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Couple of questions about flush setting


#1

I am self-taught and when I first learned to do flush setting from a
Blaine Lewis CD (I think that is the right spelling of the name?) I
didn’t have as much trouble as I am having now. The main problem is
that although I am convinced that the stone is level and not rocking
before I start to do the actual setting, I am having trouble getting
the stones to stay level when I start to make the funnel with the
burnisher. I am wondering if the burnisher I am using is to big. It
is a fork tine and it was fine for 4-mm stones when I started. Should
I use something smaller to push the metal around smaller stones? One
of the problems may be that I am setting some of these stones into
the very top of fine silver balls, so the surface is not completely
planar (flat)–although some of the stones were no problem at all
doing it this way.

The other problem is that I cannot see what I am doing. I have a new
Bausch & Lomb Magna Visor with the maximum magnification of 2.6. It
doesn’t seem to be good for this small work. I also have one of the
little round loops (10x). I cannot seem to figure out how to get the
light on the work when I am looking through this loop. In other
words, the loop and my head seem to block the light when I try to
view the work. Also, I can only see straight on and cannot see from
every angle I want to view the work.

The above are some of the problems of being self-taught. I am sure
there is a simple way to use these things but I have never had the
luxury of being shown.

I would sure appreciate any suggestions.
J. S. (Sue) Ellington


#2

I was taught a trick by a master goldsmith on 47th st in NYC. Place
the diamond as it needs to sit in proper orientation. Apply a micro
dot of crazy glue or similar to keep it in place. Complete mounting
and then soak in acetone.

Judy Shaw (GJG)


#3

there is aproduct that is called disclosing spray that helps one
check the level of stones…some are simply not evenly cut may be a
problem you aren’t seeing. SE company makes a 12 dollar (msrp) visor
thathas four acrylic pull down lenses and a 10x loupe on a velcro
fastened adjustble headband that rivals any 40 dollar and up
optivisor…I will be happy to pick you up one if you like.

One potential solution to the levelling issue might be to use a
drill stop/prong guide/setting stop.it slips over the bur and keeps
the depth equidistant inrelation to the diameter of your stone…if
you do lots of flush setting,and channel setting and prong making,
and money isn’t an issue, Foredom’s Allset Master Kit can help you
immeasurably and from the first use with a standard #30 handpiece…(
or for even more money you can buy an adapter that allows for a slim
or quick change handpieces)…another easy thing to do is with
dividers mark then scribe a level line under the setting’s opening
depending on your stone’s shape. then remove some metal with a round
gaver (#52 should do it) to make a grid that will eventually hold a
piece of round or 1/2 round ( domed part into the recess) that will
act as a bearing and a shelf to hold the gem level and in place, or
square wire with a spit stick to make the u shaped straight walled
grid that is relative to the line you scribed and the depth of the
stone from where you want it to sit relative to the top of the
setting…

The burnisher may be too big, but that shouldn’t make all that much
difference unless it’s removing metal…a great burnisher can be made
from an masonry nail that is taken to the grinder ans ends rounded
and then polished on top ( they make a great nuber of thngs from
stamps to punches to bezel pushers, etc.) or you can get polished
tumbled agates from flea market type places and mount them into any
number of hollow wood, or polymer clay cylinders or thermoplastic
cylinders that can be used to make a variety of burnishers of
different sizes and shapes. ( a bit of cement or epoxy in the
"holder’" hollow if it’s wood will help secure it, in the other two
drive the stone into the shaft when warm, it will fall out in all
probability, then glue it in with epoxy or cement,or gorilla glue
type stuff that expands to fill gaps. that should solve those "too
big “” burnishing questions…if its a metal burnisher keep highly
polished with a product like 3M’s tri-m-ite papers,or their radial
bristle discs in a 6 micron ( polishing) grade or higher for
progressively finer polishing… Tabs are another option for holding
stones in a flush setting from underneath.

if this is still not helpful write me off Orchid and i’ll send an
equasion to figure the pitch and depth needed in metal based on the
stone itself., and some alternative gypsy setting techniques in
video format if your pc can handle video files ( you’ll need to tell
me the os and which player to format it for.) Gypsy is my favorite
setting for many applications and protects your stone to boot!

R.E.R.


#4
I am wondering if the burnisher I am using is to big 

Sue, that indeed might be the problem. You don’t say what size
stones are giving you trouble but I find the smaller the stone the
touchier the seat. Three pointers aren’t too bad but a one pointer
can be problematic.

