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Stone setting question


#1

Hi,

I have what to many of you is a simple question no doubt. When
bezel(hammer) setting, or channel setting, what do you use to
hold the piece? I have tried but failed to grow a third arm and
besides none of my clothes would fit!:slight_smile:

Thanks,

Skip
Skip Meister
NRA Endowment and
Instructor
@Skip_Meister
10/02/9707:14:22


#2

I have what to many of you is a simple question no doubt. When
bezel (hammer) setting, or channel setting, what do you use to
hold the piece? I have tried but failed to grow a third arm and
besides none of my clothes would fit!:slight_smile:

Shellac


#3

Skip,

I swear by the GRS benchmate system (Rio grande sells it as
well). It holds rings and things tight without much reaction so
the hammer blows will be more effective. I also use a hammer
handpiece rather than the hammer and homemade chisel I learned
on in school. This frees up a hand. Good Luck! Wendy Newman


#4

Skip,

You might want to try a Bench Pin for Rings, about $2.50 from
any jeweler’s tool catalog (or free if you look at the picture
and make your own ). I have also seen various types of jewelry
holding clamps in the engraving section, though a clamp might mar
your ring.

Jill
@jandr
http://members.tripod.com/~jilk


#5

I use one of several things- a die ball seems able to handle
most of my clamping needs plus it swivels, GRS makes a ring clamp
system that fits onto a bench edge mounted plate, and for small
difficult jobs (especially the repetitive ones!) I make a holder
out of a couple sheets of Plexiglass that can be clamped in the
die ball. I seldom use shellac.

Richard D. Hamilton

Fabricated 14k, 18k, and platinum Jewelry
wax carving, modelmaking, jewelry photography

http://www.rick-hamilton.com
@rick_hamilton


#6
  I have what to many of you is a simple question no doubt. 
When bezel(hammer) setting, or channel setting, what do you use
to hold the piece? I have tried but failed to grow a third arm
and besides none of my clothes would fit!:) 

Buy a GRS benchmate, great tool, will save your wrists. Its like
a metal ring clamp attached to your bench. I think its
indispensable if you do this all day. Mark P.


#7
I have what to many of you is a simple question no doubt.  When
bezel(hammer) setting, or channel setting, what do you use to
hold the piece? I have tried but failed to grow a third arm and
besides none of my clothes would fit!:)

I use a ring clamp sometimes, for light work. I also just use a
mandrel and slide the ring onto it and hammer away. Works well
in most instances. For pieces that aren’t rings I use a dop
stick covered with a shellac called diamond. Works like most
shellac’s, just a bit more hard so it holds up well from all the
hammering.

Barry


#8

Hi, to hold the piece while setting stones, you could
buy a Bench Mate bolt-on-your-desk, unit and it has all sorts of
gadgets that you can buy with it to help you do everything except
make toast! Or you can go the cheap way,(it works fine but a
third arm would be useful for this proceedure. There’s a stand
made specifically to hold a mandrel. It’s made out of iron so it
has good weight, but I don’t know which supply house sells them.
Mines about twenty years old. Anyhow, you lay the mandrel on the
stand with the ring slid on it,I put tape under the ring so as
not to mar it, hold the mandrel in place with the same hand
that’s holding the ring and bezeling punch, and hammer away. It
takes some getting used to but I used one for many years till GRS
came out with it’s product. Roland


#9
  I have what to many of you is a simple question no doubt. 

I use 2 pieces of red lurethane [like they use for pressing
shapes] 12mm thick and 100 mm wide and taped at the bottom for a
hinge.

Then I use this to clamp the ring in a leg-vice while I push the
bezel over. If the bezel won’t go over I get a hammer out. Works
for me. 'Cept once, when I knocked the bezel clean off of the
shank! Brian – B r i a n �� A d a m

j e w e l l e r

a n d �� e y e w e a r �� m a k e r

s i n c e ��1 9 8 1

http://crash.ihug.co.nz/~adam/


#10
   I use one of several things- a die ball seems able to
handle most of my clamping needs plus it swivels, GRS makes a
ring clamp system that fits onto a bench edge mounted plate,
and for small difficult jobs (especially the repetitive ones!)
I make a holder out of a couple sheets of Plexiglass that can
be clamped in the die ball. I seldom use shellac. 

hi richard and skip,

what a great idea, using plexi in the die ball! i’ve been using
wood cushioners made from paint sticks. could you please
elaborate a little on your use? like what thickness, do you
carve out the plexi, or just cut out piece large unough to cover
the ring? this would save al little experimentation on my part.
in some cases i still like to use shellac. grs makes a nice
inside the ring holder that fits into the benchmate, after one
has removed the ‘traditional’ ring clamp. the traditional ring
clamp, because of the nylon jaws, absorbs too much of the
impact, dampening my hammer blows. another way (a very
inexpensive and cumbersome way) is to slip the ring on a
mandrel, stick the mandrel into a small hole (about 1/2 inch)
drilled into a convenient location next to your benchpin. it
also will help to hold the stones in place with a little sausage
of classic clay or setters wax.

best regards,

geo fox


#11

Hi Mark P.

