Daily Wire Tip Dec. 28: Wrapping a Rectangle Cab

By on December 28, 2010
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Daily Wire Jewelry Making Tip for
December 28, 2010


I have a rectangular cab to wrap. I’m doing everything I’m supposed to, my question is, where in the rectangle do I put my half round wraps? It’s a small rectangle, 2 ¾” around, but it’s as thick as four 22-gauge wires. After this one, I have another larger one to do! Thank you.

-Macie in Nampa, Idaho


Glad to hear from you Macie. Here is how I would frame wrap this small rectangular stone!

Because the stone is the width of four 22-gauge wires, use six wires. I am sure the corners are rounded (rarely are they square, unless this is a cut stone), so add about 1″ for the wire to bend around the corners. Now, to plan where to put the wraps: I would likely wrap the frame across the entire bottom, and then wrap from each top corner to where the bail comes up. Then, when I’m making the pulls to hold the stone in, I would make one wrap at the top and one wrap at the bottom, forming two nice parallel lines of wire just to the inside of the stone, probably about 2mm from the main frame.

Another option would be to wrap the center of each of the three sides (not including the bail top) and wrap from where the bail will be, back toward but not covering the two top corners. Form the frame to the stone, then use a knife to slice the top wire at each corner and flip it up and over the corner of the stone. The frame will look like a photograph with album corners on it. Here is a picture of this second option (which I like to use because it is so clean):

Wrapped Rectangle Cabochon

May I suggest that as a beginner you start with the larger stone first? I find it easier to teach that way because a student can see what they are doing. Have fun!

Answer contributed by Dale “Cougar” Armstrong

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  1. avatar

    Alberta Bouck

    December 28, 2010 at 2:59 pm

    How Wonderful. This is so beautiful and yet simple. I have been shuddering thinking about making prongs. I have the old dvds by Preston Reuther and phew! But this solution is so simple. (I just purchased your first set of dvds for myself for Christmas. Nice present!) Designs where the wire winds across the stone often seem to be an invitation for something to catch on them — or worse, poor design. But this is really classic. I have many square, rectangular and slab stones and now a nice solution. Thanks!!!!!

    • avatar


      December 29, 2010 at 1:22 am

      Hi Alberta, I am glad that by sharing this design I have helped you see a different way to frame a cab. Enjoy!

  2. avatar

    Sherrie Lingerfelt

    December 29, 2010 at 10:16 pm

    Hi Dale,
    I love the open look made by this type frame. I love to show off natures stones that have a unique pattern all its own! Too many times a beautifully patterned stone is covered up by wire criss-crossing over it.

  3. avatar


    December 31, 2010 at 4:42 am

    You are so wonderful, that is beautiful. I will try it on my next square. If I had more patience I would have waited for your wisdom, instead of “rebuilding” (same wires-except wraps) three times.
    P.S. Can’t wait for your book to get back “in stock”

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