Dear Clive, its me again, the “cyber-setter” at your service,eh?
“setting diamonds/stones” in a channel setting.first of all, you need
the right tools, once you have them, “you are off to the races”. First
of all, you just gotta buy an “inside ring holder” like what Stuller
has in their supply book, page 30 #15. (I have this kind, its in the
red box). Why? you have greater access to the whole section being
worked on and when tightened, the ring won’t slip around. This clamp
has more “underneath support” when hammering or pushing. In a regular
clamp all of the ring is hollow and you might distort the ring by
accident. I know, ha-ha!
First of all! use a small round burr, and remove any sharp little
casting slags in and around the diamond hole.VERY IMPORTANT! PLEASE
WORK ON NO MORE THAN 5-6 STONE SECTIONS AT A TIME! What I do is not
WRITTEN IN STONE! but it works very well for me!!! use a #156C
undercutting burr and make a groove for the diamond, make bloody sure
at this point, that the bearing-groove is not slanted due to the
holding of the handpiece. If this seat is off alignment, the diamond
will be also!
THOU SHALT NOT DRILL IN TOO FAR INTO THE WALL! Please use a "burr"
that is about 1/2 to 3/4 size of the stone to be set! check the “seat
formation” with a loupe. so far so good,eh? now tighten all the clamp
screws and select the diamonds to be be set, check for inclusions and
make sure they are all the same size!!! gently file the outside-wall
thinner with a #4 cut triangular file to reduce the amount to be
you don’t want to tire out your pushing hand, do you?..:>) This is my
section where I can use a metal pusher, with a serated edge or a
"Hammer handpiece" that has a reduced hitting area! I use either
kind, depending on the setting requirements. I do not use the “wax to
hold” method, why? I can’t see if the stone is tight or not. Try and
get used to pushing over or against the stone, the thinned out wall,
up to, and then over the stone! tighten one stone at a time! Not the
whole group, how do you secure the others so they won’t fall out? I
use a very dainty method of making a ‘wire bead’ and securing this
bead on the inside of the wall right over the diamond. Its like
raising a bead that is right on top of the table. This will be covered
when the wall is pushed down over it!
Your “serated” metal-pusher should not be too wide, it should be
about the width of each diamond…! once this procedure is done, make
sure that the metal is right OVER EACH DIAMOND, do not push the metal
too flat over the stone, you need this for later. You are really
pushing the metal AGAINST THE STONE! continue on with the other
stones,…all the way around the whole ring, remember 5-6 stones at a
time,eh? and secure the clamp screws! Now comes the filing and inside
bright-cutting to perfection! easy so far?
using a #4 cut triangular file. File the inside wall that is over the
stone, file it straight!!! don’t worry, you won’t hurt the stone. You
can use a file that the edge is worn down a shade, (thats if your are
using a soft stone). Now use again a #39 flat graver and clean again
inside edge, with a cut with a graver that is polished smooth, You
will now see a brighter inner wall of metal. Please note that you
musn’t file too much on the top of the stone. You must leave enough
for polishing and general customer usage. Oh, try and file flat the
just now cleaned edge and leave the top of the channel flat, making
very sure that the distance between the leading edge and the outside
of the wall, is the same thickness! This is very critical to the
customers eye! when everything is done, remove the ring and touch up
the seperations of ‘the groups’ with a file and just touch up any area
you might need. Use a rubber wheel to ‘clean up’ any gold
imperfections, be very critical in this respect!
Look for these many pointers, also during the setting procedure! Are
the diamonds all the same height? are they all flat? are they filed
evenly? IS THE INSIDE OF THE RING-HOLE counter-sunk to show a
polished hole underneath? put this ring inside a “sonic-cleaner” and
check for looseness. It can happen! Is all of the metal over the set
stones? are all of the diamonds side by side, and no gaps inbetween
each other? this is not the easiest methods of setting. It does take
sometimes years to master, if you are slow, so what?
I hope Clive, and the rest of the Orchidians notice that I haven’t
mentioned a hammer method, why? This method “pounds” the metal too
flat to work on, I only use this for bezels and then only "pushing"
the metal against the channel wall only, never on to the stone. There
is a greater risk of smashing the diamond with a hammer! trust me…:>)
The uncontrolled movement of the hammer is a real great danger! Get
used to pushing by hand, I did, and you have a greater confidence in
securing EACH STONE! …now you just learned, channel setting!
“gerry, the cyber-setter/teacher/story-teller”