How to create a "4-claw" setting, from a 'domed ring'!

This ‘4-claw carving’ exercise is relatively easy to create. Just view and read the text and with the many photographs that I’m now showing you.

The Difficulty Scale is (about) a “6.5-7.0, out of 10”!

I have demonstrated two rings, the white stones were to my liking. The coloured stone demo-ring is ‘almost passable’! This is not my style of setting stones, if it isn’t 100%, then it isn’t acceptable.

I’ve made some errors in the setting on purpose, why? I need to explain what can go wrong & sometimes the slightest error can magnify to a major problem.

The required tools are as follows:
Bud burs: #006 <=> #008 . (maybe a #009, if it is required, shown below!)
Twist drill: 1.00 millimetres in diameter. Nothing else, as it might be too large!
" 156C" (Undercutting, or Heart shape bur). Or 75% size of the selected stone.
Triangular file #4 cut. 20cm’s in length.
Pumice wheels: #180 & Pink #1,000 grit .
" Snap-On" Emery wheels: " Medium " grit .
Brass (or) Copper hand-pusher. On the right is a steel pusher, avoid this tool!!!


I was shown this rather ‘simple-to-understand’ process in only a few minutes!
I want YOU to enjoy and see just how easy this is to create for yourselves! I then studied the final result and thought, WOW this is so easy to replicate.

In this blog-essay, I’m going to explain in the greatest detail how this can truly influence your future hand-made jewellery & add to your inventory of setting patterns.

If the stone is set too high in this kind of setting, problems like these will occur! These scratches on the ‘table’ of the stone, were caused by the ‘touching’ from the “Snap-On”, Emery-Wheels making direct contact to the Cubic Zirconia stone. This results in a definite "oh-oh, and whoops!"

No matter how hard your CZ stone is, sometimes the abrasive action of the Emery-wheel can and will ruin the ‘table’ of the stone …:>(

Please be careful in the contact with your emery-wheel and even with a file. If the stone is ruined, so will your claws/prongs, why? It will cause you much grief just trying to remove and then replace just that one stone!!!


I prefer to use the Cubic Zirconia that is made by 'Swarovski". This name is synonymous with hardness and durability in settings of this nature.


These are all of the bud-shaped burs that you need in this exercise. If you wish larger burs, do so…(you are doing the setting!)


The 'the middle cutting’ was extended further past the last stone and then make it blend in with the ring. You can see just how pristine the cuts are looking , nice and clean. Do you agree with these results?

"Always explore other ‘innovative’ designs while you are working on your rings!"


Notice how thick the metal is? Can you observe this, as it is holding the stone in place? I prefer that the stone is to be lowered further into the new 4-claw area.


In this photograph, you can see the uniformity of the depth of the stones, plus the well-contoured shape of the ‘new’ claws!


When you attempt to start the setting process, make (darn) sure these stones are sitting level, as this is so very important! How is this accomplished? So easy to answer.

For this exercise; a domed-shape pattern is quite easy to shape. A flat surface is not for this new setting pattern!


I used a little amount of oil using only ‘simple adhesion’ to hold the stone (inverted “Table”) in place.

Remove one stone , scribe a mark as to where the stone must be drilled.

Remove the second stone (scribe the surface) and then scribe for the third stone until all of the stones are marked.

Do this for the remainder of the stones until you are sure you have decided the correct stone size & (very important) spacing.


Once the ‘scribed marks’ are to your satisfaction , proceed now with the drilling of all the holes, with your 1.00 millimetre sized ‘Twist Drill’.

Oil your burs and especially the ‘heat-sensitive’ burs frequently. The heat build-up might ‘bind the Twist drill steel’ to ring metal that you are using. To repeat this again!. "Oil liberally" ( or as much as you can! )


Underneath each new hole, I suggest that you countersink using a large # 012 <=> #014 round bur. This will remove all of the unnecessary metal from underneath and it will be easier to cloth-wheel polish afterwards.


I’m now using a round bur of #009 , we are now starting to create the ‘claws’!

Very slowly, start to use your bur just as shown, drill little recesses into the metal. I do this 3-4 times, as I need the exact depth.

How deep should this be? Deep enough to have the round bur be level with the surrounding metal. (this is shown below!)

A 'shallow depth in cutting’ will never give you the correct height of the new claws. That alone is a paradox; the deeper you drill, the higher the claw will be!


