Back to Ganoksin | FAQ | Contact

Glossary: Setting Tools #2!

"Glossary of Diamond Setting Tools, #2 in a series of 2 sections".

We all sit on chairs, but comfortably? Almost! I will buy the best “Secretarial-chair” that is on the market, these could even have arm-rests. If I have to sit for many hours a day and I must give support to my lower back and lumbar regions. What I will spend on this chair will make me that much more money down the road.

The Fluorescent lights are generally one of the most overlooked pieces of lighting equipment. If you cannot see what you are doing, well then get off your chair and get another profession! Lights and chair, should be foremost in any occupation. I use a three bulb fixture at my bench, I usually pay the few extra dollars, why? How can I see if the claws are over the diamond. When I go travelling, I bring my additional light bar with me.


This bur is meant for mini-cluster patterns, not for large Engagement rings, such as 4-claw or 6-claw configurations. The HSS bur shown in also in this photograph is “Case-Hardened” & is meant for long-term, aggressive usage! This 156C (Carbide) bur was not meant for this aggressive cutting process. it can get burned even while being used. For an analogy, “would you use a little shovel to remove earth in building a basement?”

Setters, Hold-it!

This little hand-held apparatus can hold multiple-linked bracelets, albeit as many that will fit in the mini-jaws. The top flat plate moves & will secure the links as the setter wishes. Is it worthwhile buying? YES! I’ve used this for setting stones in tennis-bracelets & flat linked items!

4-wire, stone examining tool!
When asked to do a pre-examination of a stone, prior to setting. This little item can save $$ in your pocket in case you miss an inclusion that can cause stone chipping. It’s not easy to examine a stone in your fingers, either you could drop it or miss something important. Holding a stone in this wire-tool, is so handy and you can see so much at once and nothing is covering any part of the stone. Worth buying? What do you think?

Inside Ring-Holder
I’ve had mine for over 15 years, and no reason to put it away. The handle is made of wood and it has a slender dowel-handle to hold. There is no possibility for the ring to get loose while being used. Worth buying, you bet it is! The inside plastic inserts allows has ring sizes from a size 5 to size 8+. So darned handy to have!

Stones IN your bench-peg?
stones IN peg
Just where else would you put them at a moment’s notice? BTW, don’t put too many in the space allowed at once, I only put a few at a time, why? Let’s suppose that you have to do some hammering, guess what might happen? Falling and bouncing stones.

Butane, Mini-Torch!
Why would a setter have this in his bench? The answers are many, instead of using a torch to melt shellac or even preparing to heat up an item. This little ‘micro-torch’ will fit just nicely in the back of your pan. No need to have large tanks in your room, this little mini-torch just suits me fine! If you need to anneal a bur that requires immediate reshaping, you must ‘soften it’ first by heating it. Reshape and then reheat again by dropping it in cold water. See why some setters use this? I’ve had my mini-torch for years. I use it to reshape ‘anvils’ on my special reciprocating-hammer.

My dear readers, these few items are just the basics, now let’s start reading.
When I am buying ‘replacement bulbs’, I buy “15 Watts/Cool White” colour and then I purchase two more for reserve. I never spare the dollar! There is, and will be, an eye-strain on you, if one of the bulbs are not working. The constant ‘flickering’ of the remaining bulbs do pulsate at 15 times a second, not seen by you, but your eyes do pick up the bulbs, internal neon gas pulsations. The result is a tiring eye-strain, and the subsequent eye-twitching from you…not a good sign! Therefore each bulb has to cancel out the other bulbs “unseen” pulsations! This is the reason you must not keep looking at a monitor computer screen for long periods of time.

To continue further buy a “three bulb, fluorescent light fixture” instead of the cheaper, two bulb mechanism. Then you will be a happy setter! Now that I’ve lightly touched on these few items, let’s now review the original listing of “Diamond Setting Tools” in greater detail.
At this juncture, let me just state that these are now my own preferences, not anyone else’s. So sit back, relax, read and above all….LEARN!

