May 20, 2008

Custom Ring, part 6

Today's task was building the bezels, three in total.  The first image shows just the strips of metal for the outer bezel and the seat.  I am using the .5mm mokume on the outside and 1mm Argentium stock on the inside.    

Using a mix of round and oval bezel mandrels, I form the outer sleeve, constantly checking it against the stone to make sure the shape and size are correct.  I then form the inner sleeve and trim it until it just barely sneaks inside the mokume sleeve.

Here are the two pieces formed and soldered, the next step is using the stone to gauge the height.  I want to make sure I leave enough, but not too much, room because the stone will sit lower once I scoop out a rounded seat for the stone.

Once I have measured where I want the stone to sit, I prepare the two sleeves to be soldered together.  I drip a tiny bit of soldering flux between the two, where I want to solder to flow, and paint the yellow ochre on the outside, where I definitely don't want the solder to go, or the previous seems from opening.  If you are really careful and mindful of how you are heating the piece, you probably don't need the yellow orche, but I err on the side of caution most the time... "Jesse Danger, man of caution"... oh the irony!

Time to melt things! I hold the little bits of solder right to the seem where the two sleeves meet, once the piece is heated enough that little solder bit will flow and seal the seam.  I repeat this bunch of times until the solder has filled all the way around.