For small stones I made a burnisher out of a worn out bur. You don’t
want an actual point to it though. Just shy of a sharp point seems to
work. It fits in a milgrain tool handle or pinvise so you can get
some purchase and control.

The fellow who taught me flush setting would prepare the hole with a
bud bur and basically press the stone into the metal to make the
seat. I find I get better results with a regular setting bur follow
by a drill or bur to ream out the bottom part of the hole to just
within a hairsbreadth of the seat bottom. Its a true level seat with
no contact to the pavillion. The walls of the bezel are perpendicular
to the girdle so the metal is close to where you need it, as opposed
to tapering out from the stone. Downside of this is the setting bur
must be pretty darn close in size to the stone.

But even with a slightly sloppy fit if you tilt the burnisher to
approach the bezel at a very shallow angle and kinda roll some metal
over you can tighten it up.

I just saw an ad somewhere for a 10X loupe that has an LED in it. You
might find that helpful. Oh and if you’re blinded by glare use a talc
bag to dull things down.


#5
The main problem is that although I am convinced that the stone is
level and not rocking before I start to do the actual setting, I am
having trouble getting the stones to stay level when I start to
make the funnel with the burnisher. 

There are a couple of possible problems, Sue. One is the stone may
not be seated tightly enough before you start your burnishing. As you
apply pressure instead of being locked in the stone just moves out of
the way by tilting in the hole.

Related to the former is the possiblity that your seat is not level
(or the stone girdle is of uneven thickness) so it “rocks” away as
you apply pressure. Examine the stone carefully for uneven girdle
areas and be sure you’ve either burred or gravered the seat so it is
perfectly level. I use brass rods of various diameters to push (ever
so carefully) the stone into place. If, once you think it is seated,
you move the pusher back and forth while applying pressure you can
usually see if there is any rocking going on. If so remove the stone
and examine the seat for facet edge burnish marks. You can then use a
graver - or you’re bur but a #52 or #52 graver is better - to remove
just a flick of metal where the stone is sitting high. Once done, try
the process again until the stone no longer rocks.

You’re problems may be compounded further if the stone is not being
seated deeply enough in the metal. The table should be level with the
surface of the piece. This allows the metal to move out over the
stone edge which locks it in place before you really start applying
maximum pressure.

The other problem is that I cannot see what I am doing. I have a
new Bausch & Lomb Magna Visor with the maximum magnification of
2.6. 

This is really your biggest problem. It took me a while to figure it
out but I finally realized that the ability to truly see what you’re
doing is 90% of proper stone setting. My work took a huge turn turn
for the better when I started doing all of my setting under a 5X/10X
stereo microscope. I have the GSI articulated arm with an inexpensive
L W Scientific Paragon microscope head mounted on it (but the optics
match anything out of Japan - I work through the scope all day
everyday and no eyestrain or fatigue whatsoever). The scope normally
is 10/20X but to use it for bench work you need to add the.5X
accessory lens which gives you some working room under the lens and
cuts the power in half. It’s a moderately expensive fix but I believe
absolutely essential - especially for the sight challenged like
myself.

I also have one of the little round loops (10x). I cannot seem to
figure out how to get the light on the work when I am looking
through this loop. 

My own approach to using a loupe is to hold the loupe with my right
hand, the object I’m viewing with my left, and view through my left
eye. This leaves an open space to the left of my head at which point
I position my light source. And you need to be very close the light.
I pull my drafting style bench lamp close to my head so the edge of
the shade is actually toucingh my forehead. It also helps to adjust
the light so it is falling on what you’re looking at and not right in
your eye - which causes the pupil to shut down defeating a lot of
what you increased the light for in the first place.

Happy setting,

Les Brown
L.F.Brown Goldwork


#6
The main problem is that although I am convinced that the stone is
level and not rocking before I start to do the actual setting 

One more thing, very important. Make sure the angle of the seat is
the same - or exceeding just a bit - the angle of the pavillion on
the stone. If the stone is not contacting the seat right at the
girdle but instead is sitting only on the lower edge of the seat the
stone will rock and tilt no matter how close the diameters match.

Les Brown
L.F.Brown Goldwork


#7

R. E.,

I would love to have a hands-free 10x loupe. I cannot afford the
stereo microscope. RioGrande doesn’t have an optivisor with a 10X
magnification (hands free). Would you need to buy this for me or
would it be easier for you for me to buy it directly? I searched
Yahoo but couldn’t find a listing.

