Last updated: 12/3/16. By: Nancy LT Hamilton
- 1 I found this set on Amazon and thought it was a good starter setup. There’s a ring mandrel, bracelet mandrel, bench pin and a vise to hold them all. Usually, under $90.00. If you want it without the bracelet mandrel, there’s also a similar kit that is under $50.00. I haven’t purchased one but, the reviews are really good.
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I found this set on Amazon and thought it was a good starter setup. There’s a ring mandrel, bracelet mandrel, bench pin and a vise to hold them all. Usually, under $90.00. If you want it without the bracelet mandrel, there’s also a similar kit that is under $50.00. I haven’t purchased one but, the reviews are really good.
How do I measure ring shank stock for a square or finger-shaped ring?
Here’s a link to a PDF from Finelt.com. But, I recently did two tests and found that, although the ring size measured approx. 1/2 size smaller, after shaping, it fit like the original size, before shaping. See my Q & A: Rings page for details.
Making an oval bezel without a matching ring mandrel
I’m trying to figure out how to make a 30x40mm oval for an open-back bezel for resin. The metal is too thick to pass a cabochon through it to shape it the way soft bezels are usually made. I thought it would be so easy to just find a large oval mandrel and shape it like a ring but, I can’t find the appropriate tool. Rio Grande’s staff didn’t have any real ideas. These types of settings are abundantly available, so obviously a factory can make them. But how in the world do I shape a perfect oval without a mandrel?
These answers are from two emails.
Answer 1: Ovals come in a zillion different shapes so, there isn’t one oval that will fit every design. A pair of 1/2 round pliers and a pair of round nose pliers will shape a bezel. You use the curved side of the plier on the interior of the bezel and use the 1/2 rounds to shape tight curves. You can also use a ring mandrel, the post of a dapping punch, a broom handle (cut off) – basically anything that is rounded. The bezel is then pushed around the stone and given its final shape.. It is often annealed, during this process, so that it is easier to bend.
Have you made your own bezels? If you make your own, you can shape them to anything. After shaping and then soldering the edges of my bezel strip together, I use a steel burnisher to push the bezel against the widest part of the stone – that shapes one side of the bezel. Then you flip the stone over so that the flat part, widest edge – is on the other edge of the bezel. Burnish again. This will give you an oval that matches your stone.
Answer 2: How do you fill an open backed bezel with resin? Do you line it with something? Have you seen the oval molds? I’m assuming you have. Your picture was pretty large and very blurry so, I’m going to be guessing at what I am seeing.