Flush setting into 26g

I posted this a few weeks back and got 1 reply which was inadequate.
In Alan Revere’s book “The Art of jewelry Making”, the lentil ring on
the cover has a formed lentil made out of 26g. It is soldered
together and then flush set so he wasn=92t coming in from the back.
How was this done? I thought 18 g was about as thin as one could go
in order to flush set. Thanks for all of you repeat e-instructors out

I’ve seen Pat Flynn lecture about just this. He couldn’t figure out
how it was done until he went down the diamond district in NYC and
spent time with some of the “old timers” at the bench.

Briefly, he takes a dulled bud burr and, after predrilling, uses it
to burnish out the metal from the front, creating a “volcano” of
metal at the back. The hole is still smaller than the stone and a
seat must still be cut. This effectively gives an increased
thickness of material at the setting area. You must be very careful
not to cut through the smal amount of metal that you’ve “added”.

The dulled teeth on the bud burr act as burnishing knuckles-- lttle
hammers-- that when spun in the flex shaft beat out the metal.

Andy Cooperman

Dear Toad14,

I would say because the diamonds for the lentil itself are 1 to 2
pointers they probably are small enough to get away with flush
setting in 26 gauge. Try it and see, it looks like a fun project.

Marta in Georgetown, CA

Since Alan is a poster to this list server, I suspect that some of
us thought that he might respond. Alan?

I seem to remember that someone suggested that a jump ring may have
been soldered to the back side to support the stone. I would think
that a piece of tubing serve a little more neatly.

This has worked for me:

If you punch your hole with a pointed punch, rather than drilling,
you will gain the additional depth needed to seat you stone. You
might need to back-fill with pitch or warmed Jet set to avoid
collapsing your work.

Ken Weston

Hi, i had to double check your question by looking for myself. The
lentil ring. Ok in Alan Revere’s book “The Art of Jewelry Making” I
have noticed several typo errors. For instance it reads 18k yellow
gold sheet 0.65mm (26ga). And 0.65mm = 22ga. on every conversion
chart that I have seen. I have attempted this project, and for
practice 20ga or 22ga is acceptable. It adds some finesse when there
is not as much weight.

Good luck I enjoyed this book alot and no offense about the typo.

Alan Revere picked alot of talented artistians, and has brought
together a whole collection of projects from various backgrounds and
various methods. This book is a one-of-a-kind.

As Andy said, the key is to use a dulled bud bur to burnish the side
walls of the hole until you get a slight thickening. Enough to very
carefully cut a serviceable seat…

I will add that if you have a reversible rotary tool, such as one of
the newer flexshafts or an electronic tool such as an Electer GX -
you have more options and even better results.

Making SURE that you have it in reverse, you can burnish/thicken the
walls with either a dull or brand new bud bur. I prefer the dull
one because the action is slower. REVERSE rotation is the key.

Brian Marshall

Dear all contributors on this subject!

If you are supplied an item with the thickness is less than adequate
(re: .65mm). I would now personally ask my jeweller to supply and
solder a “THICK” jump ring to the underneath section of the gold
where the hole is located. A simple thin J/R will not suffice. If
you want security and being able to set this stone in question get
at least .75mm J/R PLUS the item in question.

So now you are talking of 1.4mm in total. NOW you can do all of your
drilling, bearing cuts, hammer setting, filing, emery paper
finishing with no worry of finding that the stone will fall out from
polishing. I would ask you to use a very new “156C” undercutting
bur. As this new bur has sharper teeth and you won’t be needing to
keep looking for a bur that is old and worn down…

You should just open up the hole to about 80% of the diamond THEN DO
YOUR SOLDERING. Why? Why save the gold if you have to remove it
after putting in the J/R afterwards? Also, this way your jeweller
has better idea of the size of J/R to use. Why am I asking for a
thick J/R? Its because of your need of a seat for the Girdle. Plus
metal for the Pavillion to sit AGAINST…do you all concur?..:>)

“Gerry, the Cyber-Setter!” who is coming out with a "3-book series"
on “Manual of Diamond Setting”!

Another trick is to slightly dome the metal outwards at the point
where you want to place each diamond. Drill a small pilot hole, then
carefully cut a seat with a 70 degree hart bur, undercutting
slightly. Place the diamond into the seat and press the metal flat.
Sounds easy. Try setting like this! You have to be very accurate and
precise. As previously mentioned in another post, it helps if you
leave a hefty bur on the back side of the metal. I would also
recommend that you do this with .005ct - .01ct stones, nothing

Although it is possible to set stones in metal this thin, with a lot
of practice and patience, the whole thing is inherently weak. A
little flex or bending, and the stones may fall out. Better to use a
heavier gauge metal in the first place.


Douglas Zaruba
33 N. Market St.
Frederick, MD 21701
301 695-1107