Back to Ganoksin | FAQ | Contact

Setting gap between metal and stone


#1

Hello, I have a flush setting problem. I am setting a stone in 14kt.
white gold and there is too large a gap between the metal and the
stone and white gold is very hard so I can not get it to push over. I
am wondering if I should tack the points, (it is a trillion sapphire)
with solder or if I should solder a trillon shaped piece of gold on
the area and push that over or if there is another way of getting the
job done.

Thank you in advance.
Sincerely, Ann Madland


#2

Ann

don’t solder near the points of the Trillion unless you have a
delicate hand and insurance.I’d leave a Flush-Setting of any
fancy-cut stone and find another solution…maybe soldering three
little “claws/prongs” at the points…this way, you might be able to
close up the gaps as well!!! when you do intend to push over the
prongs…please make sure the gold is WELL TEMPERED and not hard as
Titanium…:)…

Gerry Lewy who will be in San Diego and Ventura, CA in early July


#3

Ann, It sounds like the hole is too big. Is the budget to small for
plugging it up and redoing it properly? You can extend the prongs as
long as necessary and the stone is still going to be to low in the
mounting. Do it right or pass it up. It will be back to haunt you if
the stone isn’t set right. You’ll make more money in the long run if
you don’t compromise on craftsmanship. Will someone second, amen, or
hear hear that? That my opinion, for what it’s worth. With
solidarity, Kevin

Kevin Lindsey
lindseyjewelers.com


#4

I could think of several butt savers for this, which is best depends
on the piece and you…

  1. You ‘could’ solder the saph in place, It should take the heat but
    flux will etch the surface so go sparingly. You’ll have firescale
    behind the stone. Totally unpurist. Not a good route to take unless
    you have no viable alternative. Better would be to solder 3 prongs
    and finish it by making it look like it was bead set. But you’d still
    have the gap showing along the girdle (I assume that’s what you meant
    by gap) which isn’t so cool unless you can make it look like you
    intended the gap to be there. Maybe bevel it like a bright cut on a
    reflector plate.

  2. Grind out the triangular outline in the piece a bit and fit an
    insert made of palladium white gold, preferably 18K. Soft enough to
    make setting a breeze, you hide the join with a graved line or really
    slick polishing plus rhodium. Keeps your original look intact. Recess
    the new metal into the piece, don’t rely on what amounts to a butt
    joint. You need the softer metal to extend below the girdle line.
    Make the inside of the insert smaller than the stone, then after
    soldering cut to size, slowly!

  3. Make a true bezel either white or yellow. A raised edge will
    allow introducing yellow gold which may help you avoid an unsmooth
    inner edge to the bezel. White on blue will show even slightly uneven
    edges, yellow is more forgiving. If you opt for white use the
    palladium gold, if yellow then 18K, preferably with a high silver
    content, such as Hoover & Strong’s Royal Yellow alloy, sweet stuff
    for mushing around. Relieve the inside corners of the bezel enough so
    you don’t chip the corner of the stone, but not enough to show thru
    once you polish. Tricky judgement call.

Good Luck


#5
Will someone second, amen, or hear hear that?

Although I’ve never done any flush setting yet, from all the
instruction and advice I’ve read on the subject (of any setting type
actually), the stone should fit the seat with no gaps at all, as the
stone can work loose if there’s any room for movement. So when I
read the original post, I thought the same as you Kevin, but I didn’t
want to say so as I’ve not yet done that type of setting. I was
expecting a few of the experts to say it though.

Helen
UK
http://www.hillsgems.co.uk


#6

Yeah, I’ll second that. for a fairly easy fisx, make the hole
bigger, and drop a bezel into it & solder. Then proceed as if it had
been a good fit to begin with.

M’lou


#7

Helen- You are so right. The stone has to fit perfectly for a good
flush setting. If it’s even remotely loose, it’ll never tighten. When
we flush set at stone…We first cut the seat with a ball bur
until the top edge of the stone girdle sits level, just at the edge
of the hole. Then we cut the seat with a hart burr, right below the
upper edge. Then the stone is very gently snapped into place, with a
thumbnail.

