Back to Ganoksin | FAQ | Contact

Indian Stone setting methods

In india, the usual practice before setting stones is to jam the
jewelry piece with the help of shellac on a wooden base. Is the
same practice followed in the west. Is there any other option. The
system that we follow is at times risky specially when color stones
have been set. As shellac needs to be removed by heat, there is
always high risk that the color stone looses its color.

Regards
Rahul
India

Rahul,

You can put those pieces with shellac on them in a jar with alcohol
and put it in the ultrasonic.That works well for me. I use the wooden
base. Yes, there are many different tools for this purpose. You can
put alot of money in them and they don’t hold everything.

Amy

Hi Rahul,

As shellac needs to be removed by heat, there is always high risk
that the color stone looses its color. 

If the shellac you use is similar to that used in the US, it’s not
necessary to heat it to remove it.

Shellac is soluble in alcohol. Place the item to be removed in a
container of alcohol & let it soak for a time. In the US methyl
alcohol (denatured alcohol) is used by many folks.

There are also mechanical holding devices for holding things like
rings, bracelets, earrings, etc. Pictures & descriptions in a good
tool catalog would illustrate the wide selection of tools unique to
the jewelry trade. A couple of good books, ‘The Theory & Practice of
Goldsmithing’ by Erhard Brepohl & ‘Jewelry Concepts & Technology’ by
Oppi Untracht will also provide some insight into tools & the
reasons for why some things happen & the way they are done. These
books are available from most jeweler’s supply companies in the US,
online from various book sellers & probably in the international
market.

Dave

Rahul,

I am a big fan of Jett Sett. It is a hard plastic like material that
becomes soft in warm water and re-hardens when it cools. It can be
used over and over and does not require enough heat to damage
stones. It is available in Rio Grande and Stuller tool catalogs.

John Wade
www.wadedesigns@aol.com

from which i was taught you use wood saw dust (very fine) fill the
bezel then wet (soak) Press the stone in tight roll bezel around the
stone to hold in place.

Don in Idaho

Hi Don,

you use wood saw dust (very fine) fill the bezel  then wet (soak)
Press the stone in tight

I learned to make jewelry in the southwest USA. I noticed that some
sawdust molds and begins to decay when using damp sawdust. So I use
cedar, or something pitchy that tends not to mold and I do my
cabochon setting with dry sawdust.

Chuck in Asheville where it’s sleety and cold.

Hi Don,

        from which i was taught you use wood saw dust (very fine)
fill the bezel  then wet (soak) Press the stone in tight roll bezel
around the stone to hold in place. 

Was the sawdust used to raise the level of the stone or is there
some other reason to do it this way? Did you learn an alternative
method for open backed set stones?

Thanks,
Tracy
Tracy’s Treasures

    from which i was taught you use wood saw dust (very fine) fill
the bezel  then wet (soak) Press the stone in tight roll bezel
around the stone to hold in  place. 

I learned silversmithing (or silver soldering or brazing or . . . .
choose your term) from fellow rockhounds in St. Louis, MO, it was
the American Indian style that was demonstrated. That included the
sawdust bezel-fill.

After seeing two stones force themselves out of the bezels thanks to
the sawdust reabsorbing much moisture (St. Louis is much more HUMID
than the desert southwest), I decided to forego THAT exercise. I’m
not advocating that the practice be outlawed; perhaps I have been
lucky that none of the more fragile stones that I’ve mounted without
a cushion have broken. At least none that I am aware of.

From Mesa, AZ where the weather is beyond perfect right now, the
desert is bursting with wildflowers and greenery from the recent
abundant rains and I still don’t use sawdust beneath my stones.

Pam Chott
www.songofthephoenix.com

If you fear impact and the stone is opaque, try a piece of wet
leather, push in tight and as long as you use a proper bezel,
pushing out and impact damage is minimised.

Ringman

I have found the best stuff to use under a stone, as in Indian
settings, is a piece of plastic Scotch pad! It is airy, the plastic
should last a 100 years and it compresses beautifully when the stone
is inserted. It acts as a shock absorber as well. Try it. You’ll
like it.

Cheers from Don at The Charles Belle Studio in SOFL where simple
elegance IS fine jewelry! @coralnut2

use wood saw dust (very fine) fill the bezel then wet (soak) Press
the stone in

I found out about this method when I resized a fire agate ring which
was, I think, of Indian origin. I popped the stone out and found all
this stuff underneath - what an odd surprise! It looked less like
sawdust and more like vermiculite or excelsior. There was a bit of
greenish moldiness about it, and it was generally pretty gross. I
dug it out and threw it away, and filed down the bezel before
resetting the stone.

