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Precision Drilling for pave/micro pave


Have any of you encountered infomation about precision drilling?

I struggling with the micropave drilling. Drilling 100-200 holes
with 0,1 mm accuracy for setting stones between 1-2 mm.

How improve the accuracy and especially how to correct, when the is
starting go wrong.


Timo- It’s early AM here. I just stuck my head into the bathroom
where my sweetie Tim is soaking in the tub. He does all of the tiny
micro pave in our studio. He looked up from the magazine he was
reading and sort of groan-chuckled. He hates doing it but is really
good at it.

He said "Tell him to use a very small ball burr, smaller than the
stone first, leaving enough room between the divots for the larger
seat. Then use the divot of the ball burr to place your drill bit or
setting burr into.

With the tiny ball burr you can move or correct as you go.

Micro pave is one of the few times we don’t drill all the way
through or Ajour. If there are too many stones and holes it will
weaken the mounting.

I kinda suspect that De Beers came up with the concept of micro pave
to get rid off their back stock of tiny melle. They “invented” the
eternity ring, a pretty romantic but dumb idea, decades ago to use up
a glut of melle they had on hand.

Have fun and make lots of jewelry.

Jo Haemer

They "invented" the eternity ring, a pretty romantic but dumb idea,
decades ago to use up a glut of melle they had on hand. 

DeBeers/N. W.Ayer did the same thing with tennis bracelets, similar
reason, a glut of those sized stones. Marketing genius. All they had
to do was give one to the then current superstar of tennis, Chris
Evert, and bang. Everyone wanted one…


Thaks for the answer.

I normally drill the hole in 3-4 phases starting with very small

The challenge arises when the burr is the largest or just one
before. How to maintain the accuracy? If the the pressure in the hand
is not even to all directions, the burr slides very easily and the
hole is not where it should be.

Is there trick or things to learn? Or is it just years of practice?


Hi Timo,

I agree with Tim: It’s all a plot by DeBeers.

My suggestion would be to go with short drill bits. Go to an
industrial supplier, and get what are called ‘screw machine’ length
bits. They’re shorter, so they’ll flex (and wander) less.

If you happen to know a tool & cutter grinder, have him cut them
down, and resharpen them as 120 degree split-point drills, with
about 4-6mm of flute left. Those won’t wander at all, but it
requires knowing someone who makes his living re-grinding tools.

(Just for the record, when Knew Concepts started out, the guy in the
next bay over was a very good cutter grinder. He saved our tails
so many times, both in sharpening tools while I waited, and in
making custom tools that let us do two or three things at once. A
good cutter guy is not to be taken for granted, but rather to be

You are doing the drilling in a drill press, right?


A very easy way to precicely drill very tiny holes is to use a laser
welder. You can drill pilot holes that are.3mm which allows just
enough hole for cleaning everything once your done setting the
stones. A laser welder will allow you to drill the holes in a matter
of just a few minutes.

I use the following settings:

Power 3kW
Time/mS 1.7mS
Spot size .3 mm

Best regards,

Phillip Scott

Technical Support
Rio Grande