Back to Ganoksin | FAQ | Contact

Channel setting fabrication tutorial

Hello everyone!

I would like to know if anyone out there knows of a book, tape,
article or whatnot that addresses how to fabricate a channel setting
from scratch. I’m a newbie to this type of setting so I’m unsure on
how to proceed…

I know that the easiest way would probably be to cast it, but I
don’t have the facilities in my studio to do so (and I just want to
learn how to do it) I’ve played around and constructed a halfway
decent one out of silver, but I know that there has to be something
out there that can show me the best way to do it. I’ve looked in
books such as Oppi and some of Revere’s books, but to no avail…
I’ve found plenty of articles on how to SET the stones in the
channel… not how to construct the whole setting itself… (it might
seem like a dumb question to some… but when you’ve never seen
anyone make one… well, let’s just say I’d like the benefit of some
experience here…)

This is what I want to build: a size 6.5 white gold band,
approximately 2 - 2.5 mm in width. I have about 6 1.8mm diamonds
that I want to set in this ring… and I like how channel set stones
look… (I’ve done a test piece with flush set stones, but it doesn’t
give me the look I want)

If anyone can point this newbie in the right direction, I’ll be very

Thanks to you all in advance

Bryan Steagall
in chilly Albuquerque, NM

This is what I want to build: a size 6.5 white gold band,
approximately 2 - 2.5 mm in width. I have about 6 1.8mm diamonds
that I want to set in this ring... 

Bryan - I don’t know of any literature, but it’s really not that hard
to do. There’s a few ways to do it, none being right or wrong -
“right” is having a settable channel. In your example here’s what I’d
probably do: Since your diamonds are 1.8mm, you’ll need a 2.5mm band
or wider. You want at least 1/2mm for each channel. 1.8+.5+.5=2.8mm.
You can also narrow it later - you can’t widen it. Make the band,
sure it’s thick enough for the stones not to poke through the inside
(#1 mistake), mark the center of the ring circle, and mark a center
line along the top. With dividers, mark 6 times at 2mm increments
along the center line. You can also scribe lines for the channel
itself, though for a 1.8mm I’ll just use my file for a gauge. Drill
with about a #68 or so, probably the hardest part, getting it neat
and straight. Then sink your channel around the holes. I’ll use a
round bur of around 1/2 the size of the channel just to knock it
down, and then finish with an equalling file. A flat graver can be
handy, too. The easy way is to just taper the ends after the last
hole, but you can square it off or leave a radius, so the ends of the
channel are the same height as the channel itself. Polish the inside
before you set it. The stones should just hang on the top edge of the
channel. That is, a channel should be something like 90% of the width
of the stone. And you are dealing with a triangle - the drilled holes
get closer together as they get nearer to the center of the ring -
meaning that lines drawn as radii converge at the center of the
circle. So, if you drill holes and then sink a really deep channel,
the holes will be spaced closer at the bottom than they were at the
top. It’s actually preferable to do the channel first and then drill
it, but that’s harder to do and if you space them about 2mm, by the
time you’re done you should have a good spacing for the stones, at
least for a first try. The only really difficult part is that it all
needs to be pretty precision made to look good in the end…

Bryan, Channel setting is fairly simple providing you follow a few
basic rules. Measure the length of the stones touching girdle to
girdle for thechannellength.You need a reasonable amount of metal for
each wall (each side) of at least .75mm,for your stone size i reckon
a ring width of 3.5-4.0 mm if you want it to last.Then drill a
straight channel to a diameter just a tad smaller than the stones and
cut yourself a thread both sides with a sharp graver about.5mm down
from the surface.If you time it right the stones should just slip in
with a little “clicky” feel,then tighten with downward pressure and
clean up. Job done!.The theory is dead simple and the actual work can
be too,but there is a very fine line between just right and big