Thanks to you and to the others who have replied. The information
has just been invaluable and it makes me feel so much better about
continuing this work. I have gotten quite frustrated with this of
late.

J.Sue Ellington
http://www.jsellington.com


#8
Make sure the angle of the seat is the same - or exceeding just a
bit - the angle of the pavillion on the stone. If the stone is not
contacting the seat right at the girdle but instead is sitting only
on the lower edge of the seat the stone will rock and tilt no
matter how close the diameters match. 

Even if you can’t feel sure about the angle (hard to control–
stones come in more different angles than burs do) you can solve
this problem by eliminating all but a tiny, narrow seat. You only
need a hair’s-bredth to hold the stone up. A tapered reamer will do
a good job of gradually removing the metal below the stone until the
seat is narrow onough to only support the stone close to the girdle.

I’m pretty sure that the main three reasons for rocking stones aRe:

–too wide seat
–too big hole
–allowing the bur to change angle as you drill so the seat is
bowl-shaped instead of a nice clean transition from vertical to
angled.

My students do this last one a lot. If you don’t see that nice,
clean line around the bottom of the vertical wall when you loupe the
setting, this is probably your problem. You may need to use a drill
press to keep you from allowing the bur to “slosh”.

Noel


#9

Sue,

Sounds like you’re having fun!

Here are a couple of things I’ve done that have helped me with some
of the issues you’re facing.

Magnification/Lighting is really key to so much of our work. I
invested in a flex-arm mounted magnifier with a built in ring
fluorescent light. WHen I just want the light, it positions exactly
where I want it. When I need the extra magnification, I look through
the top of it, and the light is projected down directly onto the
work. I use it for tube-setting 2mm stones and it works beautifully.

Another, newer option would be to get higher-power lenses for your
visor (most of them have interchangeable lens compartments so you can
put in whatever lens power you need for the task at hand) and get one
of the new LED lights that mount on the front of the visor. They’re
like a boundary of small LED lights, powered by battery (don’t know
if a plug-in is available) that’s mounted in a holder on the back of
the visor. They are add-ons for existing visors and provide a
surprising amount of light exactly to the area you’re looking at.

The key I’ve found for flush mounts (and tube settings) is to keep
the outer boundary of the metal as close to the stone as possible…
and the key to that is to find exactly the right size setting bur.
Ideally, it should be a tiny smidge SMALLER than the stone you’re
mounting. Use it to carve out the seat exactly at a 90-degree angle
to the metal, then the smallest amount of circular pressure on the
bur will get you exactly the fit you want. Slip the stone into it (it
should almost “click” into place) and all you have to do is burnish
the edge over the girdle. If you’ve carved a traditional funnel that
slants back from the girdle, you have a LOT more metal to move and
also a lot more room for the stone to move in the seat as you’re
applying pressure.

I hope this helps!

Karen Goeller
No Limitations Designs
Hand-made, one-of-a-kind jewelry


#10

hi, i noticed in one of the many great articles on ganoksin, by
charles lewton brain, he recommends, using a 55mm camera lens as a
wide view. aid for stone setting etc.maybe one from a second hand
camera store. he estimates them to be around 7x magnification, &
obviously distortion free. i’d like to try it, & possibly rig 2 up
hanging from eye glass frames???

joel


#11

Sorry, Joel, you’ll find that camera lenses are VERY much to heavy
to mount on an eyeglass frame.

They certainly do make a very good loupe, if you can get used to the
large overall diameter. Charles is correct that a 50-55 mm lens will
give you about 7x magnification. For the past 48 years my favorite
loupe has been an “Erfle” (?sp.) military telescope ocular of 1 inch
focal length. When I found it I lathe turned it down to remove all
of the focusing threads leaving a rather light weight brass barrel;
it yields about 10x magnification. Actually I still have and
regularly use that same lens although the coating is getting a bit
shabby! I’m considering listing it separately in my will!!

The Erfle is a highly corrected lens but many other designs would
give you an entirely satisfactory image. If you want 10x shoot for a
1 inch focal lens and try the surplus optical market. If you want a
binocular, eyeglass type loupe look into the Beebe Loupe, I believe
that AO is still marketing them.

Best regards,
Dr. Mac