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Beginner Stonesetting/Bur Sizes?

Hello. If I was interested in learning all-around tube, channel, flush, and prong settings is there a specific size range you would recommend to a beginner? The reason I ask is because I would like to purchase the necessary burs; however, that list could be rather lengthy so I’d just like to have the more common sizes covered. Is that a thing? lol I do have books already, but doesn’t cover specific size recommendations to get your feet wet. I believe the required burs to cover these would be ball, setting, hart (70 degree), and bud burs? Anything I’m missing here?

I appreciate your time as I’ve yet to be able to find any sizing info/recommendations elsewhere.

Hi James
Let me write an essay to answer your few questions. I’ll be starting on this essay this weekend. This’ll be extremely helpful for everyone
And thanks for the idea!..:wink:
Gerry! On my Teaching iPhone!


Thank you for the reply. It is your work and posts that prompted this question in the first place! Any other input from anyone is, as always, appreciated though :slight_smile:

When we studied diamond setting at Bowman Tech we learned on fragile rhinestones, mostly about 5mm in size, if I recall.
The fragile glass taught us to be careful, and work gently.
The larger stone size meant that we could see metal to stone contact points well while learning and practicing techniques.

I cannot see how any particular size is important, but I would pick one size, and practice all of the setting styles you wish to master on that size stone. Once you begin to become confident with the skills you are learning they will translate to both larger and smaller stones.

This allows you to begin to practice all of the skills with just a small selection of burrs, and one pile of inexpensive practice “stones”.

I will suggest that there are a several very good videos by Blaine Lewis, on various setting styles, as well as some very instructive essays on this site, by Gerry.


Thank you James…:wink:
When I started my apprenticeship we were claw setting very soft white sapphires. If you looked at them, they would break.
We were taught to get them sitting straight and not crooked! That was my first exercise in setting. This was about 56 years ago!

Gerry! On my Teaching iPhone!

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James & all!
I am at this moment creating photos and writing an essay on Princess setting. I don’t overlook any steps in describing this process.
I’m using 2 cameras just give the reader ample amount of information in filing & trimming of the claws.
As a setter, I know exactly what steps there are in even the preparation. My essay on Bezel setting was 1,325 words and photo’s. I don’t give short cuts, only the correct way!.. for everyone to learn.

Gerry! On my Teaching iPhone!