ReadySet settings

Today, for the first time I used the ReadySet prenotched settings on
a pair of earrings. After much struggle, a little extra solder on a
prong and a few choice words I finally got some amethyst set. Their
tight and don’t move, but frankly, it only looks so-so. I’m calling
this period of my jewelry the “primitive period”! :wink:

So does anyone have any suggestions or tip and tricks or pearls (as
we say in software engineering). Another geek saying “best
practices”. I’m all ears and ready.

Lisa Fowler
Fort Collins, CO 80526

Hi Lisa,

While I can’t offer you the wealth of experience that so many of our
fellow Orchidians can, I did manage to come up with a way of
overcoming the decapitated and gnarled prong tip routine that’s been
working for me, and may for you, too. It’ll cost you about an hour of
your time and fifteen or twenty dollars out of pocket but, as crude
as it may seem, it works pretty nicely. First, go out to the Loew’s,
Home Depot or other hardware/lumber store in your area and buy four
things: a 3/16-1/2" countersinking drillbit set, a blank Oak or
Douglas Fir baluster (preferably lathed into a cross section that
fits your hand well), a packet of 3/8" screw-eyes and one of those
tubes of Crazy Glue with the pressure stylus tips. (And a power
drill, if you don’t already own one.)

Next, go home and cut several 3-5" lengths of the baluster, then use
a coarse three-square file to incise a shallow groove around the
piece, about 3/8" from one end, and wrap binding wire around it, the
same way you would with a split charcoal block, using a pliers to
twist and fold the ends over into the groove.

Next, mount a few of these vertically in your vise (or drill press
vise, for better accuracy), then center and countersink a single
cone-shaped hole of one size or another in the end of the baluster
section. Once this is done, “plate” the inside of the cone with the
Crazy Glue three or four times. (Letting the glue sink in and dry,
between coats.This will serve to extend each tool’s workable
lifespan.) Finally, use a 1/16" bit in each baluster section’s back
end to make way for the screw eye, and prepare its insertion with yet
another drop of Crazy Glue so, when dry, you can hang them up neatly.

The next time you’re up against a prong setting, do the usual prep
work of measuring the stone, measuring the mounting, adjusting the
prongs outward, as necessary, with a needle- or chain-nose pliers and
then, when your stone is in place, press one of these tools down over
the prongs, “wobbling” it slightly, to get all four (or six) to seat
properly. If you’ve done this straight down from directly over the
workpiece, all of your prongs will be evenly seated and you stone,
nicely tightened! By the way, use a “cone” that’s at least 15-20%
larger than your stone, to insure that all of the prongs will remain
inside it; the last thing you’ll need is to have one
'straggler’squished out away from the others by the outer
(horizontal) rim of the baluster!

Good luck to you, Lisa,


Douglas Turet, G.J.,
Turet Design
P.O. Box 242
Avon, MA 02322-0242
Tel: (508) 586-5690 Fax: (508) 586-5677