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Stone Setting System

I am a complete novice but very enthusiastic. As such I wish to obtain
the best tools for stone setting - I am thinking of buying the
Foredom Allset Master Stone Setting System. Would this be a wise

Thanks for any advice,

Steve I bought the Allset without a lot of setting experience. It
does help but, does not take the place of FIRST learning. Once you
know what to look for and how much to cut, you’ll get accuracy with
increased speed using the Allset. I don’t think you’ll gain much if
you are not doing production runs of the same style & size. Good Luck,


Steve: If you really want to master the art and skill of setting
buy yourself a lot of burs (just the regular kind, not
high-speed), and PRACTICE. All the fancy tools in the world will not
make you a great craftsman. In the hands of a great violinist, a
Stradivarius will make a beautiful sound, but in the hands of a
beginner, it’s just a squawky violin.

The Allset is a useful tool, if you know when to use it and when it
is better not to use it. If you were to invest in burs and practice
stones, or take a workshop at Revere Academy in San Francisco or at
New Approach School (with Blaine Lewis), I believe you will see a
much greater improvement in your stonesetting skills.

After you have mastered this skill, then you may want to purchase
those tools that will allow you to work faster. Otherwise, you may be
taking a shortcut to a dead end.

Doug Zaruba

As you are an enthusiastic novice, eager to obtain the best tools for
stone setting, I have good news for you. You already have the perfect
tools with you. In fact, you carry them with you wherever you go and
they did not cost you a dime. These amazing tools come as a perfectly
matched pair. They are more versatile than anything offered in the
tool catalogs and they never leave marks on metal or scratch a stone.
These personalized tools were created by a gifted inventor just for
you. They are, of course, your hands!

Truly the most valuable tools for any kind of jewelry work, your
priceless hands are only as good as your knowledge and experience can
direct them. First teach your hands what to do and then go shopping
for more sophisticated tools to make the job easier. The AllSet is
very innovative and useful for many types of setting, especially
channels and prongs. But without knowing the basics of setting, both
practical and theoretical, you will not be able to take advantage of
what a wonderful tool like the AllSet can do.

My suggestion: Learn setting the old fashioned way first and then
look for other tools and systems to help you improve your work
further. You can learn setting in a class, from a book, from videos
or from other more experienced jewelers.

Don’t kid yourself. Setting, like most jewelry work, is complex and
difficult. Even a simple bezel needs to be fitted, closed in and
finished with precision to look right.

Bottom line: You need to know where all the corners are first, and
then you can look for ways to cut them.

Good luck,

Revere Academy of Jewelry Arts
760 Market Street - Suite 900
San Francisco, CA 94102
tel: 415-391-4179 fax: 415-391-7570


Hello Steve and Alan! Alan, you provided good insight to gaining
experience in setting stones. I also agree with you promoting the
training of the hands. Quite true! Knowledge of the tools, burs,
pliers, etc., is certainly foremost. The hands are key.

Having used the Allset equipment, it would be my opinion that it
should not be the system to long for, in developing setting skills.
The equipment is well designed for production and repeatable tasks.
Setting stones is a daily part of my efforts, at work. Using the
Allset would not save time or be used much due to the diversity of
stone setting we do. Our store manufactures custom, and plenty of
repair. The Allset better suited to production, for stone setting. It
also has great applications as a wax carving assistant! Plenty of
diverse uses, and a nice tool to have overall. However, it is mainly
a production oriented tool, in my humble opinion.

One real glitch I noticed when viewing the introductory (the Allset
system) video, was how the Allset could be used to set rows of
channel set stones. The operator simply cut a continuous groove along
the inside of each channel! This technique, while fast, creates no
individual seat for each stone. Having a few pieces cross my bench
for stonetightening over the years, set in just this manner, it is
hardly a new idea. Half the time, the loose stones out number the
tight one’s! A wonderful tool like the Allset to be used in this
manner, and giving new jewelers and setters this concept, is in my
opinion, a mistake. No feather ruffling intended!

I own a Gravermax in my home shop. I would like to have one at work.
In this case it would certainly speed up many setting tasks. Similar
to the Allset case, the Gravermax would not be suitable for a
beginning stone setter. Check with Robert Wooding(a frequent Orchid
contributor) for his books and videos for a good foundation of stone
setting techniques, applicable tools, etc. If you can take
instruction, that would be best. Set as many stones as you can;
experience is the best teacher!