the set is for making prong/claw settings.: insert equal lengths of
wire into the smaller heads file and join.
pickle rinse and add on from the basic claw setting you have.
Then the larger heads are jigs to hold the collets for the wires.
Do Not solder the wires in the jigs- you will ruin them.
It’s basically sitting there in that box because they are more for
production lines where you are making a lot of one part of an
operation. then passing it on to the person next to you to tack it
or weld it before any embellishments are added or it is modified in
if you don’t want to use a cyanoacrylate to hold the wires together
or a dab of setting cement or the like (even a decent sealing wax
will work on a collet but getting them to stay in place without a
"glue" is at least, difficult…
Easier to make one-offs without the jigs as they can try your
patients. but do turn out an evenly spaced part.
As for the wires, you can modify the collets to take square or other
shapes with a diamond bur if round doesn’t add into your design
sensibilities. you can forge ends of round wires though before
setting them up in the collets in case you are making "v’ prongs for
the bad news they aren’t great for pear, marquise kite shaped stones
-or any other fancy cut for that matter. and other than making prong
heads, require a base if you want to take the design past wire/claw
settings. Unless you modify the collets to accept a bezel strip, or
rectangular or half-round wire on the outside of the set-up.
you are limited to round stones, ovals, pearls and bullet cabs…
If manufacturers would make the collet heads hinged they could be
more useful simply requiring a squeeze inwards to release the
cemented setting- but they aren’t. This is a good example of a tool
that is simply excess for the small shop- one sees it in a catalogue
and thinks - oh, just the thing, until you receive it. and it’s
limitations are painfully clear after fooling around with it for two
hours trying to figure out how the wires are supposed to say in place
since its a complete set. then you realise " I could have done the
same thing on a charcoal block or fire brick start-to-finish in the
time I’ve been sitting here trying to make this thing work!!!.
Funny, but this may be the single most passed around tool set I have
encountered over the years- I have seen more for sale or swap than
any other set of anything on the market. I think I have two of em
sitting around unused even by students or on an open studio night!