The one of the most challenging style of setting is the “Cut - Down” Setting, why so? The only two graver tools you will ever use are the Onglette #1 and the Flat graver #40, nothing else! This style of setting is about 30 on my “List of Difficulty” out of 10. There is no fixing up or changing a cut, once you make any cut, you are done! This takes the role of the most exacting of all Diamond Setting Styles ever thought of!
Salvidor Dali made a fantastic creation, if was called “The Eye of Time”, Although he did not set the stones in this one creation, his Diamond Setter did the finishing. When I saw his book, I saw this actual style being used, I saw & said…“I can do this!” and I did on a semi-round, wedding band. This style can be used perfectly only if the band is curved or half-domed, hence the ‘Cutting Down’ is then masterfully completed! His creations & details are printed in Spanish & English.
Why is this so darned difficult? It is because there are no beads, no claw/prongs to speak of, only little twists of metal created by the Flat Graver #40 to dig into the metal, 'dig in on the side point of the flat, “pivot & twist” the metal over the stone. I suggest maybe having the ‘table’ of the stone to be lower than the surface of the metal. The deeper of the stone will give you a stronger metal hook over the stone! Then the whole idea is then to literally separate that “twist of metal” from the surrounding metal of the ring! You must cut with a narrow Onglette #1 graver to get around the narrow width of the pivot strand of silver/gold. (See photograph!)
Once you have accomplished this very delicate process, you are now to shave off the balance of the metal in between those strong slivers of metal. Using my ring in the picture as a guide is what it should look like. This technique is not for the beginner, but mainly for a person who is very accustomed and constantly using Onglette & Flat gravers.
I finish off my text in wishing you great success in continuing the skill & practice often, Please do not let this setting design be forgotten!!..Gerry!