Can the GRS Benchmate tool be used to hold chain links so
that they could be planished?  I am doing the side-weave
chain (from Stark's book) in 22Kt. (but in a smaller gauge).
Each link is added and then planished. Forget fingernails :-)

Thanks for any info on this.

Linda
@Red1Eagle


#12

Hi Skip–I’ve found that heavy duty double sided fabric tape
–the kind usually used for holding down carpets on a wood block
in a vise holds it all while you hammer at the bezel. Don’t try
regular scorch or masking double sided tape because it doesn’t
work. I found the tape in Home Depot( do you have them there?)
or a carpet speciality store. Sandra


#13
     . . .  When bezel(hammer) setting, or channel setting,
what do you use to hold the piece? . . .

Skip - Most of the stones I set are in bezels. Several years
ago I invested in a Bench-Mate. It consists of a metal bracket
that attaches to your bench and then several attachments that fit
onto it. One of the tools is a ring clamp that turns and swivels
in it’s mounting. It is one of the best tools I have ever bought
and holds work securely in place while I work on it. You can
find it in the Gesswein catalogue and in the Rio Grande catalog.
Good luck.-- Steven Brixner - Jewelry Designer - San Diego
California mailto:brixner@compuserve.com
http://ourworld.compuserve.com/homepages/brixner


#14
 Can the GRS Benchmate tool be used to hold chain links so that
they could be planished? 

I don’t know if it would help you there. Its main purpose is to
hold rings. As the others have said it comes with various gadgets
to hold other things. One being a plate for shellac which may or
may not help. There are plam sized round clamps out there used
for holding tennis bracelets for setting, that might help. Mark P.


#15

I’m asking this purely out of curiosity. How thick does sheet metal
need to be to set stones in it?

For an example, take a look at the top center bracelet at the
Michael Bondanza website:

http://www.ganoksin.com/gnkurl/ep81fk (and click on Signature in the
menu line.)

Several of the bracelets in the left column might give a clearer
view.

The bracelet links seem to me to be hollow, fabricated from sheet
metal. So what size might the stones be, and how thick must the
metal be to set them properly?

Neil A


#16

Neil A

As a setter long before I became an instructor, my rule is simple
for the thickness of metal prior to setting stones.

I would like to have at least ‘double’ (or more) than the thickness
of the stone. that is from the ‘table’ to the ‘culet’.

The reason being, is that you might be lowering the diamond further
into the metal just for the actual stone-setting.

If the metal is too thin. the ‘culet’ will sit below the metal &
touch the persons finger. therefore loosening the stone after a short
while. Not too mention, the diamond must sit into & against the
metal-hole. Hope this answers your question. Gerry Lewy


#17

I did not look at the picture. I have seen where a jump ring was
soldered on the back to give depth to thin sheet to allow a faceted
stone to be flush set. This was done for earrings.


#18
I'm asking this purely out of curiosity. How thick does sheet
metal need to be to set stones in it? 

It really depends on how big the stones are, but the truth is that
you can set stones in anything that’s thicker than the girdles if
you’re really careful. For flush setting, I would say 18 to 20 gauge
is probably the realistic limit for anything around 3mm diameter and
smaller (like the Bondanza pieces you referenced) but as
denverjeweler says, you can always back it up with a jump ring if
there’s a compelling reason to go thinner. For bead setting or pave’,
18 gauge (1mm) is about the thinnest I would want to work with when
setting up to 2.5mm diameter stones. For stones in the 1 to 2mm
range, you can get by with thinner sheet, but again, it really
depends on how careful you want to be cutting the seats and pushing
metal around. Go too thin and it’s pretty easy to distort the piece
with the pressure required to do the setting work even if you’re
really careful not to blow through the bottom with the setting bur.
When setting a one carat (6.2mm) round diamond, I would probably want
to be around 14 gauge or thicker, especially if there’s going to be a
lot of bright cutting or anything.

I agree that the links look like they are fabbed or cast in hollow
sections with added bottoms. The tops with the stones are probably
around 1mm thick, maybe a tad thicker. Just guessing.

Hope this is what you were looking for.
Dave Phelps