Making a bezel for many stones such as an antique cushion garnet can be difficult when the mandrels on hand do not fit. With the miniature stakes the whole process is quick and easy. The side benefit is that they are more precise than only using pliers or unstable jewelry anvils.
Cut a strip of sheet slightly heavier than usual, (24ga. here) and the desired height. Wrap this around the stone as accurately as possible with round pliers making the whole unit slightly small for the stone. Tap the seam tight on the Rolled Edge Flat Stake(B-5) and solder shut with hard solder. Smooth the seam to a good finish and pick the correct stake. An antique cushion shape would be a Rolled Edge Domed Stake (B-6). Because the bezel will conform to the stake the shape is easily formed. Stretch the part of the bezel that is short until the bezel slides over the stone tightly.
An inner rim or bearing is made to fit the outer rim and soldered together. Setting the stone is very precise because the outer wall of the bezel is exactly the same gauge and will go up against the stone evenly.
Finished bezel with the unset stone.
Freeform opal stones are easy. Just pick the stakes that match the stones curves and hammer the bezel on these stakes.
Bezels for stones such as this rutilated quartz with sharp corners are also quick. No mitering is necessary. Sharp cornered stakes are the answer. One Stake (B-4) even has an undercut for trillions, pears or any stone with a starp point. The trick is to hammer the sharp spot from both sides and work the metal to form a corner. This may take an annealing or two to get the desired sharpness but will only take minutes.
Bezels formed this way can also be dropped into a carvable wax. After the wax is shaped the bezel can be removed and the wax cast. Soldering this bezel back into the finished casting makes it easy to set the stone as bezel wall is an even gauge
Multiple stakes were used to make this small freeform sterling bottle that transitions from 14 gauge at the top to a 19 gauge body.