Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Setting Goals

I pulled out one of my etched sheets of silver nickel with the goal of making a couple of new bezels. I do typically set a goal for myself when spending an evening at the workbench which keeps me on task and helps me to maintain a business-like approach to my work. The downside to setting a specific goal is the disappointment of not actually achieving it.

Get the idea of where this is headed?

One of my cabochons was sized with a piece of fine silver bezel wire which was soldered into a circular shape snugly fit to the stone. I then prepared to solder the bezel onto my etched base.
That's when the problems started.

The problems started and just did not end. Well.....actually, they did end, but it was not a good ending. Because the silver nickel is thin (24 gauge), it started to warp as I heated the piece to reach the temperature necessary for the solder to flow. The warping meant that the fine silver bezel wire was no longer in full contact with the silver nickel. When the solder did flow, it just spread onto the surface of the bezel wire.
No....that is not where it needed to be.
I have soldered onto this gauge metal before with success and insisted on two more attempts. Unfortunately, 'attempt' is the operative word here and the above photo is the result.

I admitted being defeated by a 1 ounce piece of metal and decided that I needed to change my strategy. I cut a piece of 16 gauge silver nickel and made a new fine silver bezel.

I am ready to try again another day!

At least my evening's etching was a success.

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