I wanted to share some shortcuts that I have developed over time. With a rustic design, my fabrication does not require precision and pristine finishes. I would much rather spend time on the design and fabrication than the finishing. And since my pieces are one of a kinds, I am not duplicating any precise design.
TIPS: Here is how I measure a handmade bezel for a stone setting. First I take a twist tie and start to make the right size and shape. In this example I used my round pliers since the stone is round. Then I finalize the size right on the stone and mark the size. Sometimes I use my sharpie pen to mark the length but other times I may just bend the twist tie at the length that I need. Finally, I unroll the twist tie and measure the bezel length that I need. This measurement will transfer to metal to cut the right length for the bezel. Done!
I have adopted this method as it is very simple and accurate enough for me. Other methods I have learned and tried included using calipers for diameter and then doing some math to figure circumference. This requires an extra step to get out my calculator and more precise than I needed. Another method I have tried was using some floss but it is flimsy and slippery when trying to get it around the stone. Many fingers are needed to keep the floss in place. I also have seen some metalsmith just push bezel metal right around the stone. I found my fingers are not strong enough for this approach.
As you can see, I like to find simple yet effective approaches to getting the result I need. I think this is a pretty good approach for most processes. Give it a try on anything you are making! Keep it simple and easy to implement. Good luck!