Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Attempt Number 1

This is my first attempt at a tube set ring. I learned a few things that I'll share and, if you have any pointers or suggestions I am all ears.

As intimidating as seat cutting seemed, I found that cutting the seat in the tube to be the easiest part. The bit got away from me once and horribly chewed up the end of my tube, but the second time, with a little more bur lube and going faster, it cut neatly.

It was more difficult to cut straight across the piece of the tube. I have ordered a tube cutting jig to solve that problem. I have seen tutorials that suggest you make the ring with a tube bezel first, then cut the seat in the bezel, but after my first attempt of cutting a seat, if that had happened, the entire piece of tube would have been lost. As it was, I only lost maybe 1/8th an inch of tubing. yay!

The hardest part was was the ring band. I made the ring band solid, then cut out a piece that was the same width of the bezel. Keeping the band in the same shape, size was a challenge while trying to file the ends in a half round shape to fit snugly against the bezel. Once soldered I did try to reshape the band on the mandrel only to find that the bezel stretched easier than the band did so I ended up with an oval bezel. Not good! With a little prodding and, thankfully, having dapping punches (the round ones) I could gently reshape so the stone would fit.

Setting the stone wasn't as easy, though. Even though I filed down the edges of the bezel, I don't think I filed enough because it was tough to burnish! I still don't have it quite right.

I apologize for the lack of pictures. I get into projects and photos are the last thing I think about.

I am planning on making a stacking set for myself with my daughter's birthstones (three daughters, one ring down) By then I'll have a great handle on how these go together and I'll share more.

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