Part Two: Make a Custom Reticulated Silver Cabochon Bezel

Continued from Part One: Make a Custom Reticulated Silver Cabochon Bezel


14. To fabricate the heavy outer border, anneal a length of 14-gauge sterling silver square wire. Using your fingers and a section of 1" wood dowel, bend the square wire around to fit the shape delineated by the blue tape. File the ends to produce a square and tight-fitting joint for soldering.

15. Place the outer border on a firebrick, flux, and then solder with hard solder. Cool and then pickle.

16. Lay the outer border on a steel bench plate and then flatten using a rawhide mallet. Check that the outer bezel still conforms to the original shape. Reshape with your fingers and dowel as necessary.

17. Remove the blue tape from the reticulated silver sheet and saw around the outside of the marked outline.

18. Carefully fit and file the reticulated silver until it just fits the inside of the square wire outer border.

Push the reticulated silver down until its bottom is flush with the bottom of the outer border.

19. Turn the reticulated sheet and border wire upside down on a firebrick.

Flux and place pallions of hard solder at eight places around the joint; then solder. Cool the assembly and pickle to remove any oxidation.

20. In preparation for sweat soldering the reticulated assembly to the front of the backplate/bezel assembly, place the backplate assembly on a firebrick and flux it.

Place several dozen medium solder pallions on the area of the backplate between the bezel and the outer border. Heat until the solder just slumps and then allow to cool. We know that we've used an excess of solder but the back of the reticulated sheet is very rough and uneven and we couldn't depend on capillary action to help the solder flow.

21. Flux both parts and position the reticulated/outer border assembly over the bezel and onto the backplate. Push down for a tight fit then heat the assembly with a torch until the solder flows.

Use your solder pick to push the reticulated sheet into tight contact with the backplate. Allow the assembly to cool and then pickle to remove the flux and oxidation.

22. Carefully saw around the outside of the outer border, then file until flush and smooth.

23. To fabricate the bail, cut several inches of 10-gauge sterling silver square wire.

Spread one end of the square wire by hammering with a cross peen hammer.

Read on for part three of Make a Custom Reticulated Silver Cabochon Bezel…

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