Please keep this drilling in the centre of the space made for each stone. If you
see that the hole is not centred, then just lean the rotating bur to the side of the hole. As this is important, the hole MUST be totally centred, at all times!


After each and every area that you drill, it will be a great idea to use your Pumice wheel of #180 grit. It is imperative that all drilling be now cleaned before any future ‘bur carving’.

"Cut, clean & pumice wheel…cut clean & pumice wheel" need I repeat this?


In this interesting photograph, you can see two ‘cleanings’, the two holes on the left was finished with a Pumice wheel of #1,000 grit. The three holes on the right side of this item were using only Pumice wheel of #180 grit. Some difference isn’t there?

Can you imagine if you were going to your large cloth polishing wheel, there wouldn’t be any sharp edges & corners. They would be all made too smooth for setting of your stones.


Here is a very ‘up-close’ image . I keep many pumice wheels of both ‘grits’ ready for the mini-polishing processes.
Don’t hesitate in using these (great little) polishing wheels…:>)


In this interesting photograph, you can see the ‘marking pen’ making a line for the next step . I always use these ‘marker guides’ in these delicate steps.

I often erase any lines that are not to my liking or positioned incorrectly, (mistakes can happen even or the professional).


This bud-bur is making a guide to be used for again, making new claws. As before, make very sure that the (slowly rotating) bur is cutting deep into the metal. The deeper you cut and in return, the higher the claws will be, is there any other option?


These are the results you are needing. All of the lines are ‘deep’ and so very clean from the pumice wheel ‘mini-polishing’. At this point, use your #1,000 grit PINK wheel.


Here is another view, is there any need now to run to your polishing machine? You have achieved what is now required… clean & deep ‘cutting’ grooves.


You can see the first of many cuts that are so essential in making claws. As these lightly-made, bud burring, you can still carefully reposition any lines that you need to ‘move’. Once done, you can now cut deeper!


After the ‘first’ cuts have been completed, the next step is to ‘extend’ the horizontal line to finish making the claws. Now you can see just why I suggested making an extension of that line, to go into the semi-round band.


Is this 100% perfection so far? A resounding YES!..:>)


Here comes the delicate aspect of creating the seat for the stone! For this, try not to just place the stone (nothing but a round bur) into the new claw setting, it won’t work!!!

Bearings (for the girdle-facets of the stone) are now to be made. I use only the “156C”, Carbide bur.

Please avoid the High-Speed Steel bur, why? This bur is too aggressive in its cutting power. How large a bur would I use? Glad you asked, the (or any bur) bur size must never exceed 75% of the size of the stone.

Make sure that your bur is cutting sharp if the bur is old and shows signs of wear…throw it away or not use it now.


You can now see that there are particles of metal being extruded caused by the rotating bur. This is just a normal occurrence , don’t get irritated ! Get these little particles removed with your #180 & #1,000 grit Pumice wheels… NOW!

Don’t email me complaining that there is still metal to be seen, after setting! All it takes is a slight redrilling with your bud bur to remove every bit of metal. But do it NOW!


This photograph is so essential, I posted it again, why? Just to remind you to keep your bur-cuts (prior to setting) absolutely CLEAN!


If your stone ‘table’ is too high, or the girdle is thick, setting problems WILL FOR SURE, OCCUR.

At this point, be selective and exchange your stones for a more of a ‘diamond-shape’ before your setting stage , not as shown!

Many problems will ensue as you cannot have a thick metal claw, as this is much needed. The 'Out of Shape" stone will give you literally headaches and must stress on how to fix this new problem.

I’ m now using a soft-tipped, metal pusher using either Copper or Brass metal. As this will avoid scoring of the stone, I purposely put a ‘textured’ finish on the tip of the pushing rod & this alone will prevent any sliding & touching the stone!


Here are the initial ‘demo-practice’ rings that I used, I selected only genuine CZ’s and not some stones to fill in the new claws for display. For this demo, you need accurately cut stones!!!





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Jerry, I want to send you my thanks from the west coast for all you do to help others have a path perhaps a little easier by sharing what you have learned. Many, many thanks!!

So many thanks for the feedback. It is greatly appreciated. You haven’t even seen the list of topics still to write about! I have 10 more being now prepared!

Today, I’m starting a new essay on using a “Florentine” graver.

The temperature over here is slowly dropping, Yuk! Fondest regards, EH!