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Hammer Setter


#1

I have been thinking about purchasing a hammer setter for stone
setting.

What are the pros and cons, best types, and any good bench tips?
How are they for tube settings or settings for bullet shaped
stones?

Any input is greatly appreciated.

BTW, Metalwerx is up and hopping. We ran three out of four
classes the first month we opened. Combining retail, studio time
and teaching keeps us out of trouble. The response from folks
wandering in have been tremendous. We should have some new pics
soon on our website. I’ll keep you posted! I have never worked
so hard in my life, but I rather work 15 hours a day at something
I love than 10 minutes at something I hate.

Signed, Karen

Drizzly, cold but lots of beautiful orange bittersweet to add color to
my yard.
Karen Christians
M E T A L W E R X
416 Main St.
Woburn, MA 01801

@metalart
http://www.metalwerx.com/

Current Artwork:


#2

Karen: I’m not a professional jeweler by trade but a dedicated
obsessed hobbyist jewelry artist so here’s my two cents. I f
you’re strictly doing silver work you won’t find alot of use for
the setting hammer unless you do some really heavy bezels which I
occasionally do. If you work in lower karat golds you’ll love the
hammer. Pushing a 14kt bezel over a stone by hand is no fun
unless you’ve got your piece tacked down and are using a hammer
and a punch. The disadavantages at least from my point of view,
are that you’ll have more clean up work to do using the hammer at
it does leave marks. It also take a bit of practice to keep the
hammer point from hitting the stone. Personally, I’m really glad
I have the thing when I need it. Another point of advice; I
bought the Swiss hammer handpiece which is over $200 (ouch…)
and was dismayed later to find that Foredom makes one much
cheaper and doesn’t use special points, the Foredom points are
much cheaper. I don’t see there’s much difference between the two
really. Use can also use the hammer piece for texturing but I
really haven’t explored that much myself. Also, I found it easier
using it to set cabochons, faceted stones are harder because if
you miss the bezel its easier to damage the stone, I did this
once in 14kt tube setting and since the stone was locked in place
for good I had to polish out the mark in the stone, not
fun…Dave

Kickass Websites for the Corporate World http://www.kickassdesign.com
Crystalguy Jewelry http://www.opendoor.com/stephensdesign/crystalguy.html
Recumbent Cyclist’s Advocacy Group
http://www.opendoor.com/stephensdesign/bent/rcag.html


#3
   Another point of advice; I bought the Swiss hammer handpiece
which is over $200 (ouch....) and was dismayed later to find
that Foredom makes one much cheaper and doesn't use special
points, the Foredom points are much cheaper. I don't see
there's much difference between the two really.... 

I do. The swiss Badeco is a better built hammer, and will last
much longer. In our trade shop, the setters won’t bother with
the darn Fordom handpieces anymore, considering them a waste of
money. They wear them out, with admitedly daily use, in about a
year or less, and the things are problematic to satisafactorily
rebuild yourself. The Badeco’s are a sturdier better designed
tool (mine is over 6 years old and still going strong), and
replacement parts are available (from Frie and Borel). The tips
are more costly, true, but they are also better steel. You can
harden them even when shaped to very delicate fine points and
they won’t chip or break on you. Note that the basic blank point
that comes with the hammer is NOT hardened. Shape it as you
wish, and harden it, and it will work better as well. Also, if
you wish, the Badeco comes in a heavy duty version for about the
same price. It looks the same, but has a heavier spring, giving
a decidedly heavier impact. I never liked the Fordom partly
because on it’s highest impact level, it still doesn’t move a
lot of metal if you’re working in, say, 18K white gold. The
heavy duty Badeco moves it right over. Yet when dialed down to
it’s lightest impact, it’s still a quite delicate hammer.

   Use can also use the hammer piece for texturing but I really
haven't explored that much myself. Also, I found it easier
using it to set cabochons, faceted stones are harder because
if you miss the bezel its easier to damage the stone, 

Even with a hammer handpiece you must be careful to never touch
the stone. However, one trick that will help is to keep a
fingertip on the hammer tip itself to help guide it. This not
only helps your aim, but it also damps much of the actual
reciprocal movement of the hammer handpiece tip, without
affecting the impact force. So instead of trying to guide a
handpiece tip that is moving back and forth, and is therefore
hard to see and guide, you’ve got what appears to be an almost
stationary tip which is nevertheless delivering it’s kick to the
metal, and can be guided more precisely than without that finger
on the tip.

Hope this helps.

Peter Rowe