Thursday, November 15, 2012

Prong Setting Tutorial

by staci smith

So, I wrote a tutorial for the new Artisan Whimsy blog. It's a great site, and you should hop on over there. There are teams for everything from polymer to metal, desingers to bead hoarders. There are tutorials and challenges, and lots and lots of people to meet. It's a great place for resources and information.

My tutorial is just an easy, beginners way to prong set.  Here it is....

Easy Prong Setting

by Staci Louise Smith


sheet metal
hole punch or drill
metal shears
sharpie marker
rivet hammer
sanding pad or steel wool
raw hide mallet
silver solder paste
butane torch
liver of sulphur
prong setting tool or wood dowel
flush cutters

1.  Select your cab

2.  Place it on your sheet metal and trace it with a sharpie

3.  Cut out your backplate with the metal shears

4.  trace your cab and mark where you want your holes to be- make sure your holes are close to you cab line, but not ON it, or too far from it

5.  file and sand the edges

6.  texture as desired, I used the back of a rivet hammer to add texture- you must texture before punching holes or the holes will distort

7.  Flatten back plate with your raw hide mallet

8.  punch or drill your holes - you must match your rivet wire gauge with the correct size drill bit or hole punch.  This can be a guessing game, since drill bits and hole punches aren't sized by wire gauge.  A chart like this one from Rio Grande can be very helpful.  Make sure your rivet fits snugly into the hole.

9.  Place rivets into the holes

10.  Add solder paste to the flat bottom part of the rivets, then push the down flush onto the back

11.  place on your soldering block and heat until solder flows (or until its red hot, easy solder paste should surely flow by then)

12.  Quench, pickle, clean

13.  add your cab

14.  Now its time to set your cab- fold the prongs over using one of these tools. 

I used the prong setting tool with the groove, but you can use a wood dowel or something similar if you don't have that particular tool. 

15.  Burnish the prongs to strengthen them

16.  Cut them down with flush cutters- make sure to leave enough prong to just come over the curve of your cab and hold it secure

17.  File edges of prongs- careful not to damage your cab
18.  Add liver of sulphur and polish it back when its done

19.  You now have a prong set cab. 

 I am also part of a blog hop taking part today, where everyone gets to show off what they made for the prong setting challenge.  If you want to check it out, you can go to my blog
I went big for this one.....................................
Lavender Mica and black fossil ammonite prong set
Enjoy the tutorial, and let me know if you have any questions.
PS- the Art Bead Love Tour is at Genea Beads- and not only can you win a chance to host the chain, but there are also two additional people who will get to win little charm packages.  So this time there are three chances to win!


Kalaya Steede said...

Very NICE tutorial Staci! What gauge is your sheet metal? Merci beaucoup for sharing!!! ♥♥♥

stacilouise said...

I used between 22-26g sheet. I used the 26 on the bigger one, since I had two layers- so it wouldn't be too heavy with that big rock and all.

Lorelei said...

Very cool! have loved looking at the challenge entries all morning! I'm not a solder-er.... is there any way to do this without that step?
I saw Jean Wells used some different product to secure her pins instead of solder. is there other ways?

debgoud said...

very interesting!

stacilouise said...

Lorelei, someone used a jb weld glue or something, and then riveted that piece to another backing to hide the glue. I guess that would work just as well. The prongs just need to be adhered to the base plate, so that they can efficiently and tightly hold your piece.

Gypsea said...

Great tutorial! I am not to this level of work yet but I am bookmarking the page for future use, thank you.

Prządka said...

Simply wonderful!

Artisan Beads Plus said...

Great tutorial! I loved that you added so many pictures. That makes a HUGE difference to me when I am trying to learn something new......

stacilouise said...

I am a picture person too MaryAnn. I need them when I work so I figured it couldn't hurt to have too many!

Julie Panusis said...

You are an inspiration.

Thank you for the blog. It got me going with metal again.


Kelli said...

THANK you!!!!!!!!!!! I love this!!!!!! I have some wonderful pieces that I've wanted to use forever, but they have not holes, and I didn't want to wrap them... Now I know how to "showcase" them!!! (and I agree Mary Ann.. I'm very visual... needed those pics!! Thanks STACI for sharing your talent!!!!!!!!

Kristen said...

I never got a chance to comment so I am back to say that this was amazing for me to see. The process involved and steps are a delightful journey into your art and I love it!

Caron Michelle said...

Thank you for sharing - my daughter has just given me some opal that I'd like to set - this has inspired me!

Alieen Stewart said...

Wonderful creation...Amazing work..Thanks for sharing with site visitors..
Jewellers in Chandigarh

Patricia Johnson said...

Just found this tutorial through pinterest. Very nicely done!
It could not have popped up at a better time...I am just learning how to solder and have been fussing with prong settings for a few days. Thanks so much for sharing this!

Off to my work bench! :)

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