As an official “Torch Bearer,” I’m on my second tutorial for Bernzomatic and my strategy is to confidently work my way up the torch ladder. Last month I started with the smallest tool for these cool affirmation pendants, this time my mission was soldering silver bezels from scratch!
I no longer let myself feel intimidated by upping my crafty game. Torches and power tools are easy-to-use as long as you read the directions and pay attention. As with all things in life, right? Remove the element of fear and you can find your fire and shine bright!
About these bezels. I LOVE that I now know how to make them because I can use this method to make special projects and jewelry pieces. It definitely gives me much more respect for metalsmith jewelry makers. I’m sharing my “first time” experience, so you can follow along. I’m excited to see how my techniques improve with practice.
For this project I used the Bernzomatic Trigger Start 3 in 1 Micro Torch ST2200 (you can purchase at Home Depot or other hardware stores). The one I used last month was the St500, it was long and sleek. This one stands upright when not in use. It also comes with a soldering tip, and can also be used as a heat gun.
I went for the torch aspect for these bezels. I watched dozens of YouTube videos and felt confident to start!
(You can purchase all of these on Amazon!)
Gloves and goggles
Solder brick or kiln shelf
EZ Flow Solder wire, wire cutters
24-gauge silver piece (I used 2×2″)
Plain or serrated bezel wire
SAFETY PRECAUTIONS: Work in a well-ventilated area. Use a solder brick or kiln shelf, I’ve also seen people use a chunk of a wood bed post. Wear goggles and gloves whenever you use a torch, and read all of the directions.
I filled the torch with Butane. To do that, read the manufacturer directions which involves turning the torch upside down. Press the nozzle into the little hole at the bottom and fill until it spurts, that means it’s full.
I took the bezel wire and formed it into the shape of a heart, then attached it my “third hand” and fired up the torch.
Brush on some flux on the top and bottom of the joint, then add a snip of solder wire. Then, wearing gloves and goggle, press down the safety lock and press your thumb on the trigger.
Move the torch around in circles around the heart, even under the joint. You’ll see the solder liquify and spread to where the flux is. Use tweezers to remove the heart and drop it in a small bowl of water to cool. It’s called “quenching.”
Next, I set the heart on the silver and used more bezel wire to make flames for the top of the heart. Then it was time to solder them all together! To do that, I had to add flux to the silver and to the bottom of the pieces I wanted to solder.
Then I cut little snips of the solder wire and inserted them around all the joints, knowing that when they are heated they will melt and spread. NOTE: I also hammered the solder wire a bit to make it flatter before I cut the pieces.
Now it’s time to torch again!
After each portion, I quenched it.
I kept going until I liked it.
I ended up adding a frame around it as well. Then I added a jump ring on the back. Again, I brush on the flux, then add the solder wire, torched and quenched.
Once I finished the soldering, I had to clean up the silver. You can use a pickling substance, but I opted for Penny Brite copper cleaner. It did the trick. I used a polishing cloth to rub it clean!
After that, I cranked out a few more pieces!
For these, I found a pair of mixed media scissors I had and used them to cut out the hearts. After cleaning, I filled them with glitter and resin! They are ready-to-wear!
“Find Your Fire. There’s a fire in each of us. Waiting to ignite. We believe in carrying the torch ignited by our founder in 1876—whose quality craftsmanship and progressive mindset are what blazed the trail that got us here today. We believe in awakening the innovators in all of us—inspiring a culture of creators who can break boundaries, mark new territory and go where no flame has burned before. We believe in empowering those who’ve found their flame and dare to follow it. Because the ones who do are the catalysts of bold transformations that redefine the limits of what we can achieve. We believe in our fire and in your fire. It’s time to ignite.”
Thanks so much for checking out my project!