In settings where I want to raise the stone in the bezel, I cut a
couple bits of brass, whichever gauge works best, near to the shape
of the bezel and stack them inside it, underneath the stone. For
some smaller cabs, especially translucent ones, I’ve found it handy
to use little squares of burnished bezel wire scrap - fine silver.

Anybody else do something similar? I hope there’s no reason not to
do this - I’ve found it a very easy and effective technique, and I
like the added weight it can give to smaller pendants.

Cheers,
Jessee Smith
www.silverspotstudio.com

Cool! Thanks Don.

I’ve been verbally slapped over using my personal favorite (wet
asbestos- gasp!) and have had good success with silver filings
instead of sawdust. Your Scotch-brite pad is a great idea.

Glad you shared,

Judy in Kansas

In my beginning jewelry making class, the instructor taught us to use
cut up credit cards as a backing under the stone.

Lora ~

In my beginning jewelry making class, the instructor taught us to use
cut up credit cards as a backing under the stone.

I don’t know what would be achieved by using credit card material for
a backing, it would raise the stone alright but if you cut the bezel
the right height that’s not necessary anyway… The main object of
using sawdust is to cushion the stone…

Jerry in Kodiak

The main object of using sawdust is to cushion the stone.. 

When I am setting a stone that needs to be cushioned I cut a piece
of sheet cork. It provides a nice give, doesn’t rot or swell if it
gets wet, and is environmentally friendly.

Epaul Fischer
Gryphon Song Creations
Signet rings and custom gem carvings
www.gemartist.com

   When I am setting a stone that needs to be cushioned I cut a
piece of sheet cork. It provides a nice give, doesn't rot or swell
if it gets wet, and is environmentally friendly. 

You don’t mean to infer that sawdust is not environmentally
friendly, do you?

Jerry in Kodiak

   When I am setting a stone that needs to be cushioned I cut a
piece of sheet cork. It provides a nice give, doesn't rot or swell
if it gets wet, and is environmentally friendly.
    You don't mean to infer that sawdust is not environmentally
friendly, do you? 

Only by comparison as a commercial endeavor. IMHO cork is one of the
great undervalued materials. It doesn’t swell if it gets wet, it is
not only compressible but resilient. When placed under a fragile
stone it will give if pressure is placed on a stone and will the
return to a snug fit, even after a hundred years. Wine bottle corks
don’t actually swell (perceptivly) from water absorption, they
compress and then return.

Cork has many uses in in a workshop. The hand rest for my engravers
block is cork. I have cork flooring in front of the machines that I
stand up to use. I glue cork to the bottom of items that I don’t
want to slide around (it has a higher friction coefficient than
rubber or leather, even when wet or greasy). I use cork floor tiles
for vibration absorption and there is a cork tile under my chairs to
keep my feet warm when I work bare footed. I place a sheet of cork
(which I purchased at an arts & crafts store) under my carving arbor
so that if (OK, when) I drop a stone it has a nice soft water
resistant landing zone. I have a set of custom scrapers and diamond
points that are all “corked” so that I don’t skewer myself anymore.
I use cork for gasket material for volatile liquids. I’m sure I’m
missing some opportunities, but it’s great stuff. It is also one of
the most environmentally friendly substances known. The trees aren’t
cut down, almost 100% of the harvest is used, and I believe the cork
tree was the reason for the first environmental protection laws ever
written. If all that isn’t enough to convert you into a rabid
corkophile, cork is credited for saving the life of Alexander the
Great.

Seriously, when I get the time/money to finally put flooring in my
workshop, it will be cork flooring. We have it in parts of our house
and it is amazing.

Epaul Fischer
Gryphon Song Creations
Signet rings and custom gem carvings
www.gemartist.com

Continue from:
https://orchid.ganoksin.com/t/indian-stone-setting-methods

While I learned via mentor from the “Indian Jewelry” books, instead
of sawdust, our instructor used the bright white, very thin foam
sheets that are commonly seen in packaging supplies (1-3/32" at a
guess). We used 1 layer to support and cushion the cabs against a
low/thin bezel, and more (as needed) to lift and give a bit of
pressure against a higher bezel. Avoids any moisture problem and
gives a white background for translucent cabs. Clearer than that, I
would consider using an open back design, just haven’t needed one
yet.

Hope this helps some, Betsy