I’ve been doing it backwards!
July 24, 2013
Today’s discovery falls into an are-you-kidding-me moment. I’ve been making earrings like the ones in the photo (available on my Etsy shop, by the way) using the following steps:
1. Use tiny tube cutter to slice off a small section of tube. True both ends.
2. Solder earring post onto backside of tube (or onto a plate, which then gets soldered onto the tube)
3. Stick the whole mess in a pin vise.
4. Cut the seat. Put too much pressure on the solder join.
5. Inevitably, break off the post and have to re-solder.
6. Set the stone. Return to step 5, possibly.
If I was lucky, I’d only have to resolder once. What’s funny is that more than one professional jeweler has watched me do this, and said absolutely nothing about my process. So I figured it was the way to go, until today I started looking for alternate ways to hold the tubing so that I wouldn’t shatter the join.
At which point, I learned that I’M DOING IT WRONG.
According to this article at Ganoksin, I should be cutting the seat for the stone FIRST, and then cutting it off and soldering it to the earring posts before setting the stone.
It’s brilliant, and I’ll be trying that technique this weekend.