Safety Glasses!
Safety glasses

One of the most overlooked safety features we completely ignore is the safety for our eyes. Why? Do we not have only one pair of eyes? If these are damaged what can we do then? I once saw a stone setter sit at his bench some years ago and was attempting to cut some gold. One of the shards of gold “hit” his cheek and then subsequently glanced upwards and damaged his Cornea. The agony of the pain was so much that I personally took him to the hospital “Emergency Room”. There was no long lasting tissue damage, thankfully! When I am using the bench grinder for example, I wear two kinds of glasses. My Opti-Visor and also my close fitting safety glasses to my face, Bi-Focals. YOUR eyes are too precious to hurt by hot granules of corundum & graver steel being ejected off the rotating grinding wheel.

In the case of a Bezel Setting wall, prior to setting an Faceted or Oval Cabochon stone, I will at all times use a fine round bur #007. This round bur will create a better resting place for the girdle of the Oval stone. Sometimes the HSS bur is not accurate in the girdle cutting. I always refine that little cut to embrace the girdle of the stone.

This HSS bur cutting is to make sure that the Cabochon or Oval stones are sitting correctly around the “Bearing-Cuts” made by your aggressive cutting bur. Not to mention that the girdle of the stone is sitting correctly in the bearing for that stone. In this exercise I will only use a “High Speed Steel”, 90-angle bur! The round #007 or #008 bur only makes the bearing the same width as the girdle!
The main purpose of this bur, is to create a ‘groove’ in the metal, this is to bear the “weight” of a stone.
This so called ‘groove’ will make a place for the pavilion of the stone to sit in the 4-6 claw engagement ring as well. The size of this bur is to the diamond, should be no more than 75% size of the stone to be set. The corresponding height should not be less than 30% from the claw tip. All of the measurements can be made visually. While making a ‘bearing cut’ for the large stone, it is imperative to keep the shaft of the bur vertical at all times during the ‘grooving’ process. If this is not done, you will not have the diamond sitting in this ‘bearing cut’ correctly and sufficiently to have you named as a “Quality Setter”.

“77B”, aka Cup Burs!

One of the most interesting burs in any setter’s inventory is also the most expensive, why so? It has only one use and that is to round off mini-claws in a cluster design pattern. Once you ‘emery’ down the tips of the claws then just place your bur at a 15-degree angle back from vertical and start your motor. The design of these burs is very interesting, as the teeth of this bur are inside of the ‘cup’. But I’ve modified them simply on my oil-stone, holding it at a 45-degree angle in my handle and after a few seconds, it’s all modified. I use this method on all of my 77B cup-burs!
Once I apply this bur to my settings I can round off the large claws even next to an Emerald with no danger to the facets of the genuine Emerald!
BTW, I would first trim the claws to be thinner as to make the claw more aesthetic!

Stones IN your bench-peg?
stones IN peg
There will be times during the day when you must just do something totally unorthodox. This is putting your gemstones on the top of your bench-peg. My idea is to carve out a ‘little recess’ in the center of your bench-peg. This can be done in only a few minutes by using a series of large & small round burs. The “depth” is up to your imagination and your immediate needs. In the process of hammering, try not to leave the stones in this recess, as they might just bounce out & land everywhere!

Why have rubber-matting IN your tray & bench-pan & why?

Suppose you are setting some stones and they just might drop of your bench-peg, where will they now land? They will not bounce and roll away from your immediate work area…
As you can see in this photograph, I have two trays with "raised edges’. I leave nothing for the small stones or diamonds to escape my “line-of sight”!

Rubber-Pads stops the bouncing of stones!

The rubber-matting just prevents & stops them from bouncing & escaping from your work area. Instead of wasting time looking for them, consider this, your precious .0025 point diamonds will just sit there waiting for you to pick them up! These little ridges keep them in this ‘secure’ area. I bought these ‘rubber pads’ long time ago, how about 45 years ago?

This second page of my Glossary has now being completed! Many days, weeks & months (13 years) have gone into worthwhile project.