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Investing in setting punches?

I have a number of tube settings to complete. I find when using a
burnishing tool, the stones move, and end up lopsided. Is it worth it
to investing a Stone Setting Punch Kit? Is there anything else I
should consider investing in?

Thanks!? Rita T

Rita- We love our setting punches. We have the “Favorite Brand” bezel
burnishers. Tim has a label on it that says it’s his second favorite

Seat the stone, position the tool over the bezel, one really good
whack with a hammer, rub the edge where it meets the stone with a
polished and oiled small pointed burnisher and you have a perfect
setting every time. Well, almost every time. If you hit it crooked
you’ll have to start over with a fresh bezel.

Have fun and make lots of jewelry.
Jo Haemer

You can put some sticky wax on the seat before you set, reduces
stone wiggle…steam or ultrasonic to clean it out.

Another thing that works is to keep a fingertip on the table while
you hammer set the bezel, rotating as you go.

Oops! Neil is right. I forgot my most often repeated phrase when
teaching students.

Rotate,rotate rotate. I rotate 90 degrees every few seconds when
drilling holes, setting stones, cutting seats etc. This keeps things
straight. All folks tend to lean one way or another when they drill,
or say hammer on a bezel burnisher. If you keep rotating it
everything eventually evens out. I’ll probably get some flack from my
students that read Orchid for forgetting the rotation thing. I really
am a freak bout it.

Have fun and make lots of jewelry.
Jo Haemer

Hi Rita,

Tight wad that I am, I put off getting a set of bezel punches for
years, thinking that they were way too much money for something I
could use other tools to get the same result, even if it did take a
few extra seconds. When I finally decided to get a set, I was blown
away at how much faster and easier it is to just whack it a couple of
times (rotating, rotating, rotating) and get a perfect job every
time. I didn’t get the same result, the punches do a far better job
than burnishing and hammering, and it was probably hours of extra
time I spent over the years, not just seconds or even minutes. Worth
every dime if you do more than about two tubes a year.

I have a couple of tips on their use. First, use some ball burs or
something followed by a bullet shaped polisher to finish them
inside. They are pretty rough as they come. Take the time to really
smooth and polish them up. They work much better at closing the tube,
leave far fewer marks and the edges of the punches don’t chip nearly
as easily. Second, make sure you use the right size punch, it should
be just a bit larger than the tube. Too big and it won’t close right,
too small and the punch edges can chip. The biggest problem is that
if you chip a punch, you have to buy a whole new set. No one I can
find sells the individual punches. If anyone knows where they can be
found I’d be more than grateful to hear. Oh, and throw the little
handle away or find a new home for it. It is useless for use with the
punches. Use the punch and a steel block with a hammer alone.

Dave Phelps

Dave, Otto Frei sells individual punches up to 6.5mm.


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