Daily Wire Tip Sept. 18: Making a Wire Frame without a Girdle

By on September 17, 2010
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Daily Wire Jewelry Making Tip for
September 18, 2010


I have just completed the cab bracelet like the one on the cover of Dale’s book with a turquoise cabochon. This cab had a girdle on it. Now I’m trying to make another, and the cab I had picked out does not have a girdle. How on earth do you put a nice band around it so it can be used properly?

-Merry in Smithers, B.C., Canada


Oh yes, the edgeless cabochon.

The only way I conquer this challenge is to make sure I have two wires in the middle of the frame, as well as one for the front and one for the back. When forming the frame to the stone, it will be two wires above – that’s cool. You could even plan it that way and instead of making just one pull with the top wire, make that first pull a bit deeper and then pull the second wire, a bit more shallow than the first. And I’ll bet you’ll be a bit more specific when shopping for cabs now too – believe me when I say that we all learned in this way.

Answer contributed by Dale “Cougar” Armstrong

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  1. avatar


    September 21, 2010 at 12:03 pm

    Oh gosh. If you are talking about the cabs which are cut with a side that goes straight up and then become convex, I hate them too. I have a lovely piece of Lapis that I have tried to set into a Pharaoh ring, and it always falls out. I too have learned my lesson. That piece is in a ring I personally wear, so I don’t have to worry about a customer losing it. The ring, by the way, is made of copper, sliver (Argentium) and gold filled wire. Looks very cool!

    • avatar


      September 21, 2010 at 5:14 pm

      Alex, as I know that you also do some lapidary work, when you end up with a cab that does not have a girdle – add one!

  2. Pingback: What's a Girdled Cab? | Jewelry Making Instructions