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Saturday, January 18, 2014

Part 2 of my Bezel Setting Project

Although I am finished with this first project I took pictures along the way and journal-ed this to share with you.

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The first part of my first project went very well. Much easier than I had expected it to.

The bail part turned into a nightmare.

I decided to use this template from Cooltools.com to make a simple bail.


What you get is something like you see below. I ended up cutting with shears because my bench pin is still in the mail. I made several because I messed up several.



I tried a variety of ways to solder this. I photographed the last tries today after several failures yesterday.

First let me say that when you are making a bezel, you really have to see things a new way. Luckily, I am used to it from wire wrapping. But, even I, at first, had trouble seeing that the bail couldn't be at a 90 degree angle to fit flush with the bezel wire. In other words- the areas to be soldered were NOT 90 degree angles, although at first your brain thinks they are. I had to put an ever so slight concave curve in the bail end with a file. I then had to decide where to place the bail in relation to the bezel cup.

I decided to solder the bail midway on the bezel. (I have since found out that this is, of course, the wrong way to do it, but I thought it would be ok.) I needed to lift the bail up to solder and tried a stainless steel wire to do it. It didn't work. I had to file solder off the bezel. Even though I knew the copper bail needed more heat, the thinner silver still got hotter and the solder flowed up the bezel.



Next I tried using my new solder station that I got from DH for Christmas. Looks like a good fit.


However, I could NOT get the solder to flow no matter what! It was easy solder, too. I think the clamps were too much of a heat sink, so I went back to the charcoal.


The 3rd hand lifted the bail up enough and I thought everything looked good. At first, I thought the solder wouldn't flow again, but I quickly ran some heat under the join and it ran beautifully.


But, look what happened. I don't know if I moved it, didn't line it up right to begin with, didn't have enough solder or maybe the fit was just off, but I was left with a gap. You can see it in the forefront, where the bail meets the bezel.



Here's the back.



As you can see, I was soldering the bail closed AND soldering the bail to the top. A lot of solder ran up the copper, but it is soldered shut and the bail does seem secure, if not flat out wrong.

I thought about trying to use extra easy solder to solder the gap, but I don't want to distort the bezel by doing it. I would have to form the metals closer together. Since this is my first project, I have decided to let it go. My focus will be on finishing when my order comes in.   

I have a feeling that finishing this will be the hardest part......

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Since my first attempt at soldering a bezel, I have learned a lot from practice, videos and books. It is just like me to dive in and try to learn by trial and error. As bad as this project went, it actually worked out better than my second. LOL!! I'm awful, but I am trying. I'm having a lot of fun and I'm learning a lot. Everyone makes mistakes when they are learning something new. In fact, I learn more by making mistakes.


3 comments:

  1. You made me giggle. Not at your troubles but your words and describing yourself. It all sounds familiar. Who needs instructions and the right tools...LOL That is so me. Anyway, as long as you're learning and you don't give up your'e not a failure. You're very much a success! You are way ahead of me. I have brand new torches in my closet that have been there over a year and I have not been brave enough to even attempt to solder. I also have a rock tumbler that's never been out of the box. I get big ideas and then get scared. Maybe this year I will break free and try some new things...LOL

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    1. OK seriously, here is my nag voice, "Gina, you need to get those tools out and get busy!" As you can see by my efforts, it's ok to make mistakes. (And, you see I haven't blown myself up or started a fire.) I'm pleased as punch by my first one. It looks terrible, as you will see, but by golly I did it! I have since gotten more proper tools, read more books and seen more videos. I also just invested in a real torch, so my next big project should go much easier. So, Gina when you feel ready to start, you can shoot me some questions- if I don't have the answer, I can find someone who does. If I can do it, you can do it. :)

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    2. You give me courage! I need to get a few more supplies to set up for playing with fire and when I am able to get them I may drive you crazy with questions. :)

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