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Bead Setting, Bright Cutting, Pave aka Cut 'n Bead

Orchid blog post highlight:

Bead Setting, Bright Cutting, Pave aka Cut `n Bead
By Gerald Lewy

Bead Setting, Bright Cutting, Pave aka Cut `n Bead is =B4one=B4 of the
most detailed of essays I=B4ve written, why? It tries to cover how
beads are raised, and then bright-cut. These days, technology has
replaced this process with easier methods, as in “shared-beads” or
even the use of mini-claws. If these topics are not written, many of
our new jewellers or new setters will never know of these very
common topics on setting…

Read more:

Dear Jerry, I went over to peek, and spent an hour, reading, and
printed out 34 pages of reference work for my notebooks. Thank you so
much for your generous sharing of your knowledge. Blessings pat

Thank you for these fascinating instructions, Gerry.

I have two questions. Do I understand correctly that you don’t use a
drill before you start using burs for a setting? And you start with
a ball bur? I don’t understand why that is.

Second-- for the right-side graver, there is a short side and a wide
side, right? Is it the wide side you are actually cutting with? The
drawing isn’t marked as to whether you are looking at the graver
from the point back, our the handle forward.

Things that are so clear to show are do awkward to write about!

Also, I still have trouble sharpening gravers, so I welcome guidance
on that.


Hey Gerry good article on raising the beads. I learned my setting
much from masters like you did. We all have different ideas and
techniques and yours is tried and true. There are a two or three
things I would like to add to the bead setting technique I ran into
over the years which might help new jewelers in this type of work. I
have always been at odds with whether the bead holds the stone in
place or the side wall of the seat cut with the ball bur or setting
bur. As you push the metal toward the stone with a round bottom
graver the side wall collapses over the girdled edge before the bead
is even raised. This may be just semantics in our bench talk, but if
you don’t even push the bead entirely over on the crown it will not
come out. You can prove this by doing just the four beads in a half
way fashion, like the beginning of your first bead just to hold it
in place, and working in opposite corners to do the rest. Throw it in
the ultrasonic and see if it comes out. My point is the side wall
collapses over the girdle before the bead is raised and formed.

Another thing that is extremely important here is the shape of the
girdled edge of the stone(s). This shape will predict the shape of
the bur for opening the hole and friction setting it in place before
the beads are pulled. When you pack the stone you friction set it. To
friction set it the shape of the cut should be the opposite of the
shape of the girdled edge.

Hence, if you run into a stone with a rounded girdled edge I would
use a setting bur to bore the hole, thus creating friction so the
stone won’t move while pulling the first bead for tacking it in
place. It creates a straight wall against a rounded edge. Conversely,
if the girdled edge is straight or flat, the ball bur would be the
weapon of choice followed by the bud bur for cleaning for pavilion.
This would create the necessary friction for packing the stone in

Third and finally, when I was teaching this at GIA they professed
the idea of brass pushers to pack the stones. I, personally, have
been at odds with this. just rubs me the wrong way. So, I use peg
wood in the hand chuck to pack the stones. I make it short enough so
it doesn’t fall apart or splinter. If you break, crack, chip a stone
using the peg wood. you are putting way too much pressure and you
certainly won’t scratch a stone using it as well. Sure, you have to
replace it once in awhile but it works perfectly.

Just food for thought. one other quick thing. I love the idea of
using the right and left gravers to bright cut. just a more natural
stroke and the face edge doesn’t have to go past the crown or girdled
edge as with a flat graver.

Russ Hyder
The Jewelry CAD Institute