Flushing set stones

Steve, Can you explain the process you go through to flush set
stones with a hammer handpiece? I have been doing it with a
burnisher made from an old burr.

Steve Howard


With rounds, I usually cut an opening just slightly smaller than
the diameter of the stone. Then use a heart bur to cut a shallow
seat just a little below the surface of the metal. If you are
careful, you can snap the stone in place & hammer the metal
around it. I follow up with emery, a rubberized silicone
polishing disc on the flex-shaft and then a polished and slightly
pointed burnisher to smooth the inside edge and provide a bright
bezel to reflect the stone. Your method interests me though.
Could you explain it? I’m always looking for better methods.


Steve, I also use a hart burr slightly smaller than the stone to
cut the seat then slightly ream the portion below the surface to
make it the size of the stone. I then snap the stone in. The
burnisher I use is made by shaping the end of an old burr to
look like the end of a pencil. The exact shape and size is
determined by the size of stone to be set. Sharper and smaller
for small stones but still with the very tip rounded. This tool
is then inserted into an old quick change handpiece which makes a
nice handle. I put the item I am setting the stone into in my
benchmate or vice and start the burnishing of the seat at about a
30 degree angle. I go around using short strokes. As I progress I
increase the angle of the burnisher. This method requires a lot
of pull down pressure on the burnisher and can leave a nasty
impression if you slip out of the setting. It doesn’t require
much finish work. It only works well for diamonds and sapphires
as the tip of the burr can abrade the facet junctions on other
stones. I have set other stones this way such as peridot but had
to be extremely careful not to touch the stone. I wouldn’t
recommend setting anything but diamonds or sapphires this way.
This method can be very tiring on the wrist and arms if you have
to set a lot of stones this way that’s why I ask if there is a
less labor intensive way.

Steve Howard

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