Setting Tools! Files, Gravers, HSS-Burs, Micro-Motors, Carbide burs!
For every Diamond Setter there are certain rules to follow. If these rules are not written, or discussed, then the operator will surely find themselves wondering what has just transpired. Poor quality will ensue and the blame will not be from their tools, but their own negligence!
Let’s first start on the list with “Pillar & Triangular files”, these implements normally will last for a few years, as mine are now doing. These are not cheap, but over a course of many setting projects they can pay for themselves in a short while…they are your friends, treat them as such.
My most favourite setting tools are my two “Onglette #1, #2 & Flat graver”. Without them, I couldn’t masterfully execute the setting & engraving I succeed in doing. These are also costly in both time, money and maintenance. If I accidentally drop a graver into my metal bench, I make sure the cutting edge hasn’t been made unusable. I observe if they will ready for immediate cutting! I will allow the graver-tip touch my finger-nail, if it grips the nail, then it’s ready for use. I use a ‘thumb guard‘ at all times, when using the gravers!!!
The “High Speed Steel Bur” is a misnomer, as it doesn’t mean it has to be used at a high revolution. It means that the steel is “Case-Hardened” in the production of this particular bur, these are one of the most expensive tools for any setter, but they are so well needed! These are very aggressive in their cutting, but they earn their cost many fold. I use these HSS burs ONLY in setting 4, or a 6-claw Engagement ring. Carbide burs have their teeth quite close together and are very gentle in their cutting. HSS bur teeth are further apart, but are highly ‘aggressive’ in their cutting action.
The “Micro-motor” is the most important machine that any setter has in his inventory of tools. The ‘Micro-Motor’ is a ‘bench-top’ design with a handle that has its own motor. No further need of the high pole to suspend any overhead motor, with this, you now have complete flexibility of your hand-piece containing your rotating bur.
“Carbide burs” I use basically the Round, Bud, 156C (Under-Cutting), The Round bur does the majority of “stone opening” of the holes, the Bud-shaped bur is used as a mini-file to clean up any little pieces of metal after casting on the claws/prongs! The 156C does mainly the cutting of grooves for the stones to sit against.
The “Wax-Dob” is a mixture of Charcoal & Bee’s wax. It is used to pick up large or very small gem-stones!
“Pillar & Triangular files” For the Pillar file, I use only grit cut #2 and for the Triangular file #4, nothing else! The Pillar file is a more of an ‘aggressive’ file and is used on initial Bezel and 4-claw settings. The Triangular, #4 cut is very smooth as these are used mainly on ‘mini-claws’.
“container for oil", this is used primarily for lubricating burs while in constant use!
Little “paintbrush’ or a soft toothbrush. Either will do fine, as long as the bristles are SOFT! These will brush away any metal or dust while drilling the many setting holes.
Examining Stones with a “4-wire spring-clamp”, very important as it gives more freedom in holding and examining your stone!
There are many ‘less-important’ tools to share with you. I could show you more, but these just mentioned are solely for stone-setting!