This essay was originally written for the well known BENCH magazine many years ago! I decided to “Reinvent the wheel” by modernizing the many uses of a bud bur!
After 3-4 weeks of writing & taking 26 photographs, I’ve finally just finished this essay. I attempted to cover all aspects of the many uses of a bud bur! I think I can rest for a day or two, as now I must start another interesting essay named 'Star-Setting". Most of the photographs are already sitting in my archives, but rest assured I’ll find some other series of photo’s needing to be used.
If there are any errors or omissions, please let me know asap. I have that opportunity in correcting or rewriting any section of any of my essays. ** If you wish to print and share essays with anyone, please do so! Above all, this information is for free!**
A Real Buddy for you, it’s called a Bud bur!
(In this ‘How-to’ text, I’ve decided to forgo using the 14 year archived “BENCH” magazine essay. I’m going to rewrite it without any advertisements, as this will be with more updated photos, at some date in the next month or so!
As there are many aspects of Bud Bur Cleaning, Carving to Creating Beads, I’m trying to demonstrate examples of each phase of setting Princess & Baguette stones.
As a Diamond Setter, I deal greatly with details in these essays! This is my prefered way of explaining different methods in using setting tools.
There is no other singular bur that can do so many things and with so much relative ease! I will attempt to show just how important these burs really are.
One of the most interesting burs you can have on your bench, is a Bud bur. Why so? Because it’s one of the most diverse mini-tools at our disposal.
Whatever size you choose, these are your ‘workhorses’ at your bench. Since I wrote this essay in the “Bench” magazine, circa 2004 A.D. I have developed many newer uses for these delightful & very useful little burs!
“ Magazine diagrams are good, but photographs from the setters bench, are much nicer!"
"If this isn’t a ‘true friend’ at your bench, then what else is?”
One of the most interesting burs you can have on your bench, is a Bud bur. Why so? This is because this is one of the most diverse ‘mini-tools’, at our disposal.
BTW, some of these photographs were duplicated in a few setting topics, why is this? Two photographs can answer many questions!
I use these burs on a continual basis: for opening holes, recutting Azure patterns, cutting ‘Bearing-Seats’ and acting as a ‘mini-file’ and of course, using this bur to prepare a seat for stone setting!
As you can see they come in so many different setting uses; from a little #006 to a humongous #050, (or as it’s commonly known as a bur of 5.00mm in diameter). If you are looking for a #005 aka .005mm’s, they don’t make burs this small anymore, pity!
I will be showing just how a basic bud bur #006 & #007 can easily cut the opening of the “gallery” of a Baguette setting.
In this essay I will not give lessons on “How to Set a Baguette”, or a “4-Claw setting”. But I’ll use this essay to show how these burs can help you in variety of stone settings. This bur, all by itself, greatly assists the setter in the initial rough-cutting for the “Bright-Cutting” processes in preparing for the “Fish-Tail” intricate carving & designing!
Let us suppose that your High Speed Steel bur doesn’t allow for a thick girdle. I would use this bur to carve a seat into the wider 4-claw head, what are you going to do?
*My ‘professional suggestion’ is: To put your Bud-Shaped bur against the wide girdle (as shown). Then you can make a new and thicker ‘Bearing-Cut’ to now allow for this very wide stone!!
When you are planning to make a series of finely cut, Pave’ setting. This one single bur can act as a ‘mini-file’ and it can be used as it’s separating the beads. No need for a file, separating disk, or use any other bur, as these could & might very well ruin your delicate setting!
When you are needing to set Princess-cut shaped stones & you can’t use your ‘High Speed Steel’ undercutting bur, now what can you do? You have little or no other option, than to use your ‘Bud Bur’ to cut the ‘horizontal’ Princess-cut “Girdle” bearings.
Underneath ‘literally’ every setting hole, you can use your small bud-bur to create or repair an Azure pattern to open up the hole. Thus making it GREAT LOOKING and of course… Looking so very Professional! … which you all are !..:>)
Can you create a “4-Claw, Prong Pattern” made from a semi-round wedding band? It’s really just so easy, when you are wanting to create & carve a series of beads just from a flat plate.
