Bill, to my mind inlay is more a matter of design than technique, if
you were to mechanically set the stones you might as well set cabs
which are much more friendly to setting than straight sided pieces of
stone cut to fit into an area for inlay. In inlay the metal is made
then the stone cut to fit the metal so an epoxy if some sort is the
only way to adhere the two different materials together. To
mechanically set stones the metal must be pushed in some fashion over
the edge of the stone.
Glue as a way to join inlay into a channel prepared to receive inlay
is really the only acceptable reason to use glue unless you are
making fashion jewelry which will hang on a rack in a department
stone. The use of glue in jewelry is only a fix (a poor fix in most
instances) or an attempt to keep costs to a bare minimum with labor
which is not trained to do actual inlay or mechanical stone setting.
When a piece comes in for repair which has inlay the inlay must be
removed with solvents prior to any high heat repairs being done.
Repairs usually involve high heat if they are done to last and the
piece is not riveted together in the first place.