Flush setting was one of the first techniques that I was taught when
I was being trained as a setter. IF you have the proper instructor
and the proper tools and techniques it is really a VERY simple task.
Of course I have made some of my own special tools that now make the
techniques that I learned much easier. I also use these tools for
baguettes and other fancy stones too.
It doesn’t matter if you are setting a round, marquise or a princess
cut…the techniques are mostly still the same. The stone is just a
different shape and on any stone with points or corners you MUST
make sure to relieve the metal at the points to make sure that the
points don’t break off.
For practice, solder some type of U shaped holder to a penny, insert
the U shaped “holder” into the flat side of your ring clamp and drill
and set your stone in the penny. It will not teach you the proper
depth techniques but the copper will act similar to platinum in
relationship to feel and is cheap to work on.(newer pennies have zinc
in them so try and use a much older penny if you can) A good
burnishing tool and techniques are important too. You can practice
just burnishing them into the copper and you can use an electric
"hammer" tool also. This will give you the practice you need to learn
both techniques. If you use the hammer you must clean up all the
marks and make a neat job of it. Most likely you will also use a
burnishing tool or a graver to clean up the metal on the stone.
Copper is pretty unforgiving as to making marks in it…but it very
closely emulates what you will be working with when you are setting
something in platinum. If you want the white gold “feel” use a nickel
instead of a penny.