Today in the studio it was all about the bezels. That wasn't my plan going in, but it worked out well!
One of the things I've been working on lately is clearing project boxes. I have my ongoing and semi-ongoing pieces in old Altoids boxes, which turn out to be a fabulous size and shape for pretty much everything, and they stack nicely and allow me to keep stones, metal, settings, and all other bits and bobs for a piece together, and both more neatly and more safely than in little plastic bags. Plus, I can label the outsides so I know exactly what is in each of them!
(It's not that I need more project boxes; I definitely have enough, plus some from which I have not yet washed all the Altoids dust. It's just that I want to finish some of the stuff that's been ongoing forever.)
I finished doing the labeling today. And since I started this campaign I've cleared 4 project boxes (this includes commission work), so I'm pretty pleased with myself.
And what it all meant was that I came across several boxes in my labeling that looked promising for efficient clearing, so I pulled those to work on. Especially since 2 of them were related to J's knifemaking- they have stones in them for which I'm making settings that he'll incorporate into the knives.
So: many bezels. And as it happened, the next step on my most pressing current commission involved soldering a bezel to it! And the next steps in my tapered-bezel ring were removing the excess bezel from the inside of the ring, checking to ensure that the stone would indeed fit without stabbing the wearer with its sharp little point (which it will! Woohoo!), and cleaning up the seams. The seams were not quite as crisp as I would prefer- probably because this was try #3 for them- but are OK, and I cleaned them up decently. All in all, I think this ring will end up very nice indeed. Especially since the tapered bezel is very, very straight and centered in the shank! I am quite pleased with myself on that, after I'd had so much trouble with it.
And I have come up with an idea for tooling for soldering that would make doing such things easier. J says it's practical, and is willing to work with me on creating it, and it's pretty exciting!
I have also decided to put some effort into getting effective with the tack welder, especially on sterling. And doing some experimenting with it and argentium, since that's supposed to work much more nicely than regular sterling with welding applications, since it's so much less conductive.