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Bead Setting

G’day; I may be quite wrong in my usage of the term ‘bead set’, but
I was shown long ago that the bead produced by a graver when setting
round stones should never be relied upon to hold the stone. I was
shown that one should use a setting burr to make a conical hole just a
little deeper than the girdle of the stone. Then the graver cut which
produces a curl of metal towards the stone when setting is made into a
little round ball using a special tool for the purpose. (I made my own
using a ball burr into the end of a steel rod) But as I said, it isn’t
that bead which holds the stone; it is where the graver stops short
just before cutting through to the setting hole and makes a sturdy
bump just above the girdle, which is hidden by the bead, yet three
similar such bumps hold the stone very firmly. Am I wrong? – Cheers

John Burgess; @John_Burgess2 of Mapua Nelson NZ

Dear John!

I followed your discourse on trying to use a bead raiser on very
curved metal surfaces. Not always can a #2 onglette / bead-raiser do
the trick. I have been known to use a flat #39 flat / graver and turn
a sliver of gold OVER the edge of the girdle and/or have a
knife-edged graver#1 and ‘curl’ a thin flake of gold INSIDE the hole,
I do this about 3-4 times to hold the diamond secure. I ALWAYS REFER
TO A 10X LOUPE for closer inspections & examinations.!!! now this is
the true way to use gravers, and they have other uses too!

These ‘little curls’ of metal can be VERY CAREFULLY placed just
INSIDE the hole when the diamond is now drilled a tad deeper. In lieu
of gypsy (a.k.a.flush setting!) I use this quicker and faster method
of little curls to hold the stone. I generally use about 4 PER (curls)
HOLE at 12-3-6-9 o’clock positions! any less ‘curls’ is only asking
for troubles…:>( Why? glad you asked! this method still keeps the
symmetry of the hole and doesn’t distort the over all appearance of
the design of the jeweled item. I call them…“wire beads”

     hey you folks wanna hear of another way to set stones FLAT! 

now please visualize this! its VERY EASY! ( I think!)…:>) for me,
anyway! Open up your diamond hole a tad smaller in diameter than the a
fore-said diamond and now use a very small “156C under-cutting burr”
#008 or a #009 and very gently scribe a inside groove around the
inside of the wall hole, just below the surface of the metal!

…okay on this???get your diamond, and gently tap in the stone. If
it isn’t going in, open up the hole (at the surface only) and try it
again! this newly set stone is NOT SITTING IN THE hollowed out hole,
its now sitting in the reamed-out groove in the walls you just made.
So now you gotta make sure the next time that the groove is the same
level al the way around. I even with great care use this method for
when I have to raise beads in tight areas. Or if the specific item
needs very careful attention to all “level set stones”!

How can you figure this out??? making sure that the start of the
groove ends with the finish of the groove, they just meet
again!..:>) ( friends!!!) you must make sure that the groove is at
the same level and depth into the wall all the way around. Its…10X
loupe time folks! I even trust my loupe many times, for this

This method is used on flush settings all the time!!! I can now
make extra allowances for the thickness of metal to be pushed
over! isn’t that fun and easy???

Okay John, you just opened up another topic for us to talk about! and
who said diamond setting is one of the hardest disciplines to learn?
its all fun and sweat and long hours at the bench, but ain’t it grand
to complete a piece of jewellery all by yourself???..gerry, the