Next, we use a small polished burnisher made from an old dental pick
to very gently push the edge towards and over the stone. Then we oil
or spit on the burnisher and push it straight down on the edge of the
metal where it touches the stone for a nice crisp finish.

Flush setting is not something I’d recommend for a triangle. The
corners are likely to break unless they are relieved in the seat. The
very the point should have metal over it, but the tip of the corner
needs to be free inside the seat.

Trying to tip or solder the corners in place is also likely to
result in the corners breaking. Flush setting is something we usually
do with diamonds and corundum. We have done this with softer stones,
but with a small mortality rate.

In this case with the seat too big, I’d suggest the same as many
others have, solder a bezel in. Just don’t forget to free the corners
of the triangle before setting with a tiny little ball burr right
into the corners of the stone seat.

Have fun and make lots of jewelry.

Jo
www.timothywgreen.com


#8

Hi Jo,

Thanks for the tips on a technique I’d like to try soon. I am,
however, worried about not being able to move any metal onto the
stone when setting though. I don’t have much strength in my hands and
wrists and even have to use a hammer and smooth-faced prong pusher
to turn my sterling silver bezels onto stones. I tried bezel rockers,
burnishers, etc but nothing other than gently working it with the
pusher with a helping hand from the hammer does the trick.

I suppose I could use that approach in flush setting too?

Love your work by the way.

Helen
http://www.hillsgems.co.uk


#9

When my torn rotator cuff from an old motorcycle accident made all
setting jobs a lot more painfull I began using the GraverMax for any
job that involved moving metal or engraving tools. Even white gold
can be moved quite easily, without relying on hand and shoulder
strength. Bead raising, bezel setting, flush setting, channels, etc
can all be done by letting the power tool do the hard work. As the
eyes are also showing the effects of over 30 years at the bench, I
invested in the Meji microscope and Acrobat stand last year. Now I
look at the quality and detail of the work I can accomplish and
realize that I should have done this years earlier!


#10
with a helping hand from the hammer does the trick. 

I suppose I could use that approach in flush setting too?

If one has to resort to a hammer to flush set then it wasn’t prepped
right. When burnishing a flush setting think in terms of a snow plow.
Your tool(the plow) raises metal away from where it actually touches
the hole edge. If you’ve ever had your car plowed in you’ll see the
effect. Or, think of how a tent stake mushrooms over when repeatedly
malleted into the ground. The mallet hits the head and basically
squishes the metal out the side. Its that side s quish that does the
holding.

It usually doesn’t take a lot of hand pressure to flush set. Just
the right tool shape and aspect of motion. Assuming the hole was cut
to the right dimension and depth.


#11

Hi Helen,

Thanks for the tips on a technique I'd like to try soon. I am,
however, worried about not being able to move any metal onto the
stone when setting though. 

I think I would change the tool geometry then. There is more than on
one way to burnish set a stone, you can even use power assist if you
wish.

If your using the pencil type burnisher or a beading tool. I would
change over to a modified graver type burnisher with a round end.
This
type of burnisher is favored by Blain Lewis. It allows you to put
more
pressure with less leverage require.

The same type burnisher can be chucked up is either a Lindsay
Palmcontrol graver, or a GRS Magnum handpiece. This will allow you to
do work without needing huge forearms.

As far as the gap goes. I remove the stone and fix the seat. Then
start again. All that business of soldering around the stone is risky
and un-necessary.

A good setter can take them out as easily as he puts them in.

Talk to ya later,
Jim

Jim Zimmerman
Alpine Custom Jewellers & Repair
http://www.handengravingcanada.com


#12
When burnishing a flush setting think in terms of a snow plow. 

