of cuts, carefully move the metal to the beginning of the vise and continue until completed.

Remove your cut bezel material. Anneal the metal and quench.

Carefully, wrap your bezel around the stone and cut to fit.
File and solder the bezel ends and clean off the excess solder. Sand the soldered bezel until the ends are flat and square.

Adjust the bezel until the stone comfortably fits inside.

Solder the bezel to a backing plate, saw off any excess perimeter, file and sand.

[If you want the slots to continue through the base plate, finish by cutting slots on the base plate to match the slots on your bezel. If you are putting a fancy trim such as twisted wires or beads around the base that hide the seam, then cutting the additional slots is not necessary.]

Test fit the stone in the bezel. Use a file or handpiece and burr, if necessary, to widen the bezel so the stone fits easily.

TIP: Prior to test fitting the stone, insert a length of dental floss or thin wire to help you remove the stone afterwards.

Complete your setting by adding bails, ring shanks, earring posts, etc. Finish sanding, polishing and/or tumbling your piece.

Set your stone by pushing the bezel over your stone one castellation/serration at a time, starting at the top, then bottom and then each side, finally setting the remaining castellations.

Sand off any tool marks and give your piece one last polish.

The completed ring using BezelEase™

BezelEase™ is a precision tool engineered to help you quickly and easily create fancy, castellated or serrated bezels for your jewelry and crafts.

Questions? Drop us a line at info@bezelease.com or use the Contact Form. We like hearing from you.