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How to Fuse Gold – Knowing this technique will change everything! No solder needed!

How to Fuse Gold – No solder needed!

If you’ve ever wondered about the difference between soldering and fusing, the short answer is one technique uses solder and one doesn’t.

Continue reading How to Fuse Gold – Knowing this technique will change everything! No solder needed!
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Agates – 12 Great Agate hunting, Agate identification and Agate geode books

agate book

12 Great books for Agate hunting, Agate identification and Agate geodes

If you are interested in hunting for agates or as we call it rock hounding there are a few books that will propel you to success. These books are great for any agate hunter who is looking to identify agates or to help you know where to look for them.

So, what is an agate?

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How To Bezel Set A Cabochon Gemstone

Lapidary steps for cutting gemstones

How do you bezel set a cabochon stone in a ring?

Stone setting seems to be an elusive skill to many jewelers, new and old. There are many ways to set a stone. They include prong setting, bezel setting, bead setting, flush setting and combinations of both.

If I had to pick just one important factor in setting stones (and there are many) I’d go with how well the stone sits in the mounting. Making a good seat for the stone will mean the difference between success and failure. This goes for a cabochon cut stone and a faceted stone. If your stone is rocking back and forth in the mounting it will make it difficult to set.

Here’s a good rule. Look at the back of your stone. If it’s flat, in the case of a cabochon, how flat is it? If you really look at it closely it may actually be curved. Match that curve in your mounting. Sometimes that is achieved using setting burs and sometimes it is done using ball burs. Basically use whatever you have to get that seat cut to match the back of the stone.

This goes for faceted stones also. Does the stone’s pavilion come to a point like a diamond or is it round like many other gemstones?. The seat for the stone needs to match the back of the stone.

Here is a link to the tool list “THE LIST”

In this video I’ll show you how to bezel set a cabochon gemstone in a sterling silver ring.

This is a step by step process showing how to prep your bezel for setting the stone, the process for hammering the bezel over the gemstone and a tool list.

I made this video with close up shots so you can watch the entire stone setting process. It’s worth it to watch the entire video. There are a few little techniques that you may not know. I hope this helps a few people.

Every stone I set is slightly different so get to know your stone and take your time before you start hammering it into place.
Leave me a comment or question and I will get back to you as soon as possible.

Don’t forget to sign up for the mailing list to your right to get the latest posts.

All the best,

Michael Seiler

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Jeweler’s Saw Frame and Blades – (How to make the perfect solder seam for your jewelry projects)

Jeweler’s Saw Frame and Blades – (How to make the perfect solder seam for your jewelry projects)

Jeweler’s saws are probably the number one item that most jewelers and crafters buy first. Here is a little trick for using the saw to get a perfect seam for soldering.

Why is this important?

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Lortone tumblers – How to use and mix the solution.

Lortone tumblers

Hello everyone,

I wanted to show you a tumbler that I use on a regular basis. This tumbler is great for polishing metal parts or for burnishing down newly cast pieces of jewelry.

If you are working on a piece of jewelry and it has parts that are difficult to reach with a polishing wheel this may be what you have been waiting for. These tumblers use a variety of polishing media. The tumbling media is used to burnish or polish the metal.

I recommend using stainless steel shot when tumbling silver or gold. If I am fabricating pieces I often will tumble all the parts and then solder them together after they look polished. After the soldering I will usually tumble again.

Tumbling helps to get into all the small places where a polishing wheel can’t reach.

If you are casting you can use the tumbler to clean up the cast piece. The steel shot will burnish the metal, helping to hide any porosity that may have occurred during the casting process.

Link to the stainless steel shot 

(Full disclosure- I will receive a small commission at no extra charge to you. This helps keep Gotcha Rocks up and running)

Here is a video on how to mix the solution and use the tumbler.

I have links below to the tumblers and the polishing solution. 

Here are a couple of tumblers I recommend. The Lortone brand is a high quality tumbler that can run for hours on end and lasts for years. The belts have to be replaced every once in a while but that is to be expected.

Here are some links to these tumblers. Happy hunting! 🙂

Lortone 45C Rock Tumbler (45C Tumbler)

This is a good size for tumbling stones and metal items such as rings, earrings and bracelets. The drum is large enough to accommodate most jewelry and craft items.

  • Lortone 45C Rock Tumbler features a molded-rubber 10-sided barrel. Steel body is strong and stable.
  • Dimensions: 6.5L x 10.25W inches.
  • Tumbler weighs about 9 pounds.
  • 4-pound capacity.
  • Made in the USA. Lortone quality is backed by a one-year warranty from the manufacturer.

Lortone 3A Single Barrel Tumbler

This is a smaller version of the 45c. The drum holds 3lbs. This is considered the economy version.

  • Weight: 5 lbs One year warranty
  • Tumbler dimensions: 9-1/4 x 5-3/4 x 2-1/2
  • Barrel dimensions: 4-3/4H x 4-1/2 Diameter
  • Model 3A tumbler with a simple 3 lb. capacity barrel offers the user economy and performance
  • Designed for years of trouble free service, the 3A is a real workhorse. The barrel is hard rubber that minimizes noise and the durable motor will last for years. Simple to operate and UL approved.
  • If you are using the tumbler for stones I recommend using the small to large ceramic pellets with your grit.

    If you are using the tumbler for metal I recommend using steel shot with Sunsheen burnishing solution mixed with water. Check Rio Grand Supply for the Sunshine.

    If you would like the tool list for the tumblers click here.

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Ring Making Video – How to fabricate a ring – Create a perfect circle

ring bending pliers

Have you ever struggled to bend your metal in a perfect circle while trying to make a ring?

There are many ways to bend sterling silver or gold stock. However, there is one tool that will save you time and frustration.

This is a follow up post to How to Use Ring Bending Pliers”  

What is it? Drumroll please………..It’s the Ring Bending Pliers.

This tool is in my opinion the best tool for fabricating rings. 

In this post I am including a video on how to use these pliers,

a link to the pliers and a link to a good Ring Sizing Chart. 

Enjoy!


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The tool you are missing. How to use ring bending pliers. You will thank me!

How to use ring bending pliers.

Have you ever had trouble bending wire or flat metal stock into a circle?

Continue reading The tool you are missing. How to use ring bending pliers. You will thank me!