Here is another solution, your bud bur will do all of the mini-carvings into the metal to create these ‘pseudo-claw’ setting. (Only your bud bur can do this).
I just noticed that on these Cubic Zirconia stones (CZ) is a name of its manufacturer…The name appears as “Swarovski Zirconia”. Interesting location for a name…:>)
Have you ever tried to cut a “FishTail” pattern? I try to avoid using other kinds of carving & cutting burs, but they all had some serious issues ‘screaming at me’. I used a “Bud-Bur” to initiate all kinds of rough-cutting, prior to any Triangular-filing to separate the setting sections. All of these steps in Fish-Tail setting, will be fully explained in another essay.
When you get your silver or gold castings back from your gold-caster, you might find some “Square” looking holes that need to be reshaped ,are you going to use a Triangular file? My answer is a definite…NO!
I’d use either a #006, or even a #007 bud bur and then you can explore & observe which of these size of burs that can be best for you in the future!
Another little known feature of this ‘bud’ bur, is that it can help me to create newer Pave’ carving patterns! The bur sizes I used are a #006 or a #007 as these give me ‘much freedom to create new beads’. These are used in creating those little beads that I will eventually ‘push over’ the stone, with a bead-burnisher! (This bead-burnishing process will be also be fully explained in a very detailed essay!)
(I will use a #006 round bur to follow, once after the Bud Bur has finished the metal bead-carving process.) The round bur is only to be used as an added cutting feature!
I will attempt to show just how important these burs are. There is no other bur that can do so many things and with so much relative ease!!!
My only ‘professional suggestion’ is: To put your Bud-Shaped bur against the wide girdle (as shown). Then you can make a new and thicker ‘Bearing-Cut’ to now allow for this very wide stone! This decision is yours to make & which bur to use!
When you are planning to make a series of ‘fine-cutting’ Pave’ setting. This one single bur can act as a mini-file to be used as it’s separating the beads. No need for a file, or use any other bur, as these could & might ruin your setting!
( For this picture taking process, I noticed some ‘magnetic wire, steel-shots’ stuck in between the engraved grooves. I refused to remove them, as I didn’t want to destroy this silver-sample just for this essay! But you can see how these beads now look. )
Underneath ‘literally’ every setting hole, you can use your small bud-bur to create an Azure pattern to open up the hole and making it look GREAT LOOKING and of course …Looking so very Professional (which you are!)
Can you create 4-claw prong pattern from a wide, semi-round wedding band? It’s really just so easy. When you are wanting to carve a strip of beads from a flat plate. Here is another solution, your bud bur will do all of the mini-carvings into the metal to create pseudo-bead setting a.k.a. Pave’. Only your bud bur can do this!
Have you ever tried to cut a “FishTail” pattern? I try to avoid using a round-bur, as it has some minute and basic carving issues. I used a Bud-bur to initiate the cutting prior to any Triangular-filing to separate the many setting sections.
I will write an essay on the “FishTail” setting techniques in a few weeks , why so? There are so many uses of this now popular Bud Bur.
When you get your silver or gold castings back from your gold-caster, you might find “Pavillion” holes that need to be re-shaped & re-cut. Are you going to use a Triangular file? My answer is a definite NO!
There is little opportunity for each “up & down” action of your tapered-shape file.(Cleaning with a file, is almost a time wasting process!) Sometimes the tapered file could get literally stuck inside the square hole. With a Bud Bur this will never, ever occur!
I’d use either a #006 or even a #007 Bud Bur, then you can learn what these burs can do for you! I continually maintain & restock my inventory with ‘3 packets’ of burs of EACH SIZE! Is this expensive?
It would be very costly, if on a long-weekend your tool supplier is closed…and you are needing that one #006 Bud Bur, NOW!
To save an additional cost, try and be ‘selective’ of the burs you need daily. Or even put aside ‘one full set’…and use them only in an Emergency!
The list of bud-bur opportunities are seeming to be just endless! I am sure that you, as a bench-jeweller, will discover other many opportunities that I am not at present familiar with!