I understand the movement of the metal but just don’t think I have
the physical strength to do that without the gentle aid of a hammer
and punch. I’m only talking about gentle persuasion from the hammer -
not mighty blows by any means. We’ll see. I’ll obviously try it the
traditional way first and if it works then all well and good - if it
doesn’t, then the punch and hammer will come out to play.

Helen
UK
http://www.hillsgems.co.uk


#13
When my torn rotator cuff from an old motorcycle accident made all
setting jobs a lot more painfull I began using the GraverMax for any
job that involved moving metal or engraving tools. 

I’ll second that!

I would add, though, a Chicago Air Scribe for moving serious metal.


#14

Someone else recommended the GraverMax to me as well and it does
look very good for setting tasks but I feel the need to earn such a
spending spree by learning the different setting styles the
traditional way first and getting a feel for how the metal needs to
be moved.

It is something that’s in my mental shopping list for the future
when I feel my work justifies it. I think the last time the GraverMax
was mentioned, it brought a few comments from all the “you’re not a
proper jeweller if you use [such and such]” type jewellers, but it
definitely has a place in my humble opinion, and the the difference
in quality of your work has proved its place in the industry.

Helen
UK
http://www.hillsgems.co.uk


#15

Hi, James -

Do you have photos of your equipment, or URLs giving details? I’d
like to know more about this GraverMax, microscope and stand you
speak of.

“Work smarter, not harder”, the Army Aviation motto back in the
early 90s.

Finally make sense to me.
Kelley


#16

Hi Helen,

Someone else recommended the GraverMax to me as well and it does
look very good for setting tasks but I feel the need to earn such
a spending spree by learning the different setting styles the
traditional way first and getting a feel for how the metal needs
to be moved

There are hammer handpieces available that are powered by flexshafts.
Depending on where you buy them, they cost between $100 & $150.

They can be used for stone setting & texturing & other jobs.

Typically, the flexshaft should be run at a slower speed when using
the hammer handpiece.

Dave


#17
Someone else recommended the GraverMax to me as well and it does
look very good for setting tasks but I feel the need to earn such
a spending spree by learning the different setting styles the
traditional way first and getting a feel for how the metal needs
to be moved. 

Like Jim mentioned, take a good look at the Lindsay series of
engraving tools, I recently bit the bullet and invested the Palm
Control Classic Air Graver. I can honestly say, this tool (1) is a
fine piece of precision equipment, (2) is like an extension of your
hands, (3) you can move some serious metal with little effort, saving
the wear and tear on your body, and finally, worth every penny spent
on the tool.

I recently did some pieces with machined bezels (stainless steel),
and before I would use a hammer and punch to move the metal to the
stone, very time consuming to say the least. With the Lindsay it
litterally moved the bezel with ease.

As with any tool that makes life easier, having one (Lindsay or a
GRS unit) will make your profession a lot more enjoyable, save the
wear and tear on your body, and allow you to do things you
wouldnt/couldnt do by hand. If your at the point where learning new
setting techniques, its time to seriously make the investment, it
will save you a lot of time and frustration.

P@
www.patpruitt.com


#18
Do you have photos of your equipment, or URLs giving details? I'd
like to know more about this GraverMax, microscope and stand you
speak of. 

If you wish to see examples. Simple go to the sites. Lindsay
Engraving or GRS are listed under hand engraving is a search. Very
little on my sight is done by push engraving as apposed to power
assist. All my bright cutting is power assist now.

Jim

Jim Zimmerman
http://www.handengravingcanada.com


#19

Hi Pat,

If your at the point where learning new setting techniques, its
time to seriously make the investment, it will save you a lot of
time and frustration. 

I’d better start saving then! Or at least make some sales to fund it.
Thanks for the recommendation.

Helen


#20
setting jobs a lot more painfull I began using the GraverMax for
any job that involved moving metal or engraving tools.

I would add, though, a Chicago Air Scribe for moving serious metal.
Is the Chicago Air Scribe in addition to or instead of the GraverMax?

Noel